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What We Do: The Mission of the Puget Sound Writing Project

Now in its 25th year, the Puget Sound Writing Project has distinguished itself as the University of Washington’s premier humanities-based partnership program for K-12 education. Taking as its mission the ambitious task of improving student writing throughout the schools of Western Washington, the Puget Sound Writing Project has now trained more than 500 K-12 teachers as Teacher-Consultants specialized in the teaching and learning of writing.

At the Project’s center is its Invitational Teacher Leadership Institute. Held each summer on the University of Washington campus and working within the highly successful model developed by the National Writing Project, this intensive professional development program brings together 16 to 20 expert teachers of writing from Western Washington schools and in four weeks of full-day sessions launches the process of enabling them to return to their schools and districts as teacher-leaders. Throughout the summer session teachers collaborate with University of Washington faculty to demonstrate their own best practice and to develop their skills as presenters. In addition they become familiar with research in the teaching of writing, and, perhaps most important of all, they themselves write every day, working to raise the bar for their own writing skills in the belief that the best teachers of writing are the teachers who themselves are also writers. After the Institute’s summer session teachers continue to refine their skills during the ensuing school year both by working with an experienced mentor and by returning to the university for five days of follow-up work spaced from September through May.

Under the Puget Sound Writing Project’s auspices these Teacher/Consultants have become a powerful force in area schools, and we count among our alumni not only distinguished teachers throughout the state but local and district administrators as well. Through Writing Project-sponsored in-service training, through the Project’s newly created Open Institute, and through the Project’s outreach programs for young writers, we enrich the educational experience of literally thousands of Washington State students every year.


Core Principles

1. The capacity to write well is both an essential skill in itself, and a powerful
form of active learning that can greatly improve student understanding in
every content field.

2. Teachers who write are most often the best teachers of student writers.

3. Teachers are themselves most often the best teachers of teachers.


Related Links

For more information on the Puget Sound Writing Project, please click here.

For more information on the National Writing Project, please click here.

Core Principles | What We Do | Related Links

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