I am a university lecturer at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. My area of expertise is secondary (high school) English curriculum, and at the moment I am most interested in digital literacies/pedagogies, inquiry models of learning and assessment in English. Before being a lecturer I worked as a high school English teacher in South Western Sydney, a job that I loved very much. The bonds that I made with my students and colleagues in my school teaching life inspire me daily and energise my university teaching life.
I completed my PhD at the University of Sydney, titled “Innovation and change in the 1999 NSW HSC syllabus: Challenges and problems”. I have an ongoing interest in the specific area of senior secondary English, in particular the student experience of learning and assessment.
50-100 word bio for workshop/conference programs:
Dr Kelli McGraw is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at QUT. Currently teaching secondary English curriculum, her prior experience includes teaching high school English and debating in Southwest Sydney, NSW. Kelli researches the fields of secondary school curriculum, teacher identity, digital literacy and popular culture, presently focusing on student agency and assessment, and the use of project based learning in secondary English. She is the Treasurer of the English Teachers Association of Queensland and the 2020-2021 Editor of ‘English in Australia’.
Other things about me
In 2007 I won the NSW Premier’s English Scholarship and undertook a study tour focussing on the use of multimedia texts in the English classroom. You can read my official report here.
In 2009 I received a Highly Commended Award from Teaching Australia in the Beginning Teacher category of the Australian Awards for Teaching Excellence.
This blog is intended as a space for my personal reflection on a range of issues effecting both my teaching and research. It is also a place where I can share ideas and resources with friends and colleagues.
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** The views expressed at this site are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer **
On being an English Teacher/Educator
Human beings use a variety of sign-making systems to represent their thoughts. Language is one of the most powerful modes of representation, and I love the way that words can be written down to capture the gap between thought and speech. Like other cultural artefacts the written and spoken word can be recorded and revisited over time, and an English teacher (like their students) will have more interest in some recordings and artefacts over others.
As a teacher of a subject called ‘English’ (though it is not given this name in every curriculum across Australia, or the world) WORDS, both spoken and written, are my core business. The use of words to express how we feel, to share ideas, and to capture our thoughts amazes me. But I also believe that when it comes to expression, the study of words alone is not enough.
I am also passionate about visual representation, and intrigued by the ways that new technologies are opening up new ways of representing ideas and creating meaning. I believe that, while spoken and written language are essential tools for understanding and expressing thoughts and feelings, that developing an understanding of language in relation to other modes of representation (or semiotic systems) is the key to understanding the multitude of ways that human beings seek to represent their experience.