REFLECTIONS ON FORMAT WRITING

 REFLECTIONS ON FORMAT WRITING

format_writingBackground

In 2 Timothy 3:5 Paul talks about having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Every Spirit-filled Christian would understand the difference between religion and relationship with God.  One is dynamic and the other an imitation.

In other arenas, there are other forms that can rob us of the real.  One such form that is causing a stir in the home school arena is format writing.  It is easy to teach and easy to grade.  It seems like a dream come true for our often reluctant writers.  But is it?

format_writing_1Format writing is a writing strategy that purports to teach students how to write without the burden of a classical content, of a literary audience, or of a sagacious educational theory.  This is in conflict with a more orthodox writing program that teaches writing in the context of purpose and audience.

Format writing is not based on any sound educational theory—affective or cognitive—for a very good reason:  because there is no good educational theory that supports format writing!

What is format writing? The following are indicators of format writing:

1. Inevitably format writing emphasizes form over content.  Continue Reading →

2016 SAT – It’s Closer Than You Think!

I am giddy with excitement about the 2016 SAT!  Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine such a homeschool friendly exam would be created.

In the late 1800s, a group of leading American universities formed the College Entrance Examination Board, and working together they administered the Testingfirst standardized exam in 1901. For the first time, students could take one entrance exam for several universities instead of taking a separate exam for each university to which they applied. The SAT from its inception has been an attempt to provide colleges with a tool to identify potential candidates for their universities. It remains so today. Generally speaking the SAT is an “aptitude” (Standard Aptitude Test) which measures critical thinking skills. It is similar to the IQ test which puts more emphasis on cognition (problem solving) than upon epistemology (information). The ACT, by the way, is an “achievement” or epistemologically based exam, much like the Iowa Basics or Stanford Achievement Exams. Universities use the SAT to predict college performance. It is, undoubtedly, pretty good at doing that. Occasionally students who do poorly on the SAT do well in college, but almost never do high scoring SAT students perform poorly in college. Continue Reading →