During the last four summers, the Writing Institute has been offered for master-level students in the School of Education. This year, as a result of an ongoing collaboration with Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) throughout this school year, the district requested participation in our Writing Institute and 24 participants attended.
This particular institute was designed to address the specific writing needs of the district and to connect instruction with curriculum and implementation.
For six days in June, FWISD learning specialists, curriculum writers and language arts directors worked together in an intensive writing workshop highlighting critical thinking and creativity through writing. After the end of the institute, participants collaborated for two days writing curriculum and integrating ideas for implementation of the Writing Institute.
What started out as a special topics course developed into a regular course — Writing Institute I. The course has two purposes: first, to develop students potential and ability as writers, and second, to prepare them to excel as K-12 teachers of writing.
Following the research and work of experts in the area of writing (Atwell, Graves, Murray, Calkins, Fletcher and many others), the Institute provides experiential learning for students through daily writing and application of strategies in the context of a writing workshop.
Hosting an event like this on campus is a powerful way to enrich our network with surrounding districts and it is mutually beneficial. The best part: the opportunity to get to know each other and to write and share together.
Dr. Elsa Anderson developed the Writing Institute and currently teaches the course for M.Ed. students; she also developed and taught the writing institute for the FWISD leadership group.
Dr. Lisa Dryden developed ideas for curriculum writing and worked with the FWISD participants in curriculum implementation for reading and writing.