10 a.m. – 4 p.m. EST
New Kinds of Attention
The New Kinds of Attention online workshop series, launched in 2021, gives teachers a unique opportunity to experience Institute for Writing and Thinking workshops. These workshops allow teachers to join an immersive, online introduction to IWT writing practices. Intended for those who might not be able to attend IWT’s one-day workshops at Bard College, the New Kinds of Attention series provides a taste of our popular July Weeklong Workshops and our fall Writer as Reader Workshops.
Registration and Fees
Standard Tuition: $475
Early-Bird Tuition: $427.50
The early bird registration deadline is one month before the workshop date and tuition must be paid in full prior to the workshop.
For cancellations up to a week before any one-day workshop, we will refund the full workshop fee.
We cannot refund fees for workshops canceled less than one week before the event.
IWT welcomes scholarship applications from those studying to become teachers (i.e., those registered in Bard’s MAT Program or another accredited undergraduate or graduate program in education) and in-service teachers with limited professional development funds.
All Bard IWT workshops are Continuing Teacher and Leader Education approved in New York State. A one-day workshop grants 5 CTLE hours.
February 3, 2023
Click to read descriptions.
Introduction to Writing and Thinking - Feb 3, 2023
This one-day workshop introduces participants to IWT’s writing-based teaching practices, while giving participants an opportunity to reflect on how they approach their own writing and how they teach writing. The goal of the work is to create, nurture, and sustain a writing-based classroom. The workshop is purposely communal and collaborative: teachers read and write together, exchange ideas, and respond to one another’s work. Through these activities, teachers become more aware of the scaffolding behind the composing process and better perceive the roots of their students’ struggles to produce expressive and engaged writing. Teachers of all subjects who want to understand how shared writing practices can generate rich thinking and learning are invited to participate.
Introduction to Writing to Learn - Feb 3, 2023
Like Writing and Thinking, Writing to Learn introduces participants to IWT’s foundational writing-based teaching practices, but with a particular emphasis on their application to specific subject areas and disciplines. This workshop is multidisciplinary: It will draw on a variety of works that might include historical sources and literary and scientific texts. The workshop focuses on using writing to build an initial understanding of texts—a crucial first step in creating formal essays or reports—and to revise this preliminary thinking as their understanding deepens. We will explore how writing-to-learn practices can reshape how we teach and how the academic lecture, collaborative learning practices, and the act of listening can reinforce one another within the classroom.
Funded by a grant from the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program.
Introduction to Thinking Historically through Writing - Feb 3, 2023
“History teaches us a way to make choices, to balance opinions, to tell stories, and to become uneasy—when necessary—about the stories we tell,” writes Sam Wineburg in Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts. We all have a tendency to process new information through the lens of our entrenched beliefs and values. This tendency can be particularly visible when students grapple with the challenges posed by historical documents. How can teachers help students encounter historical texts in a way that invites them to revise their thinking and helps them become more nuanced, critical readers of history? More importantly, how can teachers help students see that history is relevant to them personally—that they operate within a historical context and have the power and agency to make historical change?
This workshop focuses on writing-to-read strategies for analyzing primary and secondary documents and images in order to consider how historians interpret evidence and construct narratives. Together, we explore how writing can enliven students’ curiosity about the past and help them appreciate different, and sometimes conflicting, interpretations of key moments in history. Funded by a generous grant from the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program.
Introduction to Writing to Learn in the STEM Disciplines - Feb 3, 2023
This workshop introduces writing-to-learn strategies that help students develop their understanding of complex ideas in science and mathematics. In STEM classes, writing is most often used to assess what students know—or don’t know—on tests, lab reports, and assignments. By contrast, this workshop focuses on using writing as a tool for constructing knowledge. It introduces writing practices that help students find points of entry into challenging texts and concepts, interrogate their understanding when it is still fuzzy, tentative, or mistaken, and revise their thinking. Working together, participants experiment with collaborative and exploratory writing prompts that stimulate close reading of scientific and mathematical texts, problems, and images. In addition, we will explore how writing practices can deepen engagement and spark curiosity—an important first step in becoming more invested and reflective in the process of solving a problem, reasoning through an explanation, or carrying out an experiment.
March 3, 2023
Click to read descriptions.
Reading Climate, Writing Change: Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac’s The Future We Choose: Surviving Climate Crisis - Mar 3, 2023
Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower, a dystopian novel, confronts entwined environmental and economic crises in a world marked by extreme poverty, racism, walls that constrain movement, climate refugees, hurricanes, fire, and food and water scarcity. Forced to flee when her home is destroyed and her family killed, protagonist Lauren Oya Olamina embarks on a journey in an attempt to survive and build a new, transformed world. In The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis, Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac, architects of the 2015 Paris Agreement, likewise ask us to think creatively and take action to transform a world facing a climate emergency. We will use writing and thinking practices to explore how the texts educate us about ecological and climate crises, including aspects such as extreme weather, natural disasters, threatened species, cultural and biodiversity, and geographic displacement. Finally, taking cues from the authors we read, we will explore how imagination can help us face these daunting issues. Participants will gain strategies for pairing critical and imaginative analyses of the texts to support students learning about the climate crisis while empowering them to envision a way forward.
