DSM: RE: Writing

Joe Jackson (shoeless@jazztbone.com)
Fri, 20 Oct 2000 02:46:01 -0400


I think that's a hard question to answer.

I think that students at Sudbury schools that get into writing tend to learn
it by speaking and by reading, as opposed to the sytematic way it is taught
in school (intro, main point 1, main point 2, conclusion and the like).

I haven't seen very many formal writing classes at Fairhaven (much as I have
not seen many "speaking" classes). We do have a reading class however.

Having said that, I don't think writing is emphasized to the same extent it
is in conventional school when it's left up to the students. College prep
schools universally push the hell out of writing because they are, well,
college prep.

I think Sudbury students tend to read more than conventional schoolers, and
they generally read way more sophisticated stuff. I think they write less,
but I would hesitate to say they don't write as well in general. Perhaps
not technically as well, but perhaps are better storytellers, are better at
the creative side?

A very hard question indeed.

-Joe Jackson
please note my new email address:
Kids rule at Fairhaven School

> Hi, my name is Julianne Madrid. I'm not exactly sure
> who is reading or responding to this list, but I was
> hoping someone might shed some light on something for
> me. I've read a lot about the SVS model and I'm
> curious about how writing develops for students in
> this environment. I ask because I majored in English
> in college and am about to embark on public high
> school teaching in English. I know for me writing is
> definitely a discipline that, although extraordinarily
> useful, did not always appear to me as such in the
> immediate. It was of great value to me to have a
> listener (teacher) who caused me (or perhaps better
> stated, expected me) to write with deeper thought and
> fluency. Does this emerge out of students' interests
> in writing at SVS? Or does clear writing emerge out
> of clear thinking and passion about a topic? Is what
> makes writing so difficult for some maybe the fact
> that we sometimes do it in the abstract about topics
> of little interest to the writer? Any thoughts?

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Fri Oct 20 2000 - 08:37:00 EDT