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Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project


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Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project

The Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project
210 E. Rosedale Avenue
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383

Phone: 610-436-2202
Fax: 610-436-3212

Mary Buckelew, Ph.D.

Pauline Schmidt, Ph.D.
Associate Director


Summer 2017


Tuition and Fees

Summer Course Brochure

Tuition and fees for 3-credit course: $1,620.00
Tuition and fees for 1-credit course: $540.00
Out-of-state residents pay higher rate.

Please register at least two weeks before the class begins.
If you are not enrolled in a Master's Degree program at West Chester University, learn how to enroll as a nondegree student.

What's Your Stance? Reading and Writing Persuasive/Argumentative Texts, 3 - 10 (PWP 599-20)

Location: Graduate Center, 1160 McDermott Drive, West Chester
Dates: June 26 - 30
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Description: "Our job as readers of nonfiction is to enter into a text recognizing that the author is not offering the truth, but one vision of the truth." (Beers & Probst) Therefore, our job as teachers is to teach our young readers to discover the different stances authors take about a topic within a text. Once they learn how to interpret the information as a reader, they are better prepared to write by creating their own claims with reasons supported by facts and details. Strategies for deeper thinking/reasoning about topics that students encounter in their lives will be provided. Participants will interact as readers with opinion/argumentative texts as they learn what writers of this type of nonfiction need to strengthen their stance and reason with an audience. Reading to interpret and writing to argue one's claim about a topic/subject will be the focus of this course.

Teach Shift: Passion-Driven Teaching for the 21st Century (PWP 599-30)

Location: Graduate Center, 1160 McDermott Drive, Wet Chester
Dates: July 10 - 14
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Description: Every day, we inspire a sense of wonder, curiosity, and passion for learning in our students. But as teachers, how do we nurture our own sense of wonder, curiosity, and passion? How do we shift our thinking about what it means to be a teacher—no, a teacher-professional—in the 21st century?

During this course, we’ll unpack what it means to be a teacher today and how to be a dynamic teacher for tomorrow. We’ll flip the traditional model of professional development upside down by exploring the ways in which teachers can drive their own growth. Topics studied will include, but are not limited to: growing our professional learning communities (PLCs); practicing the art of classroom inquiry and action research; identifying our core strengths as teachers to push us toward growth; reading the latest research on topics such as creativity, innovation, collaboration, advocacy, and teacher-leadership; and creating a concrete plan to engage, learn, support, and measure our short and long-term practices.

Literacy in Bloom: Botanical Inspirations for Reading, Writing and Learning, K – 12 (PWP 599-32)

Location: Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square
Dates: July 17 - 21
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Description: Spend five days at beautiful Longwood Gardens. Engage in literacy activities inspired by the natural surroundings, participate in behind-the-scenes tours by Longwood Gardens professional staff, research a topic of personal interest, and collaborate with other teachers to create nature-inspired learning experiences for your students.

Grammar Matters, 4 - 12 (PWP 503-31)

Location: Graduate Center, 1160 McDermott Drive, West Chester
Dates: July 24 - 28
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Description: Does the word "grammar" instill fear in the hearts of your students? Do you have nightmares of grammar drills from the Language Arts classes of your youth? Would you like to be more confident in your own knowledge of grammar, usage, and mechanics? This course will help you to become more comfortable and confident in grammar instruction. You will have the opportunity to design lessons that embed the teaching of grammar into the writing process. You will learn where to find answers to more obscure questions about the rules of the English language as well as create and contribute to an online reference library of rules. In addition, you will get experience in providing the "hooks" that will help your students learn necessary grammar skills essential to the Common Core Standards.

Nature as Inspiration for Reading and Writing: Partnering with Children at Longwood, K - 8 (PWP 599-33)

Location: Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square
Dates: July 25 - 26
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Description: This one-credit course is specifically designed for teachers of students in grades K - 8. Course participants will spend their mornings alongside students as they explore the inspiring surroundings at Longwood Gardens while using these experiences as a springboard for reading and writing. Afternoons will include an opportunity to debrief the morning sessions, examine other models/resources for place-based education in similar settings, and further explore the potential LWG and other nature sites hold for students. This course is limited to 5 participants.

Spring 2018

Tuition and Fees

3 Graduate Credits from West Chester University

  • On-campus courses: $1,806.15
  • Off-campus course: $1,681.86
  • Out-of-state residents higher

Registration deadline: January 2, 2017.
If you are not enrolled in a Master's Degree program at West Chester University, to learn how to enroll as a nondegree student.

For more information please call 610-436-2202 or

email Mary Buckelew.

Strategies for Teaching Literature, 4 - 12 (PWP 520-01)

Location: PAWLP Classroom, 210 E. Rosedale Avenue, West Chester
Dates: Tuesdays, January 24 - May 9, 2017 (No class March 14)
Time: 5:00 - 7:45 p.m.
plus Saturday, March 18, 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at West Chester University Graduate Center
The experience of reading literature is central to designing experiences for teaching literature. To this end, teachers will explore and discuss a variety of current and canonical literature and examine pertinent theory and pedagogy in light of these texts and their own teaching. Additionally, teachers will experiment with enhancing student engagement and comprehension through before, during, and after reading strategies as well as investigate multi-media approaches to teaching literature. In this course, participants will also explore their own processes as readers and writers, share lessons in literary elements, apply PA Common Core Standards and Assessments to curriculum, and design and experience writing activities about and inspired by literature.

Nonfiction in the Reading/Writing Classroom, K - 12 (PWP 599-03) hybrid course!