About Writer as Reader Workshops
The Cannibal, the Witch, and the Colonizers: Shakespeare’s The Tempest Historicized - Mar 3, 2023
In 1609, an English ship en route to the New World floundered off the coast of Bermuda. The account of the survivors’ long-delayed arrival in the Virginia colony of Jamestown is believed by many scholars to have inspired Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The play begins some years after the wizard Prospero and his daughter washed ashore on an island and quickly enslaved a single native inhabitant, Caliban. Portrayed as oppressed and defiant, cruel and poetic, it is Caliban whose “othered” gaze reveals the “otherness” of the Europeans, and their sly machinations. This workshop will write to read Caliban as “savage” aboriginal, and explore a few of the myriad works of writers, directors, and visual artists inspired by his revolt against Prospero—and explore his plight as Shakespeare’s critique of the subjugation of native peoples by the Virginia colonists. Utilizing Library of Congress archives, we will trace historical accounts, maps, and drawings that contextualize The Tempest within the New World, and ask: how does this play reflect assumptions about the colonized and the colonizers?
About Writer as Reader Workshops
Citizens in Dark Times: Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and the Federalist Papers - Mar 3, 2023
“Freedom had a price,” writes Marjane Satrapi at the end of Persepolis, her “memoir-in-comic-strips” set during the founding years of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Satrapi’s coming-of-age story offers a dark and subtly textured account of the politics of everyday life in Iran after the 1979 revolution: “It wasn’t just the government that changed. Ordinary people changed too.” Her testimony about freedom and resistance echoes the cautions offered by another group of post-revolutionary thinkers from a very different time and place. “Liberty is to faction what air is to fire,” writes James Madison in “Federalist 10.” With a keen sense for what was fragile and combustible in the new American republic, the writers of the Federalist Papers evince a grim view of citizens’ capacity for civic virtue and leaders’ capacity for enlightened statesmanship. Both texts pose hard questions about tyranny and freedom and reckon with the surprising turns that political life can sometimes take. In this workshop, we will focus on Satrapi’s memoir while putting both post-revolutionary polemics into dialogue, using writing-to-read and other collaborative learning practices. Participants will explore writing-based teaching strategies that can help students ask deeper questions about citizenship and about the role of history, language, gender, and belief in the practice of freedom and civic life.
About Writer as Reader Workshops
March 3, 2023
Click to read descriptions.
Introduction to Reflective Writing for Agency, Equity, and Community - Mar 3, 2023
In How We Think (1910), John Dewey writes that when we are faced with a difficulty or dilemma, “we metaphorically climb a tree; we try to find some standpoint from which we may survey additional facts and, getting a more commanding view of the situation, may decide how the facts stand related to one another.” We achieve this more commanding view through our capacity for reflective thinking, which helps us recognize not only how concepts connect to one another, but also how we, as learners, relate to those concepts. Process writing, a cornerstone of IWT’s writing-based teaching, is an essential reflective practice. We make space for reflection at the end of most writing sequences; it is an opportunity to assess how our initial thoughts have evolved by exploring them in writing and by hearing the writing of our peers. We flip through the pages in our notebooks and trace our steps back through the movement of our minds to understand both process and content. Reflection paves the way for us to approach the next learning experience with a better sense of how we make meaning; it sharpens critical thinking and normalizes struggle. This workshop will investigate the principles and practices of metacognitive writing and focus on how to make process writing integral to our teaching. We will interrogate our goals as educators and explore how reflective practices can foster equity and community in our classrooms. We will work across genres and disciplines, exploring how reflective practices can enrich both academic and creative writing. From small-scale daily work to playful and collaborative activities that promote democratic learning communities, we will explore what can happen when we make reflection central to our students’ learning.
Introduction to Writing-Based Teaching in Mathematics - Mar 3, 2023
Mathematics teachers have long sought active learning strategies that enhance students’ self-awareness as learners, support their intellectual and emotional engagement with mathematics concepts, and help them reconceive their relationship to mathematics. This workshop introduces participants to writing-based activities that engage students in active learning paradigms. Consider the challenges that many students experience learning trigonometry. Despite teachers’ best intentions, problem-solving practice often results in students’ memorizing an algorithm. In contrast, a skillful open-ended prompt invites students to step away from calculations and think conceptually about trigonometric functions. Writing-based teaching meets students at their own level, slowing down the student with an immediate answer and inviting the hesitant student to build understanding in their own way. In this workshop, we will model writing-to-learn strategies tailored to the mathematics classroom and offer participants concrete ways to implement similar activities in their own classrooms. We will experiment with varied approaches to metacognitive writing practices and highlight ways to weave reflection through all levels of course design and classwork.
(Note: The workshop will not use mathematical concepts beyond pre-calculus so as to be inclusive of all mathematical backgrounds.)
Taking Freedom: Harriet Tubman, Harriet Jacobs, and Black Women’s Liberation - Mar 3, 2023
In the mid-1830s, Harriet Jacobs eluded her enslaver by hiding in an attic for seven years, eventually making her way to New York and freedom. Her autobiography has become an American classic, offering a searing account of enslavement and a trenchant political and social analysis. Meanwhile, another abolitionist icon, Harriet Tubman, the most renowned conductor of the Underground Railroad who in thirteen trips rescued some 70 people from slavery, has recently been the subject of renewed interest (and political controversy) as the replacement for Andrew Jackson on the twenty dollar bill. Unique among mainstream American narratives, Tubman’s life story centers slavery, resistance, and Black female self-determination.
This workshop uses IWT practices to explore nineteenth-century African American women’s history and thought through the words, acts, and imagery of Jacobs and Tubman. Both women were warriors in the fight against slavery, defying the twin lies of white and male supremacy with words and actions that helped alter the history of the United States.
“Honestly it was beautifully done in every way I can imagine. Respectful, engaging, interactive, reflective, it had it all.”
“I couldn’t have asked for better professional development. I know I’m walking into my classroom on Monday having gained an immense amount of pedagogical knowledge.”
—2022 New Kinds of Attention workshop participants