Equity & Access

Learning From Laramie: Urban High School Students Read, Research, and Reenact The Laramie Project

Author: Marsha Pincus Summary: In this story of an extended teacher research project, the author shares the design, purpose, and impact of a course called “Drama and Inquiry,” where she and her students explored multiple perspectives, shifting identities, and ethical dialogue through their study of non-canonical plays including “The Laramie...

Wise Eyes: Prompting for Meaningful Student Writing

Author: Mary Ann Smith and Sherry Swain Summary: How can teachers create effective prompts that motivate students to show what they can do as writers? Focusing on purpose, audience, authenticity, and accessibility, the authors of this short book analyze existing prompts and provide guidelines for teachers in developing their own prompts...

“Why Keisha Can’t Write”: The Marginalization of Black Student Writing

Author: Dr. Kiara Lee-Heart Summary: A writing teacher responds to the famous essay “Why Johnny Can’t Write,” emphasizing the ways that its push for standardization has been particularly damaging for black students.

Book Review: Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work

Author: Britton Gildersleeve Summary: In the ever increasing focus on college-readiness, we can lose sight of connected learning, career-readiness and the joys inherent in making. This book review suggests that reading Matthew B. Crawford’s Shop Class as Soulcraft will provoke important discussion about out of school literacies, what counts as learning...

Family Matters: A Mother and Daughter’s Literacy Journey

Author: Amy Clark Summary: What happens when we explore our “people”—when, through writing, we explore the richness of our culture, our family, our identity? How often do we find examples of a mother and daughter who have the opportunity to experience a summer institute together? This beautifully written narrative set...

Community Connections for English Learners: Changing the World Starts with Just a Few Words

Author: Art Peterson Summary: This short article illustrates ways a teacher can engage colleagues in professional learning and provides examples of classroom activities that build connections between EL students, their parents and their community. Engaging students in creating digital movies to document the history of discrimination along with the impact...

New Teachers in Urban Contexts: Creating Bridges with Teach For America Teachers

Authors: Dina Portnoy and Tanya Maloney Summary: This article examines how the Philadelphia Writing Project partnered with the University of Pennsylvania and Teach for America (TFA) to provide new TFA teachers with an additional week of focused training before they entered the classroom for the start of the school year....

The View from a Rural Site

Author: Anne Dobie Summary: Site leaders working in rural areas, especially for the first time, will want to read this piece that frames what it means to be a rural teacher, including some of the challenges teachers face in this context and implications for writing project institutes. Visiting and living...

Change the Readings, Change the Site: Addressing Equity and Access

Author: Wilma Ortiz and Karen Sumaryono Summary: Recognizing that while their site programs were primarily serving the needs of suburban teachers in a service area that encompassed a large population of urban schools, teacher leaders at the Connecticut Writing Project-Fairfield named as a site priority the need to diversify site...

Protest and Student Voice

Author: Kathleen Hicks Rowley Summary: This article describes how a teacher introduces her students to liberatory practices and protest movements as a framework for year-round readings, writings and curriculum. Based on the understanding that part of a teacher’s role is to help students make connections to moral responsibility within the...