Right now I am working on some research with some other students, trying to determine whether technical writing should begin to be integrated more in high school level English classes so that when students reach college they have experience with writing professionally, and not solely with creative writing. As an expert in the field, I am wondering what your feelings might be on this, having been a student of English yourself and now working for such a large organization as a technical writer? Do you feel that your education prepared you well to do the work you are involved in? Do you find that those hired to work with you received relevant skills in technical writing through their education, or largely as a result of work experience? Do you feel that there is a place for the teaching of technical writing in high schools? As a technical writer with a great deal of experience, do you have any ideas on how this might be best accomplished, given the current economic climate resulting in strained budgets in education?
Sure, I'm all for supporting courses in technical writing in high school. There are some potential issues that high school technical writing courses could create:
Although I would support a course in technical writing at the high school level, in my gut I kind of feel sorry for students in such a class. I think that when you're young, you should go out and play. You should read books, write creatively, and develop your ideals. Only when you move on to another stage of life, where reality, finances, and corporate expectations take over does technical writing start to become relevant.
If you have thoughts about this topic, please add them in the comments below.
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I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here.