The Norwegian Centre for Writing Education and Research (The Writing Centre) is a national resource centre for stimulating writing, writing education and writing research.
Our key target groups are teachers, school-leaders, school-owners, and teaching personnel in kindergartens. The center assists teacher education at universities and university-colleges in school development and teacher learning in writing education.
The Writing Centre is directed by The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training. The Directorate is the executive agency for the Ministry of Education and Research, and it is responsible for the development of primary and secondary education in kindergartens and schools.
The main activity is promoting knowledge about writing education to our key targets through web resources, seminars and in-site school development. We are also developing writing tests which are meant to support formative assessment (not standardized testing). This national writing test will by give information about a student’s writing which will give support and recommendations for further response and writing instruction.
The Writing Centre is collaborating with researchers to develop knowledge about writing and writing education. Over the last few years the centre has been closely connected to the project Developing national Standards for the Assessment of Writing. A Tool for Teaching and Learning.
The Writing Centre together with the University College of Southern Trondelag is now the first in Europe to be an associated site of the National Writing Project. The Writing Centre is housed on the university college campus and in partnership with the college offers the course Writing within and across the subject areas which is modeled after the summer institute of the National Writing Project. Read the course description. This project is also known as the Trondheim Writing Project.
Since the beginning of the 80’s, Trondheim has been the hotbed of writing research in Scandinavia. This is the reason why The Writing Centre is located at the Sør-Trøndelag University College.
In the mid-80’s, writing and writing research was characterized by a negative reputation and “redpen-tyranny”. As a backlash, there was an enthusiastic grass-root movement towards process-oriented writing-instruction (POW). Starting in Trondheim, the courses in POW were conducted across the country, and supported by this grassroot movement there was also a practice-oriented research project initiated in Trondheim entitled SkrivePuff (WritingPush).
SkrivePuff was based on collaboration between teachers and researchers and resulted in several significant research and writing related projects. Research on topics such as “Response teams and constructive feedback” (Hoel), “Assessment of student texts (Berge), “Writing in the workplace” (Vatn) and “Writing in the new media” met and collaborated to learn from each other. This environment has gradually evolved to establish both a local and national community of writing. In 2002, one of the most prominent journals concerning writing, Written Communication, published two volumes (19(3)) and 19(4)) containing a theme issue dedicated to writing research in Trondheim.