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CEE Commission Update, October 2010: Writing Teacher Education

By Kristen Turner, Fordham University, and Jonathan Bush, Western Michigan University

Writing is changing in the digital age, and teachers must stay abreast of new technologies and their impact on today's writers. In 2005, CEE released its position paper, Beliefs about Technology and the Preparation of English Teachers and stated that "Newer technologies have altered the space in which the study of meaning-making and meaning-makers occur and these changes have important implications for teachers, learners, and communities." More recently, NCTE has argued through its 21st Century Literacies Research Policy Brief that "English/language arts teachers need to prepare students for this world with problem solving, collaboration, and analysis." More than ever, writing as a means of academic success, workplace proficiency and civic engagement requires us, as writing teachers, to broaden our perspectives on what it means to compose texts.

The Commission on Writing Teacher Education seeks to bring attention to the professional development of writing teachers at all levels, and this year the commission has worked diligently to plan a workshop that speaks to the needs of writers in a globalized, technological world. At the CEE Colloquium, to be held on Monday, November 22, during the NCTE annual meeting in Orlando, CWTE is hosting Multicultural, Multiliterate: Writing the World

This extended workshop will begin in a face-to-face session with Tom Romano, who will guide participants in thinking about multigenre writing. Troy Hicks will extend the conversation to genres of digital writing. Throughout the day, participants will work together to consider what it means to write in a multicultural, globalized, and digitized world. The afternoon session will be devoted to "writing around the world" in a writing marathon at Epcot's World Showcase.

Following the full day's experience, participants will be invited to join a webinar, hosted by Troy Hicks, and to revise their writing from the marathon into polished products. This experience will help teachers of writing consider the nature of dialogue and inquiry that might be facilitated by technology.  Finally, participants will reap the power of the web by publishing their work together in a dedicated forum. 

Throughout the extended workshop, CWTE asks teachers to become writers, to participate in the process of writing, and to consider how their own experiences with multi-genres and multi-modes of writing might influence their teaching. 

The colloquium highlights our mission to

  • make recommendations about best practices in preparing new  teachers of English language arts to teach writing, including  concepts, practices, pedagogies, and resources.
  • work towards establishing stronger connections between CEE and CCCC in terms of the common work of teacher development.
  • raise the profile of writing teacher education throughout NCTE.

It also addresses the fact that writing is changing, and as teachers of writing, we need to understand the nature of the text and the means of production that will help our students to become effective writers in a globalized, digitized world.

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