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About Us

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Our Mission...

The mission of the Mississippi Writing/Thinking Institute is to improve writing and learning in Mississippi schools.

Since its inception in 1985, the mission of the Institute has been to transform education for students and teachers in Mississippi by implementing the mission and goals of the National Writing Project (NWP). As affiliate sites of the NWP, we share their mission to improve the teaching of writing and improve learning in the nation's schools. Through our professional development model, we recognize the primary importance of teacher knowledge, expertise, and leadership. MWTI and NWP believe access to high-quality educational experiences is a basic right of all learners and a cornerstone of equity. We seek to promote exemplary instruction of writing in every classroom through our extensive network of teachers in Mississippi. MWTI and NWP value diversity-our own as well as that of the students, their families, and their communities. The Institute recognizes that lives and practices are enriched by interaction with diversities of race, gender, class, ethnicity, and language.

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The Mississippi Writing/Thinking Institute offers what Mississippi teachers need most to help their students:

* High quality professional development that blends best practices and theory
* Research-based, sustained programs aligned with state and national standards
* Outstanding teacher consultants who serve as teachers of their colleagues.

The Mississippi Writing/Thinking Institute is an affiliate of the National Writing Project.

About the National Writing Project

The National Writing Project began in 1974 in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, where James Gray and his colleagues established a teacher-leadership program for K-16 teachers called the Bay Area Writing Project (BAWP).

In partnership with Bay Area school districts, BAWP created a range of professional development services for teachers and schools interested in improving the teaching of writing and the use of writing as a learning tool across the curriculum. The structure of this first Writing Project site’s programs formed the basis of the National Writing Project’s “teachers-teaching-teachers” model of professional development.

By 1976, NWP had grown to 14 sites in six states. Over the next 15 years, the network continued to grow, with funding for Writing Project sites made possible by foundation grants and matching funds from local sources. In 1991, NWP was authorized as a federal education program, allowing the network to expand to previously underserved areas, reaching all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

As part of the National Writing Project, MWTI is built around a set of shared principles and practices for teacher leadership and professional development.