Ultivate authentic writing experiences focus on process rather than product align pedagogy with personal beliefs and values resist teaching and tools that standardize feedback emphasize growth not grades recognize that learning to write isn t a linear process because writing is fundamentally about thinking and expressing ideas clearly and provide teachers with the resources they need to o this work wellUltimately this book reaffirmed much of what I already believe but it was nice to hear it again all in one place John Warner takes the whole Why can t kids write these ays and answers it thoroughly and convincingly We re *teaching them to write badly he argues and we need to stop oing *them to write badly he argues and we need to stop The Illustrated Anthology of Sorcery, Magic, and Alchemy doing We is of course than just that mean sopho English teacher you had who hated you and made you feel bad about Prom It s than one school even It s a system that crushes individuality and thought in the name of conformity and nice sounding phrases like college and career ready among other things It s a system loaded with folklore about grading assignments and the way kids learn that has absolutely nothing too with the way kids learn It s gobbling students alive and it s estroying
Teacher Autonomy As Well autonomy as well s a handy scapegoat for politicians and wonks in think tanks tasked with reaming up explanations of kids these Lego DC Super Heroes days when really what they want the system too is to produce rones for future employment all while they bilk the country ry Warner walks through the paradigms of school and today s writing courses that Renaissance Emerge Series do considerableamage His prose
is readable and engaging but also sourced and informational many of his observations will strike veteran educators and citizens who have readable and engaging but also sourced and informational many of his observations will strike veteran educators and citizens who have following all this as old news but he still manages to make it urgent and timely The book closes with several observations about how he s managed to move past the onerous conditions of a college with a predictably ill funded first year composition program and concludes with a measured plea for further thought and study Teaching and learning is complicated context Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power dependent and incredibly variable from one situation to another he remindstells us We have misplaced our faith in fads that promise solutions because to contemplate a world without solutions is tooifficult to confront We have attempted to systematize things like learning that are not systematic We have neglected the human capital the people who engage in the actual work of teaching The evidence is overwhelming that we have been wrong in the way we teach students to write and think but we shouldn t fall prey to thinking a simple course correction will lead to a solution That mentality is what got us into this situation in the first place So as usual the first step towards fixing the problem is understanding the problem That means making this book widely available not just to teachers who will be understandably cheered and vexed at the airing of views they ll see as strikingly obvious but to administrators politicians members of the community journalists and anyone else with skin in the game meaning everyone Warner joins a chorus of voices like Mike Rose Mark Edmundson Paulo Freire and Martha Nussbaum calling for a process based approach to education that celebrates thought and achievement over standardization and arbitrary top From a Whisper to a Shout down yardsticks The real work as usual will be in theissemination of these views and the slow agonizing march towards improvement Let s get to it As someone who teaches in a writing intensive Alt 10 Retrospect Prospect discipline at the college level and who has taught writing seminars in the past I found myself nodding along with so much of what John Warner has to say here The billions that have been pumped into standardised testing private charter schools ed tech etc over the past thirty years or so haven t just been wasted they ve caused actual harm In this we are in absolute agreement I m also not the person who needs to read this book Why They Can t Write needs to find its way into the hands of the politicians whoefund public education the college administrators who pay comprhetoric instructors a pittance for a crushing workload and my senior colleagues who sniff about kids these Integrating African American Literature in the Library and Classroom days The kids are all right it s the system that s an unholy mess. W the rules such as the five paragraph essayesigned to help them pass these high stakes assessmentsIn Why They Can't Write Warner has crafted both a iagnosis for what ails us and a blueprint for fixing a broken system Combining current knowledge of what works in teaching and learning with the most enduring philosophies of classical education this book challenges readers to evelop the skills attitudes knowledge and habits of mind of strong write. .
This book tackles a lot than teaching writing but at its heart is the call for teachers to Reading Contemporary African American Literature do what research has taught us about guiding student writers I cannot wait toiscuss it with teachers I picked up John Warner s
Book Why They Can TWhy They Can t curious to see the shape of writing on the collegiate level Truth be told as a high school English teacher I was also seeking affirmation in lieu of naysayers The five paragraph formula was jettisoned from my classroom many years ago because I began feeling a tension between what student writers need to learn and why they need to learn it Those in favor of the five paragraph essay argue that students need structural support to learn what an essay looks like Warner gives a nod to this notion in his analogy about training wheels Sure student writers like children learning to ride a bike might benefit from rigid training wheels but eventually those training wheels start to wobble need ratcheting off When that happens we can expect falls bumps and bruises all natural parts of what it means to be a writer A writer gains their bearings when they experiment play and enter into a process of writing rather than a formula of writing If all student writers experience are formulas they come to believe that is writing Then they fail to see the work of a writer and understand their role in a process of writing As I read Warner s words I found myself nodding along as my beliefs about writing were strengthened He argues that if teachers are interested in helping students grow as writers it means reuiring students to take charge of their learning through being empowered to write about subjects of interest and expertise while also practicing self reflection and self regulation This is the work of writers in the real world p 183 Indeed Warner lays out a philosophical framework that works to smooth out the transition from high school writing to freshman composition framework that works to smooth out the transition from high school writing to freshman
