Well, it has certainly warmed up in Sunny Queensland. Things have also been really busy with lots of data collection in schools with teachers and students as well as in community hubs. Our students are also on their professional experience. It is great to hear how they are going and how they are implementing learnt strategies in their classroom spaces. On the research front my two books finally reached me in hard copy. This is always a great feeling - actually touching the final product ;) I am working on a few different papers at the moment - all about the importance of different forms of literacy including in the arts. I really like analysing diverse texts - especially the wonderful work that students do in schools. They all work really hard to effectively communicate meaning through a range of modes. I will be presenting some of this research at the International Multimodal Conference in Auckland, New Zealand in early December. I might see you there! :)
The year is definitely going fast! I am looking forward to this term and next as I will be in schools collecting data related to the teaching of writing. We are planning to collect samples of work in a range of curriculum areas which is exciting. A great team of expert markers will locate best practice in the samples. We are hoping to focus more on authorial voice and how the reader interacts with the text. I am also supporting some preservice teachers to assist with English classes for community hubs. We are looking forward to running some arts-based workshops and talking with the participants. My books should all be available soon too - which is very exciting! It is really nice to see the hard copies after all the hard work. Enjoy the rest of the term and please contact me if there are any other resources you are after.
It is almost time for Australia's annual literacy education conference which is to be held in Melbourne. I fly down tomorrow ready to face the cold weather ;) I am really looking forward to the program and presentations. I have also been working on a few papers that I hope to submit to journals this month. They mainly focus on multimodality and how different perspectives are presented through each of the modes. I have really been enjoying writing this work.
And in even more exciting news - all of my books are currently in production including: Developing literacy and the arts in schools; Compassion and empathy in educational contexts (edited with Prof Susanne Garvis); and Arts-based research, resilience and wellbeing across the lifespan (co-edited with Loraine McKay who is the lead, Vivana Sappa and Susanne Garvis). We are all really excited to share this work with you. I hope you are all having a great school holiday break too!
Hi everyone, I hope your term is going well - holidays soon! I have been really busy with a few research projects. We presented an engaging workshop on teaching and assessing reflection on the 13th of June. My team are really great and we are working hard on developing some excellent resources for higher education staff and students. I also have a workshop on the 27th of June about international students and their experience during work placement and in particular when they have volunteering experiences. We are looking forward to this one too as A/Prof Kim Snepvangers and A/Prof Arianne Rourke from UNSW are our keynote speakers. Even though this project is about to end we are keen to continue working with international students and be able to provide them authentic work place experiences. Another project with Marie Kavanagh is also about to kick off. Funded by Multicultural Affairs, we will be working in collaboration with some community hubs in their English classes. I am really looking forward to starting this project as it reminds me of my time teaching English in South India all those years ago ;)
Anyhow I am not sure how many of you read this but I will keep going
Well, I am a bit late with the May update but I guess that is ok. It has started to cool down here in Brisbane and the Autumn weather is wonderful to write in! I have been working on my Teaching Multimodal Texts book and really happy with how it is coming along. I am trying to make it as practical as possible, as well as draw on important research for quality and evidence-based practice. I have continued to work with schools and teachers and it is such a joy to see the children engage in amazing work for their assessment. My book on Developing Literacy and the Arts in Schools will be completed soon (it is currently with the production team in Chennai)! This book also complements the work I do in the area of multimodality as I truly believe the arts have a lot to offer in terms of creating multimodal texts. Knowledge about sound, image and gesture is really important in today's world. So too, is an understanding of the spaces in which we work. Anyhow I hope all is going well with term 2 for you. Chat soon!
Wow - it is hard to believe it is almost the end of March and we are heading into April, the end of term and Easter! I hope that term 1 has gone well for everyone. Most of our students are now heading out to professional experience and are all excited to do so.
This semester I have been working on a course with an amazing colleague, Marthy Watson, on literacy and diversity. We aim to base the course on students' own learning experiences whether in the classroom or in their own personal lives. I am really proud of the students in developing their research questions. Lots of diverse topics!
Also, I have been working hard on my research projects. The first with international students and professional experience, the second about the teaching of reflection. I am really blessed to be able to work with such amazing teams.
Anyhow let me know what you are planning for term 2! If you need any more resources on multimodal texts or the teaching of writing let me know!
I hope that your school term or university semester is going well. It has certainly been busy with it only being week 2 this week! I have been working on a great project that aims to improve students' and teachers' reflection and reflective thinking. We are planning on creating a number of teaching strategies that people can use directly in their classrooms. A few interesting insights have already happened for us when thinking about our own practices. These include: that reflection might look different in different subjects/curriculum areas; that teaching reflection face-to-face might be quite different to teaching it online; that students tend to find oral reflection easier than written reflection. We are therefore hoping to start our scaffolding with oral or other modes of reflection prior to students attempting written reflection. Some of our students have also indicated they need more time to reflect on learning. We would really be interested in knowing what you think?
I hope your February has begun well. It has been busy for me - getting ready for my teaching this semester as well as working on a number of research projects. I have also been working hard to finish my next book. It is titled: Developing literacy and the arts in schools. I am so close to finishing it - just doing the final edits etc. I hope you will enjoy it. Basically the book explores the relationship between the arts and literacy in schools. This relationship is often reported as being dissonant so I investigate and share some ways in which we can improve the partnership by making it more harmonious. I have developed a model of arts-literacies that includes the notions of aesthetic-artistic thinking and reasoning, textual knowledge, subject-specific vocabulary, cohesive knowledge and knowledge and understanding of all of the modes of communication. I talk about how arts teachers skilfully support students from being novice artists to achieving mastery.
I strongly advocate for the inclusion of the arts in education as there are many benefits for students, particularly those from non-dominant communities. Unfortunately, I have seen too often the arts being marginalised in schools largely due to higher provision for literacy education. I argue they can co-exist positively and in fact need to in order for students to be literate in the 21st Century and beyond. The arts support creative and design thinking, aesthetic understanding as well as support students in working together productively.
I am excited about finishing the book for your reading pleasure ;)
Happy new year! It is hard to believe it is already the 17th of January 2019! I have just been in Malaysia for three weeks and had a great time. I am now looking forward to getting back into work for the year. It is looking to be another big one - but I am ready ;)
In four weeks I am off to Olot, Spain to attend the Faber Writing Residency. I am aiming to start writing a book on the Teaching of Multimodal Texts. If you have any suggestions as to what to include I would love to hear from you. Here's my plan so far:
Chapter 1: Introduction (what are multimodal texts and why should we teach them?)
Chapter 2: Teaching multimodal texts: A process of alignment (curriculum, pedagogy & assessment)
Chapter 3:Teaching multimodal texts - Years P-2
Chapter 4: Teaching multimodal texts - Years 3-4
Chapter 5: Teaching multimodal texts - Years 5-6
Chapter 6: Conclusion
I will aim to get this blog going every month or so. If you have any suggestions for 'post topics' just send them through.