In 1974, NWP leaders could put together a full collection of the modern scholarship on the teaching of writing suitable for exhaustive coverage in the Invitational Institute.
It only took a few years for that to no longer be possible, due in part to the enthusiasm for professional writing the NWP unleashed in teachers and scholars.
New publishers such as Boynton Cook, Heinemann, and Stenhouse filled catalogs with books sparked by the “new literacies” studies and practice, and NWP itself contributed significant scholarship through NCTE journals and its own journal, The Quarterly. Publishers like Teachers College Press, Routledge, and Jossey-Bass similarly began to include titles on writing.
Now, the challenge is abundance, and in the face of abundance teacher-leaders are thinking freshly about selecting readings, developing approaches to organizing reading/study groups, using digital tools for annotation, and sometimes revisiting the “foundational texts” such as those tagged ‘Key Reading’ here at the Knowledge Base for Write/Learn/Lead.
In this collection, we bring together some reflections from NWP leaders of the past on reading in the invitational and in study groups along with an introduction to digitally-powered approaches like the Marginal Syllabus. And as always, NWP Radio is a source for hearing about new selections for practitioners.
And for the history-minded, check out this written dialog about the readings in the Bay Area Writing Project’s Invitational Institute over its first 25 years.