WRITING TO GRADUATE AND BEYOND
current 9th graders will have to pass the writing portion of the FCAT to graduate. Students learn to write by writing often,
but if they only write extensively in their English composition course, then their writing skills will deteriorate. Subject-area
teachers are the most capable to teach the writing required by their subject area.
National Commission on Writing (NCW) states that most students cannot write with the skill expected of them. The educational
and economic landscapes have shifted, highlighting different priorities, exposing new gaps, and putting pressure on students
and teachers to perform in new and different ways. The key examples of recent changes include less time spent on writing, low writing scores, new standards for written communication
across subject areas, limited teacher preparation, new tests for graduation and college admission, inadequate preparation
for college writing, and changing workforce demands.
WRITING TO IMPROVE READING
research has proved that writing improves reading. F.C. Falk-Ross in her 2001 article “Toward the new literacy: Changes
in college students' reading comprehension strategies following reading/writing projects” from the Journal of Adolescent
& Adult Literacy noted that the students in her study made at least three grade level gains in reading through writing
instruction by using guiding principles of the reading-writing connection. This supports the idea that students who struggle
as writers also struggle as readers.
WRITING TO LEARN
to learn is one of the most successful ways to engage students in thinking critically about a subject. After all, writing
is thinking—on paper. One study reports that during the first ten minutes of a lecture, students retain about 70% of
the information presented while they retain less than 20% of the final ten minutes.
Even relatively low-level comprehension is difficult when students passively learn, without having to process the material
further. Higher level thinking skills such as analyzing, synthesizing, and above all applying knowledge require an environment
in which students actively learn. Writing forces the learner to put concepts in language, fix them in time, and typically,
process them for themselves or another person.
WRITING ACROSS THE
Across the Curriculum (WAC) is a nationwide educational movement started in the 1970s that grew out of the awareness that
children learn in various creative ways that go beyond the established pedagogical methods of rote and lecture. WAC recognizes
that writing is a process and that students will write more effectively if given a chance to write often as well as revise
and to receive feedback from peers and teachers throughout the writing process. WAC advances instruction and education by
helping teachers and students regard writing as an essential part of all courses across the curriculum. It also creates a sense of community among the faculty in various subject areas by sharing the common goal
of improving student learning through writing.