Writing-Based Teaching

Essential Practices and Enduring Questions

Edited by Teresa Vilardi & Mary K. Chang

Subjects: Education, Teacher Education, Curriculum, Composition And Rhetoric Studies, Literacy Studies
Paperback : 9781438429069, 220 pages, November 2009
Hardcover : 9781438429076, 220 pages, November 2009

Table of contents

Leon Botstein


Teresa Vilardi

1. A Case for Private Freewriting in the Classroom
Sharon Marshall

2. Focused Freewriting: How to Do Things with Writing Prompts
Nicole B.Wallack

3. Process Writing: Reflection and the Arts of Writing and Teaching
Alfred E. Guy Jr.

4. Odd Questions, Strange Texts, and Other People: Collaborative Learning, Play, and New Knowledge
Alice Lesnick

5. Dialectical Notebooks
Margaret Ranny Bledsoe

6. Radical Revision: Toward Demystifying the Labor of Writing
Carley Moore

7. Learning Culture:Writing in Community
Robert D.Whittemore

8. To Write and Think in the Community of School
Ray Peterson

Community and Collaboration: The Workshop in Language and Thinking and the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College
Teresa Vilardi



Offers candid, first-hand accounts of what it is like to make writing central to teaching in secondary schools and colleges.


Written by the team at Bard College's Institute for Writing and Thinking, this book is designed to provide practical guidance regarding the challenges and potential of writing-based teaching, and suggestions for how to adapt the practices to particular classroom situations. The contributors share candid, first-hand accounts of what it is like to make writing central to teaching in secondary schools and colleges. As teachers of literature, composition, poetry, mathematics, anthropology, and education, they offer philosophical and theoretical reflections, practical guidance, and personal stories about how to help students become better, more-fluent writers, close readers, and reflective thinkers. This book will be of interest to writing center directors, for what it says about how to do collaborative learning and revision and seeing writing as a way to build community, and to writing teachers for how it demystifies freewriting, focused freewriting, and dialectical notebooks.

At Bard College's Institute for Writing and Thinking, Teresa Vilardi is Director, and Mary Chang is former Associate Director.


"Instructors interested in developing a classroom 'practice' of writing will find this collection a rich resource. The essays are well formulated; the volume itself, thoughtfully organized. Iteratively captured in a range of voices and teaching strategies, the underlying argument is compelling." — Teaching Theology and Religion

"As a former teaching assistant I would have benefited from experiencing a program like that described in Writing-Based Teaching." — Paul Baker, Wordsalad.wordpress.com

"Any individual, program, or institution seriously interested in understanding and practicing the writing process would benefit from using this text." — Alison Cook-Sather, author of Education is Translation: A Metaphor for Change in Learning and Teaching

"One of the most important ideas in this collection is that we, as writing teachers, need to develop habits of action and habits of mind that students can take with them." — Pat Belanoff, coauthor of Being a Writer: A Community of Writers Revisited