A Better Way to Workshop
By Jenell Krishnan
The Antiracist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom is one part memoir, one part guidebook. Author Felicia Rose Chavez invites all writing instructors to revise the writing workshop in favor of humanizing writing community practices for the 21st century. Chavez’s call to action is inspired by June Jordan 's Poetry for the People, a program dedicated to the reading, writing, and teaching of poetry at university and in communities. Most importantly, Chavez demonstrates strategies for safe workshop spaces that empower writers of color through open discussions of their own work, inviting critique that they see most helpful for their own vision of the text. In her book, Chavez dismantles the silencing judgements of traditional workshop methods. She offers actionable strategies for what workshoppers should do instead. Here, I outline select strategies from the book for facilitators looking to cultivate a better way to workshop.
By Inez Tan and Sasha Stone
Why is writing so challenging?
Writing is a highly complex task that is impacted by cognitive, affective, and environmental factors. Students may benefit from learning about the writing process for strengthening their writing, and how rubrics and feedback work together to support revision. Despite the challenging nature of writing, it is an increasingly valuable skill throughout the lifespan.
The WISE project illustrates these evidence-based strategies through short videos and handouts. These can be accessed on their website here or you can follow along in this blog as we discuss each strategy for mastering the writing process.
Guest Blogger: Minkyung Cho
Writing is an interactive social act and a form of communication that involves negotiation between readers and writers. According to Direct and Indirect Effects model of Writing (Kim, 2020), perspective taking, one’s knowledge of their own mental and emotional states and inference about others’ mental and emotional states, is one of the skills that contributes to the meaning-making or negotiation process in multiple ways. Perspective taking is hypothesized to be important to establishing depth and coherence in writing via understanding the goal of the writing task, considering the needs of the audience, and developing a deep understanding of the source texts (Cho et al., 2021). In fact, the skills to express such complex thinking in writing becomes more crucial in the developmental stage of early adolescence, as transcription skills (e.g., spelling, handwriting) become increasingly automatized, allowing for one’s mental resources (e.g., working memory and attention) to be readily available for higher order thinking. Thus, for the majority of adolescents who developed fluent transcription skills, their cognitive resources become more accessible for complex reasoning processes such as perspective taking.
Does perspective taking matter in text-based analytical writing, a common genre taught in secondary schools?