Location: Perkiomen Valley School District (open to teachers from surrounding schools)
Dates: Thursdays, January 26, February 9 and 23, March 9, and 30, April 20 and 27, 2017
Time: 4:00 - 7:30 p.m.
plus Saturday, March 18, 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at West Chester Univesity Graduate Center
This course presents a journey into the world of nonfiction and its uses in the classroom, K-12. At its core, the course will focus on strategies for success for reading and writing nonfiction. Participants will become familiar with professional books, journals, and children's books, magazines, and web sites. In addition, graphic organizers, authors' craft, tools for research, assessment, and evaluation will be modeled and discussed. This new hybrid ocurse includes seven in person evenings and one PAWLP Day. The remaining hours will be spent working online in an asynchronous fashion. Participants will be given tasks to complete and receive feedback from the instructors to help them succeed. Technological support will be available.

The Writer's Notebook, a Tool to Empower Writers, 2 - 10 (PWP 599-01)

Location: Warwick Elementary School, Central Bucks School District (open to teachers from surrounding schools)
Dates: Wednesdays, January 25, February 1, 15, and 22, March 1, 22, and 29, April 5, 19, and 26, 2017
Time: 5:00 - 8:45 p.m.
plus Saturday, March 18, 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at West Chester University Graduate Center
Description: Take a journey alongside your students with your Writer’s Notebook in hand. This course will explore how teachers and their students can use their notebooks to live their lives as writers. Teachers will spend time generating ideas, sharing entries, and experiencing the various uses for notebooks. They will also delve into the most difficult part of utilizing a writer’s notebook - revisiting “seed ideas” planted in the notebook and growing them into drafts. This course is offered throughout the school year so that teachers can take strategies and their own Writer's Notebooks immediately back to their classrooms to use with their students.
• Discover how the Writer’s Notebook is a way into teaching writing.
• Examine strategies that unlock the writers within the classroom.
• Use children’s literature to spark Writer’s Notebook entries.
• Use the Writer’s Notebook throughout a unit of study.
• Use craft techniques to improve student writing.
• Develop a seed idea from the notebook into a piece of writing.



Degrees & Certificates

Master's Degree

Did you know that the Institutes and many of PAWLP's courses apply to the innovative Master of Arts degree in Writing, Teaching, and Criticism?

Developed with Language Arts and Secondary English teachers in mind, this flexible, year-round, professionally oriented program allows students to explore three areas of study in English - rhetoric and composition, pedagogy, and literary studies. The 36 hour program brings together theory and classroom practices in writing and rhetoric, secondary English teaching, and the interpretation of literature and other cultural discourses. The program welcomes students with an interest in exploring the way language, teaching and literature intersect.

The program:

  • Strengthens critical reading, writing, and research skills
  • Places special emphasis on the implications and applications for teaching
  • Offers specialized study in issues of cultural and classroom diversity
  • Enhances knowledge of literature and culture
  • Focuses on how writing, literary studies, and teaching intersect

In addition to the required Teacher as Writer course taught by PAWLP Director Mary Buckelew, up to four other PWP courses may apply to the twelve-course requirement of the degree.

To enroll, contact the Office of Graduate Studies at 610-436-2943.

For further information,

contact Mary Buckelew

at the PAWLP office, or call 610-436-2202.

PAWLP Certificates

Earn a PAWLP Certificate!

A Certificate in Writing Instruction is issued by the PA Writing & Literature Project for successful completion of 15 graduate credits of course work in writing instruction through PAWLP/West Chester University. Successful completion of the six-credit Invitational Institute must be included in the 15 credits.

A Certificate in Instructional Strategies for Teaching Writing and Literature may be earned through the successful completion of 15 graduate credits of course work in a combination of writing and literature courses. Successful completion of the six-credit Invitational Institute must be included in the 15 credits.

Holders of the Certificate in Writing Instruction may complete an additional 9 credits, chosen from the following courses, to earn the joint certificate: PWP 510, 512, 513, 520, 521, 522, and 599 under advisement.

For more information contact the PAWLP Office at 610-436-2202 or

email Mary Buckelew.


Invitational Institute

The Pennsylvania Writing and Literature Project offers an Invitational Institute in the Teaching of Writing. Participants earn six graduate credits from West Chester University.

Experienced teachers come together to demonstrate and examine their classroom practices, study the latest research about teaching, and develop their own teaching skills. As a result of these activities, teachers are better prepared for their own classrooms and for teaching other teachers.

This teachers-teaching-teachers model is the heart of the Project philosophy.

A limited number of stipends are available through the National Writing Project to help defray costs.

Teachers who successfully complete an Institute are eligible to teach in PAWLP's summer Youth Programs, present in courses, and provide professional development for local school districts.

An application form, endorsement from a PAWLP Fellow or school district administrator, and interview are required. Applications are considered on a rolling admission basis. For more information or an application please call the PAWLP office at 610-436-2998 or

email Mary Buckelew


email Pauline Schmidt.


Animotos by Institute participants

2017 Institute Dates. Total of 16 dates. 6 graduate credits
Spring: Saturdays, April 29, May 20, June 3 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Summer: June 26-30, July 5-7, and July 10–13 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Fall: September 30, from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

WCU Graduate Center
1160 McDermott Drive
West Chester, PA

Applications received by December 2, 2016 are eligible for a stipend.
Final application deadline is April 14, 2017.

2017 Writing Institute Application (word document)

2017 Writing Institute Application (PDF version)

Writing Institute Flyer

NWP Immersion article

Master's Degree Flyer

"Play the Institute Video"