Educational Research Intern
Description of Internship
During Creative Writing Camp hours, the intern will observe and analyze creative writing instruction for students in grades K-12, identifying the connections between lessons and state teaching assessment standards. The Director of Professional Development will guide the intern on what to look for in a successful classroom setting, focusing the analysis on questions such as:
● What are the explicit and implicit connections between creative writing education and the state-mandated literacy curriculum?
● What lessons, prompts, and instructional practices get students excited about the writing process?
● What training or tools does a creative writer need to give students the foundation and tools to be successful creative thinkers and writers?
● What prompts or mentor texts inspire the most creativity? The most writing?
● Which prompts or mentor texts align with the state-mandated literacy curriculum? Which do not align?
● What challenges hinder the teaching of creative writing, and how does a creative writer work through and/or with these challenges?
After workshop hours, time will be dedicated for the intern to begin compiling lessons and resources from the WITS archives, which encompasses over 20 years of lessons and teaching ideas. The Director of Professional Development will work with the intern to begin the process of designing a web-based tool that will be useful for the organization. Finally, the intern will help Creative Writing Camp administration by preparing for faculty meetings, meeting with teachers, and in other administrative tasks as assigned.
In addition to observing and documenting the Creative Writing Camp, the intern will have the option of working with students at other WITS summer programming. Often, WITS will work at community sites or summer schools in June and July. The intern will observe and research what students respond to in these diverse environments. What similarities with the summer workshops exist? What prompts work at these community sites? Which ones don’t? This optional observation and teaching, done during the intern’s regular workday schedule, is contingent on WITS’ programming roster. Administration will know if there are programs for teaching and observation by late spring or early summer.
The internship will focus on compiling materials, documents, lesson plans, student writing examples, and training techniques to produce a web-based curriculum resource. Working directly with WITS Administration (specifically the Director of Professional Development), WITS creative writers, and language arts teachers, the intern will comb through the WITS lesson archives, materials documented at the workshops during June, and materials produced by students to create this cohesive, searchable, and user-friendly curriculum tool. The intern will be responsible for the creation, design, editing, categorizing, and uploading processes for this curriculum.
The intern will research Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exam rubrics, which are the state standards for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. The intern will identify which of these rubrics each lesson satisfies and will tag each lesson with that rubric. These tags, along with other categories (e.g. genre, author, age) will make the tool a searchable database that our writers can access from anywhere.
The intern will be required to attend an internship organizational meeting, two workshop training days, the three-week summer workshops, and weekly faculty meetings. The intern will participate in all WITS weekly staff meetings and will report on his/her progress with the curriculum research and document. Additionally, the intern will have the opportunity to attend a WITS board meeting as well as meet with other key WITS staff members to learn about arts/non-profit administration.
At the end of the eight-week internship, the Educational Research Intern will have at minimum 60 hours experience working with/observing students and professional literacy educators and creative writers. The intern will produce a valuable literary arts curriculum and training resource. Finally, we will invite the intern to return to WITS to present this research and curriculum at our annual staff training in August.
For WITS, this web-based repository will guide our creative writers with tools and lesson ideas for working with students at all grade levels. This resource will live on beyond the terms of the internship as writers and educators will be able to upload and share successful lessons. By demonstrating how the WITS pedagogy and curriculum gives students the tools needed to satisfy state standards successfully, WITS will be able to use the curriculum resource as a marketing tool to procure new schools and programs in the future.
The Educational Research Internship is open to all interested candidates who are currently undergraduate students enrolled in a college or university full-time and who will be returning to school full-time in Fall 2013 as undergraduate sophomores, juniors, or seniors.
Candidates must demonstrate an aptitude in computer literacy, database design, education, arts education, education research or policy, creative writing, pedagogy, literacy education, and/or non-profit administration.
Interns will be subject to a criminal background check, which must meet WITS standards, prior to beginning the internship.
Writers in the Schools encourages applicants from all backgrounds to apply and is dedicated to a culturally diverse staff.
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