Why You Shouldn’t Teach Writing Like Math

It’s pretty simple. Math is learned by understanding a mathematical concept/principle and working problems that apply the principles. The working on these problems gives feedback and depth to making sense of the concept. Once you have it you are sort of done (though there are always more concepts to learn and combinations of principles to apply).

In writing, you actually need to write to make sense of or discover ‘principles’…and yet, the principles are so stylistic that it is hard to reduce them to anything hard and fast. In this way, writing is clearly on the ART side of the conversation.

Imagine trying to learn to swim by studying concepts on a whiteboard. Swimming itself is the means of learning to swimming; and, of course, it involves a lot of apparent splashing about!

Writing is much the same…writing a lot…getting feedback of various kinds…paying attention…writing more: Now, that’s a plan to learn to write!

Honestly, we can’t teach writing like we can teach math. However, we can share insights along the way.