Teaching Writing

A Principled Revolution in the Teaching of Writing



It is for this reason, then, that I agree with Smagorinsky that “principled practice,” as opposed to “best practice,” is a viable mechanism by which our profession may actually achieve the revolution we have aspired to. By principled practice, Smagorinsky refers to teachers taking into account the various forces, needs, and resources operating in the classroom; planning instruction from a platform of informed teacher knowledge; and engaging consistently in reflective practice with others. And since principled practice requires faithful adherence to the findings of educational research, it “invests a great deal of authority and responsibility in the teacher” while precluding an “anything goes” approach (Smagorinsky 20).