I'm currently taking an English graduate course at Eastern Michigan University called "Issues in the Teaching of Writing." Our readings for this week include an English Journal article from July 2011 entitled "A Snapshot of Writing Instruction in Middle Schools and High Schools" by Arthur N. Applebee and Judith A. Langer. It's an interesting article about the amount of writing middle school and high school students do (or don't do) in their English classes and other subject areas.
I think the part of the article that stuck with me the most is a passage from the concluding paragraphs that states the following:
"...the actual writing that goes on in typical classrooms across the United States remains dominated by tasks in which the teacher does all the composing and students are left only to fill in missing information."
As I read that passage I thought to myself, "No wonder teachers are always so bogged down with work. We're spending way too much time composing for our students."
And then I wondered, how can we change this? There has to be a way that we can better challenge our students to think further and learn how to learn rather than learn how to fill in blanks while the teacher does all the hard thinking.
What do you think?