Professional Knowledge for the Teaching of Writing

The everyday experience of writing in people’s lives has expanded dramatically.

In February 2016, NCTE sunsetted the The Beliefs about the Teaching of Writing. These beliefs were revised and replaced by a new statement Professional Knowledge for the Teaching of Writing.  These principles of writing include:

  • Writing grows out of many purposes.
  • Writing is embedded in complex social relationships and their appropriate languages.
  • Composing occurs in different modalities and technologies.
  • Conventions of finished and edited texts are an important dimension of the relationship between writers and readers.
  • Everyone has the capacity to write; writing can be taught; and teachers can help students become better writers.
  • Writing is a process.
  • Writing is a tool for thinking.
  • Writing has a complex relationship to talk.
  • Writing and reading are related.
  • Assessment of writing involves complex, informed, human judgment.

Over the next few weeks, we will dig deeper to share concrete illustrations of effective classroom practices based on the professional principles that guide effective teaching.


About Lisa Fink

Lisa Storm Fink is the Project Manager for ReadWriteThink at NCTE. After teaching grades K-4 for almost 9 years, she brought her varied experiences (multi-age classrooms, looping, cooperating teacher for preservice teachers, plus a specialization in Remedial Reading) fulltime to the ReadWriteThink site. Lisa feels lucky to have worked on all parts of the ReadWriteThink site as a writer and reviewer, curriculum developer, and now as Project Manager. She enjoys sharing the site with others during professional development opportunities as well as with her preservice students at the University of Illinois.

One thought on “Professional Knowledge for the Teaching of Writing

  1. I am really embarrassed by the new NCTE public statement about writing. What knowledge or guidance does it give to readers? Did we need to be told that “Writing is a process,” that “reading and writing are related,” or that “Writing grows out of many purposes?” How are those statements and all the others helpful to people who want to write or improve their writing? How do they represent NCTE? In what ways do they inform or support NCTE members?

    As a past president of NCTE, I refuse to accept them as a foundational statement by that organization. I would tell children and their teachers that you learn to write by reading many different types of writing and adopting those characteristics that are appropriate for what you want to say.

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