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Why the structured essay writing we’re teaching in school is not necessarily what employers want.

Learning to write an essay in school is standard. You brainstorm, research a topic, develop a thesis, outline the piece, and begin writing.

Jill Pavich EdPioneer
Jill Pavich, Ed Pioneer

In the end, students create a well thought out composition that is grammatically correct and punctually sound. While learning those fundamentals is crucial, do those skills transfer to today’s workplace? After twelve years in the classroom, Jill Pavich began following up with past students, and she learned the answer was no.

Pavich interviewed several “star students.” She asked one of them if what they learned in her class was transferable to the real world.

“She [the former student] said a lot of that writing gave her the just-in-case knowledge, but it wasn’t giving her any applications,” said Pavich. “She had to reteach herself what it meant to write for slide decks, and what it meant to write scripts for videos, or to write for blog posts, or LinkedIn posts, things she was doing for her clients.”

Knowing that the discipline of writing an essay was not connecting to a modern world, Pavich decided to do something about it. She started EdPioneer, and now helps high school English/Language Arts teachers make writing more authentic, more relevant, and more real.

To hear our full interview with Pavich and get some ideas for making writing real in your classroom, listen to Episode 136 of Class Dismissed.

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