In her latest newsletter, Dr. Wiegand focuses on (what I see as) one leg of Literacy known as “writing”. She uses the story of a high school out on Staten Island that underwent dramatic reform as a backdrop to the need to focus on writing skills. And not just the ability to press a pencil on paper, but translating the rapidly firing neurons in our grey matter into “coherent, well-argued sentences”.
The article she references is a bit lengthy; what I have read so far seems to resonate. What strikes me from the article is the picture that is painted of the teachers and how they seem to think their teaching cannot possibly be a part of the problem. That is perhaps a trap any of us have to watch out for – it almost necessitates that we not only allow but also invite critical, honest and constructive analysis of ourselves and our work. That is very humbling and thus very difficult to swallow. I truly believe that if a relationship of trust is fostered, than those much-needed truthful and well-intentioned corrections can be made by others. Without that trust, we are like turtles hiding inside our shells.