Re-Imagining the Teaching of Writing: An International Collaboration

May 28th, 2021 | By | Category: BLTN Global, BLTN International, Spring 2021

Early in the morning on February 27, 2021 for attendees from all U.S. time zones, and early in the evening Pakistan time, over 70 educators gathered from across the farthest reaches BLTN, the Andover Bread Loaf Peace Literacy Network. Inspired by the 10th anniversary of Karachi-based The School of Writing (TSW), Director Mohsin Tejani (MA ’01), and Andover Bread Loaf (ABL) Associate Director, Rich Gorham (MA’01) planned, advertised, and facilitated a spectacular event anchored by talks from Bread Loaf School of English and Bread Loaf Teacher Network speakers.

Rich Gorahm and Mohsin Tejani comment on the history behind the event.

“The Andover Bread Loaf Peace Literacy Network has a 20-plus year history of bringing together educators from multiple countries to intentionally communicate across difference, as it seeks to build a more peaceful world through collaboration around literacy and the arts. Past collaborations have included ABL conferences in Pakistan, India, Tanzania, Kenya, Haiti, and El Salvador. 

ABL’s work in South Asia began in 1997 when Mohsin Tejani, founder of The School of Writing, attended the Andover Bread Loaf Summer Writing Workshop along with Lee Krishnan (MA ’07) of ABL-Mumbai and Richard Gorham of ABL-Lawrence. The team put together the first-ever ABL International Conference in Karachi in the year 2000. Ten years later, continuous inspiration from Andover Bread Loaf and the Bread Loaf Teacher Network led to the establishment of the School of Writing in Karachi, Pakistan.

From day one, the two organizations have collaborated in the form of faculty exchange, development of learning materials, resource sharing and academic discourse. The philosophy and teaching models practiced at the School of Writing are derived from the works of academic stalwarts like Dixie Goswami, Michael Armstrong and Lou Bernieri (MA ’80), to name a few.

The work of the Peace Literacy Network has been featured at conferences including NCTE (with a presentation in 2021) and SPELT (the Society of Pakistani English Language Teachers). The conference entitled Re-Imagining the Teaching of Writing was organized to celebrate the completion of 10 years of the partnership between ABL, BLTN and the School of Writing. It was attended by 70+ educators, teacher-educators, school heads/principals, and policy-makers from schools, colleges, and universities from Australia, Canada, India, Pakistan, UAE, and USA.”

Dean of the Bread Loaf School of English, Emily Bartels inspired to participants to “write for our collective lives.” Professor Beverly Moss, BLTN Director, gave the keynote address, eliciting reflections on re-imagining writing pedagogies from participants, and urging us to consider those in light of statements from scholars and practitioners in the field. Professor Andrea Lunsford framed the day’s events with ideas from Adam Banks, Louis Maraj, and Uri Hasson. Session leaders Mary Guerrerro (MA ’04), Lee Krishnan (MA ’07), Dr. Ceci Lewis (MA ’99), and Jineyda Tapia (MA ’14) facilitated breakout rooms.

Andover Bread Loaf Rules for Writing in English, Hindi, and Urdu

Here are Emily Bartels’ opening remarks (through 5:10), Beverly Moss’ keynote (5:15-14:52), and Andrea Lunsford’s response (from 14:56).

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