Invitational Summer Institute

Invitational Summer Institute

The Invitational Summer Institute is the centerpiece of the Northern California Writing Project’s work with teachers. At our Summer Institute we bring together experienced teachers from across grade levels and disciplines. The Summer Institute focuses on teachers sharing their knowledge about how writing can be effectively taught and used in the classroom. It is a truly collaborative professional learning community.

The Summer Institute values of teachers’ time, and provides a stipend for participation. Most books and materials are provided, and accommodations are available to participants living beyond reasonable commuting distances.

We are excited to announce a new structure to the NCWP Summer Institute.  In this Remixed Hybrid SI we will meet in person for a 3 day Boot Camp and reconvene in person for a 2 day Colloquium.  The bulk of the SI will take place online, from the comfort of your home or classroom!

A Strong Research Base

The Northern California Writing Project believes in the professionalism of teachers.  When Writing Project teachers come together there are always  rich conversations around effective practices, current research and  professional readings. Writing Project teachers engage in writing to become better teachers of writing. We share our real experiences, discoveries, and concerns about teaching, and we learn from other outstanding teachers! Writing Project teachers read books, articles  and research about current issues and debates related to teaching literacy including:

  • Teaching academic writing
  • Inquiry-based instruction
  • Enriching mandated curricula
  • Responding to student writing
  • Developing effective writing assignments
  • Writing to learn
  • Using informal writing to scaffold learning


Results That Matter

On seven measures of writing performance tested across nine independent studies, students whose teachers participated in Writing Project professional development outperformed students whose teachers were not participants.

The studies took place in rural, urban, and suburban areas across the country and included students with diverse economic, language, racial, and ethnic backgrounds.

Student writing showed particularly strong improvement in the areas of content, structure, and stance—elements central to the improvement in academic writing.

Students in Writing Project classrooms made greater gains than their peers on writing conventions as well, suggesting that the Writing Project also helps teachers improve their students’ basic skills.

Teachers who participate in Writing Project Summer Institutes dramatically increase their longevity in the classroom, with 98% of Summer Institute participants remaining educators throughout their working careers.

Teachers Teaching Teachers

Published research is important to the Summer Institute, but equally valued is the expertise brought by the institute’s participants. The NCWP highly values the knowledge and experience of participants. All teachers in the institute, whether leader or participant, present inquiry-based workshops of their own successful teaching practices. These demonstration presentations, like the more formal academic research done in the institute, serve both to broaden the knowledge base of participants, as well as to provide a classroom-based foundation for that knowledge.

Writing Teachers Are Writers

Teachers of writing are most effective when they are writers themselves. Participants in the Summer Institute write about their schools, their students, their classrooms, and their teaching, synthesizing their own experiences with the institute’s professional reading. By becoming grounded in the practice of writing, teachers are better positioned to help their students succeed.

Who Should Apply?

The Summer Institute is designed for experienced teachers, K-College, who require their students to write. All grade levels and disciplines are invited to apply. Recent Summer Institute participants have had expertise in the following areas:

  • Special Education
  • English Learners
  • Elementary Specialists
  • Kindergarten
  • Primary
  • Upper Elementary
  • Counseling
  • Secondary Content Areas
    • Social Studies
    • Science
    • Math
    • English
    • Art
    • Music
    • Physical Education
    • Foreign Languages
    • Vocational Education
  • College
    • Math
    • Business and Computer Science
    • Writing