The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Center Graduate Students: Carrie James


Carrie is a PhD student in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Writing Studies.

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Biographical Statement

Hi! I'm Carrie.I have spent much of my life as a writer. First as a reporter for my high school newspaper and then through and after college as a professional journalist working at a variety of newspapers both in the Midwest and the Northeast.

When the time came, I became a teacher through the NYC Teaching Fellows and I started to teach and mold young minds in the English language arts - my favorite still being writing.

As I taught,one thing I noticed is that writing is not a priority for most English teachers. Reading, as they say, is king, getting more than half of the English teacher's, and therefore students', time. This, to me was a disservice as students were not getting the tools they needed to find their authorialvoice.

That has led me here to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I want to change things. I am interested in researching how we prepare teachers to teach writing, examining their initial views on writing, what preparation they get and ultimately how that preparation impacts their teaching practice. I am interested in exploring how much preparation goes into multimodal compositions, including teaching kids how to communicate in the changing landscape,and alsowhat kinds of technology out there supports students' development as writers. Finally, I want to examine current writing instruction throughout the k-12 spectrum and determine what changes need to take place so that all students find their voice. In the end, I just want to ensure that writing instruction in the k-12 is meaningful and focuses in on the process.