Andrea A. Lunsford

Vive le Framework

Blog Post created by Andrea A. Lunsford Expert on Jan 14, 2016

Although I refer to it often and have been very grateful for the work of NCTE, WPA, and NWP in creating the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing, I have never posted about it, which I regret. This document, and the eight habits of mind it describes as integral to the deep learning of our students, has been enormously beneficial. Drawing on rhetorical theory as well as the best work in contemporary writing studies, the document sees writing development as a thoroughly rhetorical process, one that can be guided but not acquired by rote or by learning rigid “rules.” Rather, the document puts emphasis on students’ writerly choices and on embodying habits of mind: curiosity, openness, engagement, creativity, persistence, responsibility, flexibility, and metacognition. Developed in 2010 and released in January 2011, the Framework responds powerfully if indirectly to the Common Core Standards, which were drawn up without consultation with college teachers and scholars. To my mind, the Framework is a valuable and necessary addition to the Common Core, or even a substitute for it in terms of writing development.


Recently I’ve had an opportunity to read a collection of essays called Applications for the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing: Scholarship, Theories, and Application. Edited by Sherry Rankins-Robertson, Nicholas Behm, and Duane Roen, this volume (forthcoming from Parlor Press, so watch for it!) comprises sixteen chapters—five on scholarship, four on theory, and seven on application. Essays help to put the Framework into historical and pedagogical context, situate its principles within the theory and practice of rhetoric, and provide practical, detailed advice about how to integrate the Framework into varying curricula. Perhaps most important, this volume adds to the growing critical mass of scholarship growing out of and supporting the Framework. As such, it’s a very timely addition: I found it a thoroughly good read and a fine way to start off 2016.