Teachers Teaching Teachers: An Introduction to the National Writing Projects of Michigan

MDE/NCA School Improvement Conference

March 16, 2010

Troy Hicks, Chippewa River Writing Project, CMU
Andrea Zellner, Red Cedar Writing Project, MSU

The National Writing Project, a network of educators committed to improving the quality of writing in America’s schools, has been proven as an effective professional development program for individual teachers, as well as for schools and districts. In this session, leaders from the National Writing Projects of Michigan will discuss opportunities available through our invitational summer institutes as well as in-service programs related to writing in all content areas and using digital writing tools.

Why was this program/service developed?

Founded 35 years ago, the National Writing Project builds on a model of “teachers teaching teachers” in which professional educators demonstrate effective teaching practices, conduct classroom research, and collaborate through local, state, and national networks to examine their own teaching.

How was the program/service implemented in your school/district?

In partnership with local schools and districts, as well as ISDs and RESAs, each writing project is housed at a state university and connects K-16 teachers through invitational summer institutes and professional development programs. In individual classrooms and, in some cases, across entire schools, writing project teachers implement research-based practices that help students learn to write in a variety of contexts.

What are the results in student achievement from this program/service?

Research from the National Writing Project demonstrates that students in the classrooms of teachers who have participated in invitational summer institutes perform as well or better in all traits of writing as compared to their peers in regular classrooms. Most of these gains in writing proficiency are statistically significant, and demonstrate the effectiveness of NWP teacher consultants’ ability to teach writing in meaningful ways.

National Writing Projects of Michigan MDE/NCA Handout (March 2010)