Bard College Institute for Writing and Thinking

Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, 12504

Last updated on September 19, 2023

Grant awarded by
Library of Congress
Organization Type
Congressional District(s)
Fiscal Year Of First Grant
FY 2019 [10/01/18 - 09/30/19]
Contributing Organization(s)
Bard College Masters in the Art of Teaching Program; Bard College Institute for Writing & Thinking
Organization description

IWT was founded in 1982 by Bard College president Leon Botstein. Since its inception, it has helped teachers develop writing practices that enliven classroom learning through writing. IWT's philosophy and practice center on the principle that writing is not merely a record of completed thought, but also an exploratory process that deepens learning across disciplines. Bard IWT offers faculty development workshops that focus on student-centered writing to learn practices. IWT workshops create opportunities for teachers from diverse disciplines and institutions to explore how writing-rich teaching practices can deepen thinking and promote understanding. Participants thrive on the sense of community that emerges as they work together. Discipline specific workshops for secondary teachers and university professors emphasize hands-on instruction in a collaborative learning environment, teachers hone skills that help students discover and interpret meaning, engage in productive dialogue, and learn critical thinking skills that support academic writing and learning.

Project description
“Mapping Unknowns: Writing to Read Primary Sources.” The thematic focus of the grant project will be “Mapping the Natural Landscape.” Utilizing writing-to-read practices that are fundamental to IWT’s philosophy and pedagogy, faculty development workshops will explore the many facets—personal, historical, ecological, political, and socio-economic—that shape the ways that we read and interpret natural landscapes. To inform this work, participants will draw on Library of Congress sources such as maps, photographs, and explorer accounts. Sources might include Army Corps of Engineers maps and surveys of the Mississippi River flood plains, photographs of Native American life on the Great Plains, and photographs of ice farming on the Hudson for example. Workshops will use a variety of writing practices to consider the “expeditionary” techniques that explorers, scientists, artists, and activists have used to investigate the natural world. This work will invite participants to ask: How has ecological change been fueled by historical ideas about the “ordering” of wilderness into the “unknown” and the “known”? How have we inherited and/or internalized these ways of “reading” our natural surroundings? How can socio-political movements shift perspectives on how we value the landscape?
TPS project focus
  • Workshops
Content focus
  • Art
  • Cultural Studies
  • English Language Arts
  • Equity and Inclusion
  • Gender Studies
  • General Studies
  • Geography
  • History
  • Math
  • Research
  • Science
  • Civil Rights
  • Civil War
  • Administrators
  • Classroom teachers
  • Curriculum coordinators
  • Librarians/Media specialists
  • Students
  • Teacher candidates/Student teachers
  • University faculty
  • 6 - 8
  • 9 - 12
  • Adult learning
  • Undergraduate
  • Graduate
Population focus
  • African Americans
  • Asian Americans
  • English language learners
  • Hispanic/Latinx
  • Jewish Americans
  • Low income
  • Men and boys
  • Muslim Americans
  • Native American/Indigenous
  • Rural
  • Urban
  • Women and girls
Organization Contact
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