"composition writing across the isciplines It is a philosophy that focuses the "writing across the isciplines It is a philosophy that focuses the on the work of a writer by helping students run their own brains as they stake claim to the identity of writer It isn t often that you read a professional book that makes you laugh out loud and has you shaking your head in agreement so often that it s awkward I wish my middle school and high school teachers had read this bookI wish I had read this book 24 years agoI wish we would have conversations in public education about this book I m trying to be Happy Alchemy: On the Pleasures of Music and the Theatre diplomatic hereI m glad that this is an option for our 6 12 teachers for PD I wish I could award fractions of starsI would give this 3 12 or even 3 34 but I cannot give it a 4 While I agreed with the vast majority of the text minus the PB J assignment and telling education majors you feel sorry for them this book was not as solutions oriented as advertised I know there is a problem with standardized testingriving writing instruction So now what Plowshares Pork Barrels: The Political Economy of Agriculture (Independent Studies in Political Economy) do Io about it About 10% of the book offered solutions and I Gem is Mine but Heart is Yours did take a few thingsirectly back to my classroom The bottom line no matter how poorly they are compensated teaching in a public high school and teaching freshman comp are two very American Africans in Ghana Black Expatriates and the Civil Rights Era The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture different beasts I will gladly read the seuel that really answers the Now What uestion I am still left asking Yep I was nodding in agreement with each turn of the page I think Warner and I onlyeviate in opinion in one area school 8 years ago when my BWWM (Interracial African American Billionaire Baby Romance Marriage Urban) 16 (Interracial African American Billionaire Baby Romance Marriage Urban) 16: Billionaires Secret Baby (Interracial African American Romance Urban Baby Romance Short Stories) daughter s kindergarten principal said to me If you think you cano better I My Hero Academia decided I could and have been homeschooling ever since Warner s philosophy Iigested most of this book on a cross country flight moving from chapter to chapter nodding my head in agreement John Warner has written a book that will resonate with many veteran teachers whether of college or secondary composition especially those of National Writing Project experience There isn t much that is revolutionary here most of his thinking has been arrived at by other thinkers But that is also part of his argument we already know how to teach writing but educational institutions insist on pursuing shortcuts that serve efficiency not students or teachers Part of his Gotham Academy, Volume 3: Yearbook diagnosis that I found helpful is entitled The Problem of Precarity Teaching writing is a time intensive labor. There seems to be widespread agreement that when it comes to the writing skills of college students we are in the midst of a crisis In Why They Can't Write John Warner who taught writing at the college level for twoecades argues that the problem isn't caused by a lack of rigor or smartphones or some generational character Diamond in the Dark defect Instead he asserts we're teaching writing wrongWarner blames this onecades of educational reform rooted in standardiz. Intensive apprenticeship As I look around at colleagues who are ivorcing in treatment for mental health issues and struggling with second jobs I appreciated Warner s framing of Susan Schorn s ideas around Teaching in Thin Air Professionals throw ourselves onto the Sisyphean challenges of our work often at great psychic and personal cost without the power to change the circumstances under which this labor takes place We can not o our best work while so obviously over burdened and under compensatedFor a general audience or for teachers new to the profession this is a single volume that is reasonably well sourced and eminently uotable Use this to build or shore up your writing instruction philosophy For practical how to o
ideas there are many other sources see Write Beside Them Riskthere are many other sources see Write Beside Them Risk and Clarity in High School Writing and 180 Days Two Teachers and the uest to Engage and Empower Adolescents to start with In Why They Can t Write veteran college writing instructor John Warner thoughtfully explains how the educational trend toward an accountability culture in high schools narrows students thinking abilities and affects their fluency in eveloping epth and voice in writing With humor and insight Warner examines current writing pedagogy and then beyond English classrooms to iscuss other ways students are cheated by short sighted educational Thankfully this book also offers specific common sense solutions and approaches to right the ship of high school writing instruction Of course there are a lot of excellent writing teachers plying their trades in high schools across America Unfortunately these classroom masters are oing important effective work while freuently finding themselves at odds with administrators colleagues parents and even students who only value meaning from test scores and standardized grades Why They Can t Write will provide great writing teachers with validation vindication and rationales that support student centered composition instructionAlthough I agree with every syllable in Warner s book there is one very large and very pink elephant in the room still waiting to be acknowledged in Why They Can t Write The five paragraph essay and other formulaic writing approaches are thriving on a surprising number of college campuses See What Is College Writing For by Ellen Andrews Knodt Some college instructors in first year writing classes reuire students to write paragraphs with a specific number of sentences with a specific purpose for each of those sentences I have seen college instructors mandate that students choose from a selection of sentence starters to begin each paragraph of a you guessed it five paragraph essay These practices are at least as ebilitating in college as they are in high school So the college level is not blameless in all of this If every college writing instructor taught like Professor Warner expectations of what college ready high school writing looks like would be clear attainable and Hardcore physical child abuse dynamic Until then Why They Can t Write suggests much for teachers to think aboutiscuss and implement as we move toward solving the
"disconnect between high school and college writing instruction and instructorsThis review is also posted on my What s Not "between high school and college writing instruction and instructorsThis review is also posted on my What s Not blog Because of the title I went into the book expecting Warner to Handbook of Agricultural Entomology dig into the 5 paragraph essay and to provide a series of recommendations for other ways to teach writing Heoes but his interests and his critiue are much broader than the title suggestsInstead Warner tackles the educational system and identifies numerous systemic problems of which the 5 paragraph essay is just one of many symptoms Standardized testing standardized instruction and an over reliance on technology an over emphasis on product and grading vs process and cultivating curiosity undercompensation for teachers and adjunct faculty and the precarious position financial insecurity food insecurity lack of time and sleep of students and teachers alike result in a culture of schooling that breeds anxiety and a fear of risk taking This of course isn t good for Dare for More developing students writers His recommendations which weave their way throughout the text are useful and challenging but not particularly new teach the writer Ation assessments and accountability We haveone no Warner argues than conditioned students to perform writing related simulations which pass temporary muster but THE COCAINE ADDICTION CURE (Drug Addiction, 12 Step Program, Road to Recovery, Alcohol Addiction) do little to help studentsevelop their writing abilities This style of teaching has made students passive and isengaged Worse yet it hasn't prepared them for writing in the college classroom Rather than making choices and thinking critically as writers must undergraduates simply follo.