Who and What We Are
The Dakota Writing Project is a non-profit teachers'
organization at the University of South Dakota that focuses on improving
the teaching of writing and improving learning at all grade levels and
in all subject areas. We are affiliated with the National Writing
Project (NWP), which has about 190 sites across the United States.
Writing takes many forms in the 21st century, and like the NWP, the
Dakota Writing Project "envisions a future where every person is an
accomplished writer, engaged learner, and active participant in a
digital, interconnected world."
These core principles guide the Dakota Writing Project:
- Schools and universities are ideal partners for investing in writing improvement through professional development.
can and should be taught, not just assigned, at every grade level.
Professional development programs should provide opportunities for
teachers to work together to understand writing development across
grades and across subject areas.
- Writing improvement occurs over
time. Teachers also need time to design and implement writing
strategies that will help their students.
- Knowledge about the
teaching of writing comes from many sources: theory and research, the
analysis of practice, and the experience of writing. Effective
professional development programs provide frequent and ongoing
opportunities for teachers to write and to examine theory, research, and
practice together systematically.
- There is no single right
approach to teaching writing; however, some practices prove to be more
effective than others. A reflective and informed community of practice
is in the best position to design and develop comprehensive writing
programs tailored to students’ needs.
- Teachers who are effective
in their practice can be successful teachers of other teachers as well
as partners in educational research, development, and implementation.