Alain ANDRÉ: How far our early readings matter for the way we teach?

Alain ANDRÉ (keynote): “Reading, writing and teaching – how far our early readings matter for the way we teach?”
Abstract of 22.10 keynote, programme
Initial training of creative writing teachers implies a “survival kit” for teaching situations. It also implies a lot of experimenting and sharing about the posture: the way we live in it, its ethics and horizons (it’s more important, by a long chalk). One of the key-points consists in helping young teachers to work around a few blind spots and think about their own situations in this prospect. It includes the ways they manage between teaching and writing or their relationships with knowledge and its transmission.

A major one lies in their own situations and attitudes towards reading and literature: what do they read or not? Do they feel legitimate in the literary field or do they feel terrified by the “monster” literature? Which tools do they use as it comes to reading complex texts?

I’ll argue it’s important for them to dig in their autobiographical experiences with writing of course, but also with reading. Writing and sharing about that is one of the best ways for them to become more conscious of the variety of the possible points of view and to question their own spontaneous literary norm. I’ll develop it as a training method and give a few examples, first of my prompts in this area, then about what I discovered about myself, as I was writing about my own personal readings when I was between 6 and 11 year old – a work still in progress.
andre  Alain André is a President of the French writing school Aleph-Écriture, that he founded in 1985 as well as a Vice-President of the European Association of Creative Writing Programmes (EACWP). For EACWP, he organized the first International Pedagogical Conference in Paris (2012).

André is the author of novels La Passion, dit Max (2007) and Rien que du bleu ou Presque (2000). He has also written short stories and various essays dedicated to creative writing, such as Babel heureuse. L’atelier d’écriture au service de la création littéraire (1989/2011), Devenir écrivain (un peu, beaucoup, passionnément) (2007/2012) and Écrire l’expérience. Vers la reconnaissance des pratiques professionnelles (2007/2012).

André is also one of the main contributors for the numerical creative writing French magazine L’Inventoire.

As a creative writer teacher, he accompanies groups of young writers involved in personal projects and trains young creative writing teachers.