First-Year Composition and the Common Core: Educating Teachers of Writing Across the High School-College Continuum

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Vol: 3, Issue: 1

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Young, Justin A
Curriculum and Instruction; Education; Rhetoric and Composition; Secondary Education and Teaching; Teacher Education and Professional Development
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article description
This article will discuss the implications of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) on the education of writing instructors at the college level. The article suggests that, with the adoption of the CCSS, the most effective models of the training of writing teachers in higher education will now include collaboration with educators at the K-12 level. A model for this kind of collaborative work is described, based on an effort the author is currently leading as the Director of English Composition at my institution. A brief overview of the CCSS, and the shifts in the teaching and learning of English Language Arts at the K-12 level they suggest, is provided. The article then discusses how this collaborative model of K-16 teacher education can help us understand the strengths and weaknesses of beginning college writers, from the perspectives of both high school and college teachers, and how this understanding should then inform the instruction of first-year composition teachers. Finally, the article will suggest that it is essential that the education of secondary and post-secondary writing teachers is grounded in current theories and practices of the field of composition and rhetoric, and more specifically, the paradigm of "academic literacies" as developed by Mary Lea and Brian Street.