Since its earliest years, New York City Writing Project (NYCWP) teacher-consultants have written about their practice and shared their views on the educational concerns of the day in a newsletter published several times a year. We are delighted that visitors to this website will now be able to access any current or past issues from the list below.
The content of these newsletters provides a kind of informal history of teaching in New York City public schools over roughly a 30 year period. Our teacher/writers provided portraits of students at work and reflected upon instructional practices and curriculum units that were successful as well as problematic. If you read some of the older newsletters, you may note too how some of these practices, while new at the time, have now become broadly used in our profession.
You may notice too how often these articles and reflections address many of the educational concerns that emerged within New York City schools during this stretch of time: the struggle to establish process as a key element in teaching composition; the teaching of reading in high schools and the expansion of the literary canon; the debate about language and culture; the beginning of the school reform movement; the creation of new small high schools; and, finally, the question of standards.
When the NYCWP began in 1978, teachers were still creating lesson plans and student handouts on electric typewriters and using a mimeograph or rexograph to duplicate classroom materials. Needless to say, our newsletters also reflect the changing technology in the educational environment. We know you will notice and perhaps smile when you look at the way in which the design and printing evolved over the years.
We hope you will still find many of these articles interesting and enlightening, and we thank the teams of NYCWP teacher-consultants who dedicated so much of their free time to collect, edit, and publish their colleague’s work.
– Ed Osterman