Writing-to-Learn: Provide Students with New Approaches that Improve Learning and Increase Achievement!


What is Writing-to-Learn?


Writing-to-Learn (WTL) is a pedagogy that empowers students of all grades and disciplines.  At its core is a guiding concept: when one writes, one learns.  As most people know from experience, it is not infrequent for someone to recall information learned because he or she has written it down.  Often when thinking or talking, one remembers something because “I once wrote about that.”  Such is the power of writing! 


By writing down their ideas about and reactions to course content, students actively participate in their own learning.  As noted in the New York State Next Generation English Arts Learning Standards (Revised 2017), “All disciplines have recognized the importance of literacy to their own subject areas as the vehicle through which important content learning occurs” (p. 16). 


With the introduction of writing-to-learn practices into the classroom, educators foster their students’ intellectual growth.  By assigning writing in varied forms both in and out of class, teachers embrace a pedagogy that helps students to become active learners who gain a better grasp of course content, become more engaged in class, and improve their writing skills.