Saturday, July 09, 2005

Post-AATE Conference, #1

This is the first in a series of blogs (hopefully, if I stay motivated and time efficient) detailing my musings about the AATE conference. This first one was actually written a few days ago...

I thought that I would take some time to get some thoughts together while I’m stuck at Coolangatta airport waiting for my flight back to Melbourne. The conference has raised some really interesting questions for me, and also helped to crystallize my growing realization that I am in a position where I can affect change in my school, and I can’t complain about my situation if I’m not taking responsibility for it.

One of the things that I found most interesting was the way that a number of presenters and participants over the few days spoke as if we all have critical literacy under our belts now, that we are all traveling along just fine, everyone knows about it, everyone can do it, and now it’s time to examine the ‘fall out’ as it were, and decide where we are heading next. Perhaps it was because of the audience- people who want to spend four days at a conference on their holidays can perhaps be expected to be interested and on the ball in other areas of their practice, although this is probably a generalization. Perhaps it was because of the setting- the Queensland education authorities have effectively mandated the ‘teaching’ of critical literacy in schools, something that is not the case in Victoria. I think that there is so much that my school can still do in this area, and I can already see the benefits and effect this approach has had in my classes this year since it has risen to become one of my main focuses in my teaching, or rather, since it has become a more explicit focus for me than it was last year.

I think I’m going to ask my head of faculty if I can try and form a working party, or inquiry group, to find ways of getting staff to feel more comfortable about trying this in their classrooms, and develop an understanding of what it’s all about, and why it’s important. Hmm… stay tuned…

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