• Brian Kelley

Writing Instruction & Momentum


Positive and/or negative changes build momentum.

I started my career in 1995. Let's assume the teacher I replaced put in a 30 year career in that same classroom. He/She would have started their career in 1965. James Britton's seminal research behind the call to for language and writing across the curriculum did not meet the masses until the early 70s.


I have been thinking about how slowly some changes comes in education.


Furthermore, when, if at all, did the work of Britton, Shaughnessy, Graves, Calkins, Emig, et al. reach the teachers and administrators (any decision makers) who preceded us? What momentum has carried over from the teachers who paved the paths we have maintained, extended, and branched away from?


Has energy and momentum from our predecessors in the classroom become our stubborn habits and traditions?


Twenty-five years in has brought some substantially unwieldy changes to the profession. Yet, I wonder how much writing instruction resembles the practices, habits, and traditions established by our predecessors? Is it better? Worse?


Will writing instruction, as it stands today, continue on its path?


Where is the momentum taking us?


Where will the momentum take the next generation of teachers, those who replace us?

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