The Manitoba Writing Project (MBWP) aims to explore the power of writing for young people. Research demonstrates that students are writing less even though writing is increasingly more important to their success. To solve this, we launched the Manitoba Writing Project to build a professional network that helps advance young people's writing by connecting educators with opportunities to collaborate, share, and learn.
The first of its kind in Canada, the MBWP is a National Writing Project (NWP) associated site, creating a network of teachers, university faculty, researchers, writers, and community educators working to advance writing and the teaching of writing. We focus on the use of writing as, and for, social justice and human rights in our multicultural context.
The project began with a qualitative study conducted with educators across the province that unearthed a significant discrepancy: while writing has become increasingly important to the academic success of Manitoban students, opportunities for Manitoban educators to develop their capacities to write and to teach writing are increasingly rare.
In effect, while students should be writing more, they are writing less.
When it does happen, writing in school tends to offer students a very limited scope of topics, formats, and audiences—mostly written only for a teacher to read for the purpose of assessment.
This discrepancy exists in a world that is becoming more networked and more connected than ever. Students have the possibility to write about matters of importance to them and share that writing with authentic audiences around the globe.