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Students in the Department of Educational Studies (DES) have the opportunity to develop a wide variety of writing skills.  They start writing in “pre-block” foundations courses, and then they traverse two semesters of field experiences along with their accompanying courses, and culminate with a semester of student teaching. Along the way they receive numerous writing assignments, both formal and informal, in all of their coursework. The nature of their assignments gradually shift from academically oriented writings in the pre-block phase to a combination of academic writings and professional writings geared toward preparing candidates for the kinds of writing they will be required to produce as teachers. The culminating phases -- the second field experience and the student teaching semester -- require our candidates to produce electronic portfolio reflective narratives

DES students write electronic portfolio reflective narratives during each of the last two semesters of their undergraduate college coursework.  These portfolios are a means of demonstrating their competence in relation to the 10 Wisconsin Teacher Educator Standards (WTES). Not only are our students required to write about “how” they meet each of the standards, they must provide artifacts that serve as evidence of their competence in these standards. These artifacts consist of unit plans and other written assignments. In fact, the WTES serve as a guide to many written assignments throughout the program within the individual courses. 

Throughout the program students will see both informal and formal writing assignments. In addition, the Department of Educational Studies has identified three kinds of writing that span both the formal and informal writing domains.

Writing for Communication

Writing for Curriculum and Pedagogical Issues

Writing for Professional Purposes

For formal writing assignments instructors will use either the Department of Educational Studies Writing Assessment rubric or they will draw on writing assessment criteria.

Follow the links on the sidebar to explore the kinds of writing DES students will be engaged in as well as writing resources. There is also a link provided that provides access to the DES Writing Assessment rubric as well as the DES writing criteria that are contained in the rubric.

Goals of the DES Writing in the Major Program

  • promote student learning through writing
  • develop the written communication skills essential for a successful teacher
  • modeling a variety of writing activities teacher candidates may draw upon in their future classrooms
  • use consistent writing assessment criteria across all courses
  • give students feedback and help them grow and develop as writers