Thursday 10 December 2015

Schools can do writing for a purpose by being 'publishers'

The final part of this set of thoughts on writing and teaching concerns what I've been calling 'publishing'.

In an ideal world, schools would be even more of publishing houses than they are. That's to say one of the in-built functions and purposes of a school would be to publish the thoughts and ideas and experiences of the people in and at that school.

Of course, this goes on to a limited extent in most schools and in some schools a good deal. To be precise, I mean by 'publishing' any of the following and any others that people can think of:

wall displays,
cabaret evenings
school bulletins
radio shows
tv programmes

And these wouldn't be one-offs or exceptions but a continuous part of what everyone would understand 'school' to be: 'I go to school to write things or perform things or publish things for the....magazine, the show, the book that my friend and I are writing....' and so on.

The school would make every effort to help pupils develop the means of knowing how to produce these, whether that means typing, printing, distributing, rigging lights, sound-recording, directing shows...and so on.

What I've called 'editing' in the previous section would be part of this. It would be understood that the written side of publication involves 'good-editing'. Adults and older pupils how know how to do this, can help those who are less confident to do it. The purpose of editing is to make the written products intelligible to the most number of people.

I am suggesting here that a school geared to see 'writing' in this way, is a school showing pupils (and all the adults too) that writing has a purpose, writing is for an audience, and that audiences help you write better.