It’s been a long-held belief of mine that the reason may students, especially boys, don’t like writing is that we never give them anything interesting to write about.
I’ve started to read Why They Can’t Write, by John Warner. I started the way I often do, by dipping in, and there are some great sections. For example, a chapter on education fads, and one on technology hype, both of which are spot on.
Those random forays encouraged me to start from the beginning, and read the book methodically. I intend to review it properly, but in the meantime I thought I’d share with you the author’s starting point. We don’t teach students to write, he says. What we do is teach them to pass writing assessments.
I’m sure he’s correct., and I’m also certain that it applies across the board. As I said in my review of Closing the Vocabulary Gap,
I’ve always felt that my job as a teacher of Economics, and later of Computing, was not to teach Economics or Computing but how to think like an economist or a computer scientist. Apart from anything else, it tends to make learning the associated vocabulary easier because the specialised terminology is hooked onto concepts rather than presented as an abstract, disassociated, list of words.
This is definitely an interesting book, and not without humour. I look forward to completing it and then reporting on it.