Editorial by Paul Munden
At the time the previous edition went to print, there were a couple of articles that we chose to hold over. Their focus was on the issue of teaching creativity, and we pitched that as a potential focus for this Summer edition. As a result we have an interesting collection of offerings on the theme.
Louise Tondeur proposes that we get beyond the “can” or “should” debate, providing a useful summary of how that discussion has run its course within the pages of national newspapers. As a publication dedicated to the prime importance of creativity in education, Writing in Education must of course go further, and provide evidence – and encouragement – of effective practice. The pages of this particular edition offer both, with a wide variety of reference – from primary school to higher education and community contexts, and by writers working in the UK, Europe and Australia.
Robert Hull’s article about primary school testing provides a backdrop to all this, and a reason why a focus on creativity is currently so urgent, the political climate being unconducive in the extreme. As writers and educators, we have a duty to make whatever difference we can: by making positive interventions in the curriculum and the classroom; by researching the effectiveness of such intervention; and by disseminating widely the narratives of that success. In this respect, this particular edition is a timely spotlighting of NAWE’s core purpose, and as my new colleague Seraphima Kennedy suggests so eloquently on the following page, the political dimension of what we do has inevitably come to the fore.
Underlining that point, we have articles here that reflect on the role of writing in society – and social upheaval. Andrew Melrose concludes his intriguing three-part series about The Boat, his project for children about refugees. Sarah Penny describes her work as a writer/dramatherapist with Somali women. And Robert Hull, in his second contribution, shares the unflinching poems he wrote for Robert Cox, who, as editor of the Buenos Aires Herald
, reported on the “tortures, murders and disappearances” that ensued after the military coup in Argentina in 1976. In one sense, the article stretches the definition of what Writing in Education
is about. We don’t usually publish members’ poetry; we don’t usually publish writing unrelated to pedagogy of some sort. But in another sense, the article provides – in Melrose’s phrase – an “adscititious narrative”; the difficult truths enshrined in the poems demonstrate the symbiosis between writing and education; and that, in turn, demonstrates why creative writing must be taught. We, as writers, working with teachers positioning themselves as writers too, have a duty to equip future generations with the creative courage to investigate the world through words, rather than just be taught about “fronted adverbials”. NAWE members are marvellously committed to that cause, and NAWE itself must do everything possible to support its members in becoming ever better teachers of their art and craft.
The printed version of the magazine will be mailed to Professional Members and Institutions at the beginning of April. Any other members - including e-members - may purchase printed copies by following the link below.
Associate/Student Members and those benefiting from Institutional Membership can opt to have the printed magazine sent automatically by upgrading. If you would like to do this, please contact Clare Mallorie
For a full list of contents, click on the image or the link below. NAWE members logged into the site can read the full articles. You can also browse the complete back catalogue of previous issues