Teaching Writing

2017 Teaching Writing Residency
in Bar Harbor, Maine

The 2017 Teaching Writing Summer Residency will take place on July 2-9, 2017 at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, as part of the Hopkins Conference on Craft. Learn more >

The Master of Arts in Teaching Writing Program is a flexible, part-time program of online classes and face-to-face residencies, infused with the prestige, quality and value of Johns Hopkins University. The goal of the MA in Teaching Writing Program is to improve the teaching of writing and student writing at all levels, K-University, and in all disciplines.

Sample a lesson! Click on the video below to see a portion of a lesson on the history of teaching writing, which is one of the topics studied in the program’s core course, Teaching Writing: Theory, Practice and Craft.

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The MA in Teaching Writing Program helps teachers at all levels, K-University, in all disciplines, learn to become master teachers of writing, acquiring new and innovative ways to teach writing to their students, studying theories and best practices on the teaching of writing that they can share with their colleagues, and pursuing their own writing in an exciting and supportive online community of teachers and writers.

The MA in Teaching Writing allows participants to address individual situations, needs, and interests while learning within a diverse community. By offering flexible, interactive, and customized learning, the program provides a model for teaching writing and a forum where all teachers can learn and grow together as teachers of writing, and as writers too.

Degree Basics

The MA in Teaching Writing requires the successful completion of nine courses, including the core Teaching Writing course, one course from the genre writing group,  one from the reading group, one on-site residency, the thesis course, and three additional courses of the student’s choice. The program offers a full slate of courses in fall, spring, and summer, with the 7-10-day residency taking place in July. Students have five years to finish their degree; extensions of up to two additional years are possible.

Nine courses (36 credit-hour equivalency), all online (except Residency):

1. Teaching Writing core course
2. Two courses from among the genre writing group
3. One course from among the reading group
4. One residency
5-8. Four courses of the student’s choosing from among all courses offered
9. Thesis.

All courses except the residency are online. We recommend but do not require students to take the Teaching Writing core course first; all eight previous courses must be completed before the student can take Thesis. Otherwise, courses may be taken in any order the student chooses. With permission, students may take as electives one or two courses in another AAP program.

(Teaching Writing is not a certification-granting program. Rather, it is designed for educators who already have certification, do not need certification, or who plan to acquire certification through another program.)

Program Benefits

  • Completed Online with a Low Residency requirement.
  • Nine-course (36-credit hour equivalency) degree.
  • Online courses are highly interactive, with participants regularly sharing their ideas and their work with each other and with highly involved instructors.
  • Flexible, asynchronous courses allow participants to work on a schedule that best suits their situation and needs.
  • Participants can choose from a wide variety of elective courses, which include: Narrative Writing; Creative Writing; Argument and Research Writing; Reading and Writing Multicultural Texts; Reading and Writing Children’s and Young Adult Literature; Writing Across the Curriculum; Using Writing to Teach Literature; Teaching Reluctant Writers; Teaching Composition at the College and Community College Level; Neuroscience, Creativity and Writing; and Literary Nonfiction and Historical, Scientific, and Technical Texts.
  • All courses are geared for teachers at all levels, K-University, in all disciplines. Our program encourages participants to learn from and teach each other, regardless of grade level or discipline, and provides the flexibility for participants to adapt what they are learning to their own situations, needs, and interests.
  • All participants in the program will be able to explore their own writing at the same time as they learn proven, practical ways to improve the teaching of writing, and student writing overall.
  • The 7-10-day summer residency will take place as part of the Summer Hopkins Conference on Craft, a decade-old event that has visited Italy, Maine, Washington, Baltimore, Annapolis, and Shenandoah National Park. At the residency, participants will present best-practices lessons, engage in writing workshops, and meet with renowned writers, scholars, and other educational professionals.

Teaching Writing is not a certification-granting program. Rather, it is designed for educators who already have certification, do not need certification, or who plan to acquire certification through another program.

The Teaching Writing Program is built around the following five core principles:

  1. Teachers of writing must write. Every course will devote some time and attention to having teachers explore their own writing, in whatever form or forms that course is built around.
  2. Teachers can learn from studying theories and best practices in the teaching of writing. Some readings and discussions about both accepted practices and the theories behind those practice will be included in every course.
  3. Teachers can learn from and share with each other. Participants in the program will have experience and expertise in teaching and writing. Every course will provide opportunities for participants to share that knowledge with their classmates, and to learn from each other.
  4. Teachers must have the freedom and encouragement to apply what they learn to meet their own specific needs and situations. The makeup of every class will include teachers teaching at different grade levels and in different disciplines. Every course will help teachers reflect on what they are learning and adapt that material to suit their individual needs.
  5. Teachers learn best in an interactive classroom (even a virtual one). Every course will seek to establish a sense of community among the members of the class, and emphasis will be placed on discussions and real-world, interactive teaching practices.

Not sure if the MA degree is for you? We also offer a five-course Graduate Certificate. Or, start out by taking one or two courses as a special student to see if the program is right for you. If you decide later you’d like to pursue the certificate or degree, you’ll receive credit for those one or two courses taken as a special student.

State-specific Information for Online Programs

We currently are not accepting applications to the Master of Arts in Teaching Writing from students who reside in Wisconsin. For more information, please contact an admissions representative. Students should be aware of state-specific information for online programs.