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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


Spring 2018

Tuition and Fees

3 Graduate Credits from West Chester University

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 Pauline Schmidt.


PWP 520 Strategies for Teaching Literature, 4-12

Wednesdays 4:25 - 7:10
Location: PAWLP classroom, 210 East Rosedale, West Chester University

The experience of reading literature is central to designing experiences for teaching literature. To this end, teachers will read a variety of current and canonical literature and explore pertinent theory and pedagogy in light of these texts and their own teaching. In this course participants will explore their own processes as readers, share lessons in literary elements, apply PA Standards and Assessments to curriculum discuss and apply current theory as it applies to their classrooms, and design and experience writing activities about and inspired by literature.


 Summer 2018

Tuition and Fees

3 Graduate Credits from West Chester University

For current tuition rate, please visit the Bursar website.

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.

PAWLP Summer courses are held at WCU's Graduate Center
1160 McDermott Drive, West Chester, PA 19380

PWP 599-37 What's Your Stance? Reading and Writing Persuasive/Argumentative Texts Grades 3-10

Dates: June 25th - June 29th

Time: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 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) 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.


PWP 599: “Reading and Writing the World” - Literacy, Place, and Sustainability. K-16 Educators – all content areas

Dates: June 25th - June 29th

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Description: Are you interested in learning more about place-based education (PBE) and sustainability (environmental, social justice, economic, personal) and how you can apply these concepts to your own setting? If so, this introductory course is for you. In the process of our own exploration and analyses, we will create multigenre/modal projects on place and sustainability and write proposals for “Take a Stance” pieces on an issue of sustainability – all the while reflecting on implications, applications, and extensions for our own classrooms, schools, communities, and universe.

Sustainability broadly defined encompasses environmental, social, and economic issues and their transaction. The Brundtland Commission defines sustainability as “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” “Place-based education is the process of using the local community and environment to teach concepts across the curriculum.” These lenses are a powerful combination.

PWP 503-31 Strategies for Teaching Writing

Dates: July 9th - 13th

Time: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Description: Do you want to learn new, fresh, practical strategies for teaching writing? You are invited to spend a week participating in writing activities, exploring your own writing style, and sharing strategies for writing instruction with your peers. In this course you will experience community building, pre-writing techniques, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing activities which you can take directly into your classroom for your students to experience. You will also work with a response group to polish your writing and to take on the role of student as writer-teacher.

PWP 599-36 Teach Shift: Passion-Driven Teaching for the 21st Century

Dates: July 16th - 20th 

Time: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Description: 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 teacher 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.

PWP 513-31 Writing and Children's Literature: Creating Successful Writers with Mentor Texts, K-8

Dates: July 23rd - 27th

Time: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Description: Welcome to the world of picture books – hundreds of texts in one room for you to examine and enjoy. The course facilitators share their love of children’s literature and passion for writing in a relaxed, highly motivating setting. Learn how to connect story elements and literary devices to specific activities, use scaffolds to develop students’ writing, and create strategic mini-lessons that link rich literature to the teaching of writing. Expand your knowledge of mentor texts for models of exemplary writing and reader-response activities designed for various purposes, audiences, and genres. Opportunities to meet Common Core Standards for reading, writing, speaking, and listening wherever applicable.

Degrees & Certificates

Invitational Writing 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

Mary Buckelew


Pauline Schmidt


Animotos by Institute participants

2018 Institute Dates. Total of 16 dates. 6 graduate credits
Spring: Saturdays, May 5 and 19, June 2 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Summer: June 25-29, July 2 and 3, and July 9–13 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Fall: September 29, from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

WCU Graduate Center
1160 McDermott Drive
West Chester, PA

Applications received by December 1, 2017 are eligible for a stipend.
Final application deadline is April 16, 2018.

2018 Writing Institute Application  

2018 Writing Institute Application  

Writing Institute Flyer

NWP Immersion article

Master's Degree Flyer

"Play the Institute Video"Play video


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.

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.

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