Axis Achievement’s programs are founded on the principles of two influential pedagogical movements. The first movement – Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) – developed in the 1970s and has since been adopted at many colleges and universities across the country. WAC operates on the belief that writing instruction is important throughout every aspect of a curriculum and that writing serves as a method of learning. Janet Emig, a scholar whose ideas have underpinned the WAC movement, argues that writing involves three processes – doing, depicting, and symbolizing – that are fundamental to every aspect of learning.
The second pedagogical movement – the Culture of Reading Campaign – is integrally related to WAC’s beliefs in the importance of a literacy community. Based on the concept that literacy is a social – rather than isolated – practice and that a person’s reading ability depends on his immersion in a literacy environment, the culture of reading campaign promotes reading communities that foster the exchange of ideas about literature and intellectual growth through literary discussion. The culture of reading movement has provided a basis for the growth of book clubs, for example, and has been vital for the promotion of literacy both in the United States and elsewhere (for instance in developing nations like Nigeria). Much scholarly work has shown the efficacy of book clubs and literature circles not only for the advancement of literacy but for broader areas of intellectual and emotional development.
Drawing upon the principles of learning that govern WAC and the Culture of Reading Campaign, Axis Achievement offers a tripartite enrichment model that integrates student instruction with professional development for teachers and outreach in the community. Our focus on establishing on-going reading and writing communities (with students, parents, and teachers) sets Axis Achievement apart from other literacy interventions that depend on computerized programs and that research has proven to have little effect on skills development or motivation. While Axis shares other programs’ goals of improving education and providing support services to teachers, we offer a number of advantages that larger, more diffuse organizations cannot provide. Among these are: an intensive focus on literacy and a commitment to bringing the latest research and scholarship to our enrichment programs; a curriculum that is research-based, theoretically sound, substantively cohesive, adaptable to the needs of individual schools, and centrally controlled by founder and director of Axis; and a belief in the necessity of flexibility and dialogue in establishing strong, working partnerships with schools and communities.