It’s been a busy month since our last workshop!
In the lead up to the second workshop on 2 October we want to resume the conversation, get things moving and shaking again.
Some reflections on the past month
We really appreciate the efforts of those who have been able to post on the forum so far, be it your own writing or commentary on someone else’s writing. We hope that the school holidays here in Victoria (or wherever you are reading from) might also provide others with some additional space/time to join the conversation.
One interesting aspect of the mix of writing up on the forum at the moment is its variety, both in terms of the ‘issues’ opened up and the styles and approaches used. We hope that this variety will continue to multiply. Clearly there are many ways that professional ‘writing’ (whatever this phrase might mean) can be imagined and done. We encourage everyone to experiment with content, form, mode and medium. (There is no video ‘writing’ at the moment if anyone is keen …)
Please note: The second workshop will begin at 5.30pm at VATE in Collingwood (let us know if you want to video conference instead) and finish up before 7.30pm. We’re suggesting two papers you can read in preparation for the workshop:
- Garth Boomer’s classic paper from a 1978 edition of English in Australia called ‘Negotiating the curriculum‘. For those who are not familiar with Boomer’s work or legacy, follow the links!
- A paper by Susanne Gannon (2012). Changing lives and standardising teachers: The possibilities and limits of professional standards. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 11(3), 59-77.
The workshop will begin with some sharing of writing (your own, or writing on the forum etc) and some time to catch up. We hope this will give those who weren’t able to make it to the first workshop a chance to get their bearings. So if you are able to, please bring along some writing to share. This might be in relation to one of the readings and perhaps one of the prompts below. Or it could be something you’re in the middle of writing, or something new altogether. We’ll be building in some workshop time to discuss the Boomer and Gannon pieces and also some focused individual or collaborative writing time.
Given that it’s school holidays, after the workshop we invite you to join us for dinner somewhere in Smith Street, Collingwood (venue to be advised). Let us know if you are keen so we can book with more or less accurate numbers.
Writing prompts for Boomer and Gannon
1. Garth Boomer’s article can be read as a radical text of its time and/or a text that speaks as readily to English teachers in 2013 as it did in 1978. To what extent does this paper speak to you in your particular educational setting in September 2013?
2. In her 2012 article, Susanne Gannon compares the language of (what is now called) the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) and the language of the Standards for the Teaching of English Language and Literacy in Australia (the original STELLA project). She argues that the STELLA materials detail important aspects of English teaching (including affective and relational dimensions) that the APST do not even mention. Reflect on (or write a narrative about) a moment in your teaching with respect to a standards statement from either the APST or STELLA framework. Perhaps compare the ways you might respond to ‘similar’ statements in the APST and STELLA.
Please don’t hesitate to contact Scott or Graham if you have any questions before next Wednesday. Or you could post a comment here and be the first real person to post a comment on the blog … (we have had spam comments already)