Bard College Catalogue 2017-18
Institute for Writing and Thinking
Founded in 1982, the Institute for Writing and Thinking (IWT) has been guiding teachers in developing and refining writing practices for more than 30 years. Through intellectually stimulating and practical workshops, conferences, and on-site consulting, IWT brings secondary and college teachers together and supports their efforts to make writing a central classroom practice.
The philosophy and practice of IWT are one: writing is both a record of completed thought and an exploratory process that supports teaching and deepens learning across disciplines. To this end, IWT’s core workshops include “Writing to Learn,” “Teaching the Academic Paper,” “Creative Nonfiction: Telling the Truth,” “Inquiry into Essay,” “Writing and Thinking through Technology,” “Writing to Read Scientific Texts,” and “Poetry in Today’s Classroom.” IWT also offers an annual March Curriculum Conversation—a series of workshops intended to foster innovative approaches to teaching canonical texts through diverse writing and thinking practices. These workshops foster innovative approaches to teaching texts that help students understand their enduring relevance. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, Shakespeare’s Othello, Homer’s Odyssey, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Richard Wright’s Black Boy (American Hunger), and Junot Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao are among the texts that have been addressed. The Institute’s annual April conference focuses on a pedagogical practice or genre, or an issue on the minds of educators today, such as “The Reflective Educator: Writing and Mindful Learning in the Classroom”; “The Difficulty with Poetry: Opacity and Implication in the New and Old”; “Fail Better: Writing, Thinking, and Risk Taking in the American Classroom”; “Common Sense: Writing, Thinking, and the Common Core”; and “New Kinds of Attention: Teaching Writing in a Digital Age.”
IWT workshops demonstrate how teachers can lead their students to discover and make meaning, engage in productive dialogue, and learn the critical thinking skills that support academic writing and foster the capacity for lifelong learning. With workshops at Bard; on site across the United States; internationally, at sites in Sweden, Haiti, Lithuania, and Myanmar, among others; at partner institutions in Kyrgyzstan, Russia, the West Bank, and Germany; and through a variety of summer programs for high school and college students, IWT supports educators, students, and writers worldwide.