Take a moment to reflect and write – join us at VATE for Workshop 3!

The last of the stella2.0 workshops for early 2016 is almost here: Wednesday 24 February 5-8pm, at the VATE PD Room.

The focus for this third and final workshop is English standards: 50 years on from the Dartmouth seminar.


So, we know what standards are but what is this Dartmouth stuff? In this workshop we will be thinking about how the ‘Dartmouth seminar’ changed the way we think about the teaching of English and its relevance today. We will consider some key questions:

  • How has the teaching of English developed due to, and since, the Dartmouth seminar?
  • What is important for English educators today?
  • How does the personal growth model (as Smagorinsky and Reid present it [see below]) relate to your practices as English educators?

Through talking and writing, we will share our ideas, experiences and understandings of these questions in our differing professional contexts.

Some key details for the workshop

  • Venue: VATE PD Room: 1/134-136 Cambridge Street. Collingwood.
  • 4:30-5pm: Sign in, have a drink and something to eat while catching up with colleagues or completing some reading and writing for the workshop or the stella2.0 blog.
  • Bring your own writing materials – digital or pen/paper.
  • Food will be provided. There will also be water and a limited amount of wine. Please bring something to drink if you wish.
  • 8pm: Finish.
  • As this is the last session people may wish to continue their conversations over dinner at the Kent St Bar and Café once the session finishes.



As preparation for the workshop, we have selected two readings that present ideas that were central at the Dartmouth seminar but are still relevant in today’s educational context.

Smagorinsky inquires into the relevance of John Dixon’s, “Growth through English”, a key text emerging from the Dartmouth conference. The vision in the text is of a classroom that is student-focused, one that emphasises a personal growth approach to learning. Smagorinsky affirms much that is in this text, but wonders whether a more social view should be incorporated into the teaching and learning of English.

Reid provides a brief history of the personal growth model in Australia and other parts of the world. In doing so, he considers the different aspects of the personal growth model and the incorporation of a social perspective within the model.

Other things

If you haven’t yet posted some of your writing from the first and second workshops on the stella2.0 forum we encourage you to do so before the next workshop. Alternatively, you can have a read of what has already been posted and make a comment or response.

Finally, on the resources page we’ve posted some additional readings related to the Dartmouth seminar. One of these is the foreword to John Dixon’s book “Growth through English”.

See you at the workshop next week!

Ceridwen, Scott and Graham

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