What can teachers in British and American inner-city schools learn from each other about literacy training? To explore this question, Sarah Warshauer Freedman and her British colleagues set up a writing exchange that matched classes from four middle and high schools in the San Francisco Bay area with their London equivalents.
Exchanging Writing, Exchanging Cultures offers concrete lessons to school reformers, policymakers, and classroom teachers about the value and effectiveness of different approaches to teaching writing. Freedman goes beyond the specific subject matter of this study, looking anew at Vygotsky's and Bakhtin's theories of social interaction and addressing the larger questions of the relationship between culture and education.
Sarah Freedman has written a timely and lucid book with important implications for educational practice on both sides of the Atlantic...The book is distinguished by the way in which it uses the fresh and vigorous insights of the eight teachers and their thirty-two students. Skillful analysis of the students' work and the comments by teachers provided the new evidence about the complex ways in which writing reflects and shapes education...The judgments of this highly respected educator are worthy of attention.
Sarah Warshauer Freedman is Professor of Education and the Study of Writing at the University of California, Berkeley.