My Issue with How Writing Is Taught in Some Schools

Creative writing is pretty tough. I’ve struggled with it. Still do.

How should this critical subject be taught in schools?

The typical way is to teach children is to create a thesis statement, develop an outline, and write away. There’s more to this I’m sure, but this is the 30K foot view of how it is taught.

I think there is another way. I agree that students need to know this process as is. But I think students should also understand that writing is thinking.

And thinking is messy sometimes.

My son thinks he needs to go from thoughts directly to the published work. This perfectionist mindset does not yield great results. It doesn’t encourage risk-taking. In writing, you need to take some risks.

When writing (free-writing at least), you shouldn’t judge the words that come out. Get ideas onto paper first. As much as possible. After you’ve wrung out every word you could out of the free-writing session, it’s time to follow the process as described and taught in schools today.

Develop a thesis. Develop an outline that supports that thesis. Then refine your writing.

In a nutshell, journaling can help kids work out their thoughts. More importantly, it can emphasize the importance of “writing as thinking.” This cannot be overemphasized.

In another smaller nutshell, “write drunk, edit sober.” More appropriately for students, “write wildly, edit carefully.”

Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog



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