Summary:Directors and teacher-consultants from the San Jose Area Writing Project discuss their book, Teaching Writing Grades 7-12 in an Era of Assessment: Passion and Practice. The following key questions guided their work: "Why might my students wish to engage in the performative activity of writing?" and "Why might they wish to engage in this practice with not just dogged persistence, but with genuine passion?" Through powerful voices, two of the teacher writers discuss an I-Search project (segment: 20:54--31:27) and ways of empowering language learners (segment: 31.45–47).
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Brandy Jenson, English teacher at Crittenden Middle School in Mountain View, California and teacher-consultant for the San Jose Area Writing Project, on why the I-Search is so successful with her seventh graders:
“The research that we do, because it’s focused on the year that their parent was twelve or thirteen, really creates a meaningful connection between their lives and their parents’ lives. They have a reason to research. When you have a reason to research, you have writers who are really willing to go above and beyond what they thought they could do, because they’re just so darn interested in what they’re researching.”