Faculty members from James J. Ferris High School in Jersey City, N.J., took to Kean University’s campus on February 1, to participate in a professional development mini-conference, themed Pedagogical Strategies for Writing across Disciplines.
Developed exclusively for Ferris faculty by Dr. Mia Zamora, director of the Kean University Writing Project and associate professor in the Department of English, the daylong event included peer-led, interactive workshops, a roundtable lunch with members of the Kean University Writing Project (KUWP) faculty, and a reflective warp-up session to discuss best implementation practices and the next steps for the KUWP/Ferris partnership.
"Writing is essential to communication, learning and citizenship. It is the currency of the new workplace and global economy. Writing helps us convey ideas, solve problems, and understand our changing world,” said Zamora. “The Kean University Writing Project is excited to be working with Ferris High School faculty on their long-term goals for writing across the curriculum.”
KUPW partnered with Ferris High School, in 2011, through Kean’s Garden State Partnership (GSP), under the direction of Dr. Gail Hilliard-Nelson. At that time, Jaime Morales, the high school’s principal, expressed that he wished to see every member of his faculty engaged with writing in the classroom, regardless of their content area.
Following two on-site professional development engagements at the high school, in December 2011 and again last month, Morales brought his team of educators to Kean.
“I know from my teachers that this is one of the best professional developments we’ve been to in a long time,” said Jaime Morales, principal of Ferris High School. “All of the teachers were engaged in the learning process. Now, they will bring all that they learned back to Ferris High School—to their colleagues and to their students. It’s a win-win.”
The success of the program is equally beneficial to the KUWP, as it coincides with its mission to deliver quality professional development that is tailored to the needs of the teachers within their collaborative schools.
“The Kean University Writing Project takes its responsibilities seriously,” said Erica Holan, assistant director of the KUWP. “We adhere to the National Writing Project’s ‘teachers teaching teachers’ model of service delivery.”
For more information about the KUWP, the site’s Invitational Summer Institute or programs like the one Ferris High School attended, please call (908) 737-0385 or visit www.kuwp.org.