Creative Writing Importance

1050 Words3 Pages
Eleanor Pritchett
April 29, 2014
Junior Seminar
Ms. Gentlesk

The Importance of Early Creative Writing Education

Reading and writing are basic skills for Americans, and children learn them early. But while they learn how to read and write, these skills aren’t often connected to the emotional, curious, storytelling nature of children. They learn their letters and they read their textbooks and sometimes they learn to diagram sentences; they learn Western plot maps and the components of literature and the types of words. Sometimes they learn to hate reading. Often they learn that writing is for school. A horrifying amount of the time, they never learn to write for themselves. But every child is a storyteller, and writing creatively is an integral part of writing education. Though often overlooked in favor of traditional literacy, creative writing is a vital component of children’s education.
According to Richard Vaca, author of Content Area Reading: Literacy and Learning Across the Curriculum, “Adolescents entering the adult world in the 21st century will read and write more than at any other time in human history. They will need advanced levels of literacy to perform their jobs, run their households, act as citizens, and conduct their personal lives.” But despite the importance of high levels of literacy in adult life, American literacy scores in schools remain low. On the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for fourth graders in 2009, the national average score was a 220 out of possible 500, no improvement over the average 2007 score. This across-the-board failure to teach students such a vital skill as literacy in the twenty-first century demonstrates a failure of the literacy curriculum itself, and the...

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... American literacy curriculums focus largely on reading, analyzing, and critiquing other people’s work, but as low literacy scores show, this approach is not effective in teaching students to read and write English proficiently. The system would benefit greatly from the addition of a creative writing focus to English classes nationwide at an early grade level, since a personalized approach to teaching will engage students and allow them to learn about broader subjects while practicing their writing skills. Multiple organizations off the mainstream curriculum have already tested successful models for increasing creativity, self-confidence, and communication skills in children. These models would be beneficial to the nation’s teachers and school systems in remodeling curricula to focus on the students and their experiences to teach core subjects more effectively.

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