Writing the True Self


My Writing Journey

Teaching people correct principles helps them to manage their lives, their affairs, and their learning. Likewise, understanding the structure of a discipline enables transfer of knowledge from one domain to another. Knowing that writing classes are just as much about educating the person's attitudes and perceptions as training in editing skills or genre awareness, I've taught my students principles of writing for many years, and now people are starting to talk about transfer more explicitly. Finding a student's "theory of writing" and teaching writing concepts with a view to uptake, personal adoption, process integration, and transformation is now considered the best practice in the "Teaching English for Transfer" movement. My pedagogical materials define qualities of good writing in terms of values that enable students to use writing to recursively envision themselves and their role in the classroom and society. These principles are at the core of everything I intend for my students.

My first writing web page was motivated by a valid desire to help students mature, learn their place in the world, and make a contribution to it. I am sharing a revised version that retains the original content yet feels fresher and more specific. In the attached document, I describe actions in the writing process as principles. The principles define a journey that the author takes along with the development of a text in writing, connecting strongly to values and audience. I can't make writing curriculum exciting, but student life adds a lot of drama to personally-invested topics, so even small realizations can be significant and illumninating. Many of my students experience my class as a journey of self-discovery, healing, and even forgiveness. My students are caught up in the unfamiliar, self-doubt, and general troubles, but as their teacher, I can give them skills to survive in this environment and the principles to understand their learning later.