I think the question of “What is Justice” may sort of push students toward argumentative essay writing or moralistic fiction over, say, descriptive poetry or whatever else they may want to write. I’d love to hear what students want to do without any restrictions, which leads me to my second point.  At our international school, we often ask students to tell their migration stories– we ask this a lot. They have written graphic novels, made stop motions, engaged in many advisory discussions, written personal statements, and in continuously asking students to talk about one aspect of their lives, we only see a small dimension of who they are and don’t get to see a variety of their interests and experience. I wonder the same about “what is justice” I am sure students have really important things to say about justice and i know it will make me feel good and interested to hear about their thoughts on justice, but, uh, should writing be about what the students want? Maybe we can not use our students as objects of our professional fulfillment as teachers and let them express their selves however they please.


CC BY-SA 4.0 For whom do students write? by Pooja is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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Youth Voices is organized by teachers at local sites of the National Writing Project and in partnership with Educator Innovator.

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