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Invitational Summer Institute (SI)

The San Diego Area Writing Project (SDAWP) believes that socially responsible approaches to teaching writing support the education and success of San Diego's culturally and linguistically diverse student population. The SI provides a dynamic, dialogic environment for a diverse group of educators to examine their roles as writers, teachers and leaders.

The theory and practice of teaching writing are examined through individual demonstrations, reading and discussion of current research, and writing and responding in peer groups. Participants will explore the impact race, language, poverty, and privilege have on equity in teaching and learning. Successful completion of the ISI provides opportunities for ongoing collaboration and a variety of leadership roles.

Dates: June 23 - July 7, 2023 (10 days total)

Cost: $300 stipend paid to new Fellows upon completion of all requirements

Credit: Participants may receive UC Extension unit credit for a fee

Description: The Invitational Summer Institute (SI) is a leadership institute for the K-16 community of teachers and instructors interested in deepening their understanding of the teaching of writing.

Application deadline: January 20, 2023

Application submission: Please 'save' the SI Application and all required enclosures as one document (PDF format) and email to:


  • A minimum of three years teaching experience or educational equivalent
  • Experience with teaching writing and a desire to learn more
  • Interest in becoming a part of a professional community of practitioners
  • Participation in a group interview on February 4, 2023; Spring Conference on March 4, 2023; SI Orientation/Coaching Day on May 6, 2023; and 10 days in summer (June 23-July 7, 2023 not including July 4).

Notification: Selected nominees will be notified of their acceptance Feburary 10, 2023.

A Strong Research Base

Founded in 1977, the SDAWP is one of the 16 sites of the California Writing Project and the nearly 200 sites of the National Writing Project dedicated to the improvement of writing for all students. The site maintains an exemplary 42-year reputation in the professional development of K-16 educators and seeks to examine a variety of approaches to the teaching of writing. The work of the project is guided by the following principles:

  • The best teacher of teachers is usually another teacher who has demonstrated success in a similar situation.
  • Student writing can be improved by improving the teaching of writing.
  • Writing is critical to learning and a vital tool for communication and should occur regularly in all classes and across the curriculum.
  • Effective teachers of writing gain insight from their own writing experiences and also that of their peers.
  • Knowledge about the teaching of writing comes from those who teach, write and research.

The San Diego Area Writing Project believes in the professionalism of teachers. As professionals, we read, discuss and write about current research. Focusing on current issues and debates related to teaching and learning, participants read books and articles on such topics as:  writing to learn; inquiry-based instruction; responding to student writing; developing effective writing assignments and assessments; using informal writing to scaffold learning; enriching mandated curricula.

Published research is an integral part of the Invitational Summer Institute (SI). Equally valued is the knowledge and expertise brought by the SI's participants. All educators in the SI, whether leader or participant, present inquiry-based workshops of their own teaching practices. These demonstration presentations, like the more formal academic research done in the SI, serve to broaden the knowledge base of participants and provide a classroom-based foundation for that knowledge.  Opportunities for publication are an outgrowth of the SI.