On 19th June I shared the role of leader/discussant with @vivimat in the 8.30-9.30pm Tuesday #ozengchat stream that takes place on Twitter.
The topic: the draft Senior English subjects proposed by ACARA.
You can check out the ‘Storify’ made by Vivian to see all of the tweets from the discussion that night collected in one place:
If you haven’t yet found where to download the draft curriculum documents from, here is the URL: http://www.acara.edu.au/curriculum/draft_senior_secondary_australian_curriculum.html
Consultation on these documents ends on 20th July, 2012 (THAT’S SOON!) You can contact your professional association to ask if you can add comments to their response, or lodge your own response at the ACARA consultation website: http://consultation.australiancurriculum.edu.au/ (you will need to register first).
Some interesting comments made during the #ozengchat were:
- That an ‘English Literature’ (EL) course would flow nicely into university study
- That the EL course did not look significantly more difficult than the ‘English’ (E) course
- That the assumption is that in NSW, the current Standard course aligns with ‘English’ while the current Advanced course aligns with ‘English Literature’ – but this is not at all the case
- That bridging the gap between Year 10 and Year 11 & 12 needs a stronger focus
- That the proposal to organise Senior English into semester-long units seems to align with what currently happens in Western Australia…but we’re not sure where else (?)
- That the local state/territory bodies would still be responsible for assessment and examination; i.e. many did not realise that the NSW BOS would still be responsible for setting the HSC reading list
- That English Studies as exists in NSW (non-ATAR course) filled a big gap – the hope is that ‘Essential English’ (EE) turns out to be like English Studies (or English Communication, a similar course in QLD)
- That English would likely remain mandatory in NSW, and people wondered why it was not so in other states/territories
There is so much more to talk about when it comes to the proposed Senior English subjects!
I hope to have a new post up soon with some of my personal thoughts about the drafts. In the meantime, if you’ve been thinking about (or wondering about) the curriculum ACARA has proposed, drop a comment here – let’s chat about it!
#1 by julbain on July 1, 2012 - 5:57 pm
I had a quick (very quick actually) look at this document on Friday. I like the multmodal inclusions but because of my obsession with multimodality as both a resource and a means to enrich assessment I’m wondering if the design ‘to develop students’ facility with all types of texts and language modes’ is within the scope of all teachers of English. It is a damn huge ask… (is you ask me!) considering the future of texts and the production of future texts is in such a state of flux – exciting though that may be in terms of creativity. So even if we just look at the language modes are we to consider visual, gestural, ICT (as a mode), spatial, linguistic and auditory modes… so much to get one’s head around. And teaching of literature has a wide open door if we’re going to link the modes as well… Now I’m in support of develop skills in multiliteracies for both teachers and students but there are huge considerations about metalanguage (which at present are still inconsistent when considering things like grammar let alone the language across and between modes)… well that was quite a rave!
That’s after reading the rationale for Secondary Senior English! lol
#2 by kmcg2375 on July 1, 2012 - 6:38 pm
Thanks Julie – this makes me wonder…
In Science, teachers get to have a specialty, which they then teach in Senior school e.g. Chemistry, Physics. Same goes for History – Ancient or Modern. Art and Music teachers tend to unofficially specialise in particular methods or instruments. Maths, I think, does not do this, but could English?
Perhaps we would specialise in either written, spoken or multimodal texts? Or print, performance, digital? I bet the Drama and Media teachers would be up for this!
#3 by julbain on July 1, 2012 - 6:06 pm
I like how the units are laid out though… I don’t think they’re too prescriptive.
#4 by julbain on July 4, 2012 - 8:13 pm
Hey again Kelli,
I think the idea of specialities in the subject is worth considering especially if a school can cater for that… not sure if small schools could with timetable and staff restraints manage it – but with some creative thinking maybe it could be managed. I’ve had a closer look… just at the English (not the others yet) and realise the references to multimodal texts are really limited and simplistic. They refer several times to ‘multimodal texts like film’ but that doesn’t actually shine a light on texts like Inanimate Alice… which are more dynamic for educational purposes than film… even though I love film. 🙂
#5 by kmcg2375 on August 26, 2012 - 3:04 pm
Just coming back to this Julie…
I agree that multimodality has been oversimplified. Another aspect that confirms this for me is that written and oral language have had both receptive and productive modes listed (i.e. ‘reading and writing’, ‘speaking and listening’), but that visual/multimodal language is lumped together under the mode ‘creating’.
I am confused as to where along the line the modes of ‘viewing and representing’, or ‘viewing and designing’ got collapsed into ‘creating’ 😦 Needs changing imho.