When Lucy Calkins wrote the first edition of The Art of Teaching Writing, the writing workshop was a fledgling idea, piloted by a few brave innovators. Now, as she brings us this new edition, the writing workshop is at the foundation of language arts education throughout the English-speaking world. This new edition, then, could easily have been a restatement, in grander, more confident tones, of the original classic. Instead, it is an almost entirely new book.
Clearly, during the time in which Calkins's original ideas have spread like wildfire, her focus has not been on articulating and defending those ideas, but on developing and rethinking them. Respecting and responding to the questions which have arisen as thousands of teachers establish writing workshops in their classrooms, and drawing upon the latest knowledge in the field and her own intimate understanding of classroom life, Calkins has re-thought every line and every facet of her original text.
In this new edition, Lucy has major new chapters on assessment, thematic studies, writing throughout the day, reading/writing relationships, publication, curriculum development, nonfiction writing and home/school connections. More than this, she has deepened her understanding of the writing process itself:
"When I wrote the first edition, I saw writing as a process of choosing a topic, turning the topic into the best possible draft, sharing the draft with friends, then revising it. But I've come to think that it's very important that writing is a process not only of recording, but also of developing a story or an idea. Now, in this new edition, I describe writing episodes that do not begin with a topic and a draft but instead with something noticed or something wondered about. When writing begins with something that has not yet found its significance, it is more apt to become a process of growing meaning."
The author has refined and expanded her ideas since the 1986 publication of the first edition. She offers insightful, seasoned guidance on how to help young children become engaged with writing. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)