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What Students Learn in Writing Class

It’s often said that writing is a skill that transfers across all subject areas and occupational settings. Yet, we live in a world where technology has disrupted so much about how we work and live. With many students now operating remote from the classroom, how can we ensure our teachers continue to teach our children effective writing practices?

The Covid-19 pandemic has only served to hammer home the point that educational institutions should be focused on maximising the effectiveness of their teaching and learning environments.

A common complaint about traditional schools is that they’re unable to create a safe environment for their students. With most classes taking place online, the potential for exposure to the virus is minimal. And even when classes do meet in person, there’s nowhere for the students to go once the school has closed. For those schools, effective writing practices are even more essential during these trying times.

Why Are Students Taught to Write?

Aside from the obvious – that writing is an excellent way to consolidate and present information – why are students taught to write?

There are many benefits to teaching young people to write well. Here are just a few:

It Develops Their Critical Thinking

Writing gives students the opportunity to develop their critical thinking. Students are asked to evaluate an argument or piece of information – something that would otherwise be difficult to do in a passive manner – and to do so concisely and convincingly. Even more impressively, they’re also asked to do this whilst considering a range of opinions and presenting them in an orderly fashion.

The act of writing is not only a challenge but also an educational one. And what’s more, the process of writing can be a tool for developing new skills and knowledge. This is something that wouldn’t be possible if students only learnt to write for an exam.

By regularly engaging with writing, both in and out of class, students will gain the skills and confidence to become effective and independent writers. And what’s more, being a good writer is something that can be used in a range of situations, not just in academia.

It Has Wide Appeal

When teaching students to write, you have to consider the range of abilities of your individual pupils. Some will want to focus on creative writing, whilst others may be more suited to technical writing. What’s important is that you choose a method that can be accessed by as many students as possible. This way, you can be sure that everyone will learn and benefit from the process.

It Has High Interest

There’s a common misconception that writing is a tedious process that only has limited interest for the general public. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, writing is one of the most popular subjects among students, especially when you consider that so much of their daily lives is spent on social media. This is undoubtedly a skill that will be of high interest to anyone who uses or produces written content.

Whilst some might see a creative writing exercise as a fun-only hobby, for many students it’s a necessary evil. Compulsory homework on a Friday might not seem like the greatest idea, but for those who enjoy writing it can be an opportunity to indulge a passion that will stand them in good stead as they navigate the working world.

It Provides A Life-learning Enrichment

In these days of online learning, students are able to access a wealth of knowledge and develop a broad range of skills, all from the comfort of their home. Yet, when it comes to writing, many schools and teachers still prefer to limit their pupils’ learning to within the school’s walls. In some cases, this is out of necessity due to lack of resources, but in other cases, it could be seen as a teaching method that doesn’t work with every student.

When it comes to developing critical thinking and reading comprehension skills, there are numerous benefits to traditional classrooms. Yet, when it comes to encouraging an individual’s creativity, teaching children to write by hand is indispensable. This is especially true for young males, whose hands are already soiled with the potential for aggressive behavior due to the increased testosterone levels during puberty.

Through regular writing practice, students will develop their skills and confidence whilst also having the opportunity to explore a topic that might otherwise be outside of their comfort zone. This is an effective way to develop a love for a subject that will stand them in good stead as they enter the world of work.

It Fosters Independence

There’s a common misconception that students need to be taught how to write in order to be independent. Whilst it’s true that being able to write something – even if it’s just a short piece – can give you an advantage in life, this isn’t limited to just the written word. There are numerous other examples of how being independent can shine through in a number of ways. For example, being able to cook for yourself, clean your room, and look after yourself financially can all give you a boost of confidence that can land you in the right direction.

In an ideal world, students would be able to learn to write independently whilst also getting the benefits that come with being in a classroom. Yet, until that time comes, they will still need someone to guide them, especially if they’re just starting out.

Writing is a skill that will benefit students not just in academia but also in everyday life. Yet, it can be tricky for teachers to find the time to devote to one-on-one tutorials on a regular basis. This is where a series of shorter videos might be the ideal solution. Whilst they can’t match the depth of a fully fledged tutorial, they can provide a video resource that can be accessed as often as needed.

The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly focused the world’s attention on teaching and learning. Yet, in these trying times, it’s imperative that we continue to find ways to maximize the education that we can offer. If nothing else, writing is an excellent skill to have, and one that can be used not just in times of crisis but also for everyday life. This is why it’s often included in the school curriculum!