Without interest, Dewey stated, attention and connections to learning not only are less available, but individuals lack the needed perceptions to stay motivated, and their needs, as well as their relationships and values, cannot develop to their fullest potential.
But the one thing we all have in common is the ability to focus intensely upon an area of interest.
Through my own work I’ve come to believe the most important thing we can do to help students develop as writers is to allow them to write on subjects of interest and write for audiences that matter.
It’s not surprising this is de-motivating when it comes to writing. As I have said and will continue to say until everyone agrees with me, writing is thinking, and it is significantly more engaging to spend your time thinking about things you’re interested in.
Auto-Scoring of writing assignments should be abandoned if we are genuinely interested in students learning to write, rather than training them to pass assessments.