Professional Learning

The National Writing Project: Scaling Up and Scaling Down


McDonald, Buchanan, and Sterling introduce the interesting notion of “scaling up by scaling down,” by which they mean that, to succeed in a new environment, a reform that is spreading geographically must also challenge and, eventually, penetrate habitual practice in new contexts. To achieve this penetration, the National Writing Project (NWP) focuses on professional development and professional networks for writing teachers. NWP promoted both spread and depth of change through its “improvement infrastructure,” a system made up of three elements: an annual review process, the development of specialized cross-site networks, and a commitment to both internal, site-based, practitioner-directed research and external, national, and independent research as a means of learning from experience.

Further Reading