Call for Proposals: Writing Across the Secondary School Curriculum

  • 15 May 2011

Across the Disciplines
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Language, Learning and Academic Writing


Call for Proposals

A special issue of Across the Disciplines, Spring/Fall 2012


Writing across the Secondary School Curriculum


Guest editors: Pamela B. Childers, Lesley University, and Michael J. Lowry, The McCallie School


Writing in secondary schools is a multidisciplinary enterprise that involves nearly every course in the curriculum. Students often indicate on surveys that they do a substantial amount of writing in history, science, foreign language and seminar classes in other disciplines, suggesting a clear need for further research and investigation.  While Sommers and Saltz (2004) as well as Lunsford and Lunsford (2008) have given English teachers a fairly clear understanding of what students are required to do in FYC classes when they reach college, one important question still remains: How are students – in both college-prep and non-college-prep courses – writing to learn and learning to write disciplinary discourse in secondary schools? In order to have a better understanding of the experiences our students have before entering higher education and the role disciplines other than English have had on their writing, we need to hear from those who are practicing and researching such practices across disciplines at the secondary level. Therefore, in this special issue of Across the Disciplines, we invite proposals for articles that explore questions such as the following:


  • What kinds of writing dominate high school classes in different disciplines?
  • What discipline-specific WAC programs currently exist in secondary schools? Have they been successful?
  • How do schools develop WAC programs in these times of financial crisis? What challenges do teachers of all disciplines face in teaching writing across the curriculum? How do they deal with such challenges?
  • How can secondary students be more actively involved in the teaching of writing across disciplines? What is the role of a writing center as a resource in such schools? What other resources might be available?
  • What partnerships have been built between colleges and secondary school WAC programs?
  • How can teacher educators better prepare pre-service teachers to incorporate writing across disciplines?
  • How can teachers of mathematics and science prepare their students for disciplinary writing assignments in college?
  • What ways can teachers of visual and performing arts use writing in their disciplines as an integral part of the curriculum?
  • What are the attitudes and expectations of secondary school faculty for writers in their disciplines? To what extent do these attitudes and expectations differ by discipline, level of course, and genres of writing?
  • How can faculty across disciplines be encouraged or trained to be consistent in their assessments of writing and standards for writing skills?
  • What approaches have WAC administrators found successful in supporting high school faculty as they work with writers across the curriculum and what challenges have they faced in this effort?
  • How do WAC programs in secondary schools assess their success in relation to learning?
  • What visions do educators have for future WAC programs in secondary schools?
  • How can high school faculty use writing to increase content mastery and foster metacognitive growth?
  • How can secondary school teachers synthesize creative writing with academic writing?


We welcome proposals focused on these and other questions related to writing across the secondary school theory, research, pedagogy, and program administration. We also welcome collaborations among WAC scholars, secondary school scholars, and students across disciplines.


Deadline for Proposals: May 15, 2011


Notification of Acceptance: by July 2011


Manuscripts Due: December 15, 2011


Publication: Spring/Fall 2012


Proposal Format: Please submit a one-page proposal explaining your topic, the research and theoretical base on which you will draw, and your plans for the structure of your article. Proposals and manuscripts should follow guidelines for Across the Disciplines ( Send your proposal electronically (in MS Word format) to guest editors Pamela Childers (, Michael Lowry ( and the editor of ATD, Michael Pemberton ( Please be sure to include your full contact information.

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