Here is a list of the conferences that I am attending in 2012. I already know I will see many familiar faces as well as new friends – can’t wait!
American Educational Research Association (AERA)
Vancouver: April 2012
Paper title: Curriculum Change and Resistance: Challenges Identified During the Implementation of An Expansive State English Curriculum.
This paper presents the findings of a doctoral study that undertook a content analysis of a corpus of curriculum texts, news reports and case interviews with teachers during a period of curriculum change in the Australian state of New South Wales. Using textual analysis of the discourses constructed in each data set, grounded theory methods are used to identify the core categories of influence on the implementation of a senior high school English curriculum, in which film and media texts were for the first time prescribed alongside traditional literature for mandatory study. Finally, questions are posed about the need to reconceptualize the functions of schooling in order to realize more productive and equitable futures for English and literacy curriculum.
(Division B – Curriculum Studies; Section 5: Historical, Philosophical and Disciplinary Knowledges)
Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE)
Sydney: October 3-4, 2012
Paper title: Success, obstacles and ethics in online teaching
Online learning tools afford educators a means to create highly engaging and social experiences, both for their students and themselves. Social media in particular, with its clear emphasis on connected and distributed learning, can be wielded by teachers and students alike to create Personal Learning Networks and Environments. In this presentation, Kelli and Bianca draw on years of experience using tools such as twitter, facebook and edmodo to share lessons they have learned from each. There will be opportunities throughout the presentation to ask questions and discuss experiences and problems that have been encountered. The goal of the presentation is to show how English teachers can more effectively engage with social media, for the dual purposes of professional development and incorporating new learning technologies.
List of events from 2011…
International Federation for the Teaching of English (IFTE)
Auckland: April 12-21, 2011
Paper title: The English teacher-practitioner: Re-writing our role
Abstract: This seminar will weave together two strands of reflection on the nature of English teachers’ work. On one hand the nature of assessment in English will be considered, with a critical exploration of the relationship between standardised assessment and teachers’ capacity to positively engage in providing formative feedback. A central question that participants will be asked to reflect on is ‘how can we reconceptualise our role as a co-practitioner in the classroom and consequently find more enjoyment in the marking process?’ The second line of reflection will be a recount of my own journey to seek an antidote to the processes of ‘school writing’ and recommendations for avenues that other English teachers can explore to stimulate their own creativity and willingness to see themselves as a practitioner as well as a teacher of others.
Australian Literacy Educators Association (ALEA)
Melbourne: July 8-10, 2011
Paper title: Queer as folk: The English and Literacy teacher divide
Abstract: Are you ‘English’ or ‘Literacy’? In years gone by at the combined AATE/ALEA conferences I have attended questions like this seemed to be in perpetual motion, hopping between conversations and publishers stalls, helping us to peg out our common ground and distinguish connections. For some this is code for ‘are you a Primary school teacher or a High school teacher?’ For others, it’s code for ‘do you teach reading or books?’ If the answer was something about multiliteracies then you got a gold star…but why?
What does the question mean to you – are you ‘English’ or ‘Literacy’? What are our expectations when coming to a conference for ‘Literacy Educators’? As we find ourselves situated in the very multiliterate present, faced with a National Curriculum where Literacy has been conceptualised as a ‘strand’ within the English Curriculum, and with the annual AATE conference still six months away, what do you mean when you call yourself a ‘Literacy’ teacher?
In this presentation I will speak to what it means for me to be an ‘English’ teacher, and outline some of the challenges that secondary English teachers face in defining their literacy goals. I will also reflect on the transition from practicing English teaching in New South Wales to teaching it to pre-service teachers in Queensland and revisit theoretical frameworks connected with literacy education to connect these with the experiences of teachers in the classroom. Participants will have opportunities to engage in discussion about the relationship between subject associations and their members, as well as reflection on their own professional identity.
Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE)
Hobart: Nov. 27- Dec. 1, 2011
Presentation title: Innovation and Change in the English Curriculum: Challenges and Problems
Abstract: In an era where all states and territories are in the process of adopting, in various fashions, the first Australian Curriculum for English, it is essential to interrogate the ways in which sharing curriculum content across boundaries might also impact pedagogy and assessment in English. In this presentation I pose the question of how we can go about employing the best of what has been thought and said about English curriculum – content, pedagogy and assessment – to meet the learning needs of the contemporary English student. This will be set in contrast to various approaches to pedagogy historically adopted by English teachers to explore the motivations for nation-wide curriculum change, as well as the ways in which local contexts continue to play a significant role in shaping the experience of curriculum in a particular school.
Based on my own doctoral research of two schools’ experiences with senior secondary syllabus change in NSW it is argued that current English curriculum neglects the alignment of prescribed content to existing (or intended) pedagogy and assessment. Furthermore, current institutional demands to provide learning opportunities in an increasingly ‘blended’ environment are seen to have an impact on how English teachers can design learning that engages both physical and digital technologies, within the classroom and asynchronously. The Australian Curriculum for English can been seen in this regard to have continued along somewhat traditional and conservative lines in defining the three ‘strands’ of English as ‘language, literature and literacy’, and the implications of this for pedagogy will be explored. While it is essential for innovation and change in curriculum to continue the challenges and problems outlined in this presentation require attention by practitioners, researchers and policy makers in order to construct an approach to English that is equitable, engaging and sustainable in the context of a digitally connected society.
Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE)
Melbourne: December 3-6, 2011
Seminar Title: What if the time is now?
Abstract: In this seminar I pose the question of how we can go about employing the best of what has been thought and said about English pedagogy to meet the learning needs of the contemporary English student. Based on my own research of two schools’ experiences with curriculum change in NSW and reflections on my current teaching in a ‘blended learning’ environment, I will share strategies for powerfully engaging students in the study of English.