Reframing Responses to Student Writing: Promising Young Writers and the Writing Pedagogies Course

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This article describes an attempt to provide future teachers with an opportunity to practice evaluating and responding to student writing through a collaboration among members of an NCTE committee, a blended writing pedagogies course composed of education, creative writing, and professional writing students, and middle school teachers and their students in two states. Students’ texts were drawn from the NCTE’s “Promising Young Writers” contest, for which college students acted as judges and provided feedback to the middle school writers. We argue that the experience of responding to actual student writers about the texts they had submitted provided potentially important opportunities for teacher candidates to reimagine their roles in reading and then responding to student writing. The perspectives of students from other majors offered teacher candidates other ways of evaluating and responding to student writing than those they had initially applied. This experience of evaluating and responding to actual student writing also allowed teacher candidates to connect theories from course readings to practices of teaching writing.

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Teaching/Writing: The Journal of Writing Teacher Education, v. 3, issue 1, p. 6-18