In 2010 I completed a doctoral thesis in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney titled ‘Innovation and change in the 1999 NSW HSC English syllabus: Challenges and problems’:

In very general terms, the purpose of this research project is to analyse the 1999 HSC English syllabus, as well as its reception and implementation, in order to produce an account of the theoretical changes and innovations that are embedded in the syllabus documents, and challenges and problems that continue to shape the way it is perceived by a variety of stakeholders and delivered in the classroom. (McGraw: thesis introduction)

My doctoral research analyses the 1999 HSC English curriculum in NSW.  Specifically, I collected evidence relating to the development and implementation of the 1999 HSC syllabus for the mainstream mandatory courses in English (i.e. the Standard and Advanced courses), and explored both the innovations inherent in the syllabus, as well as some of the resulting challenges.

You can download the thesis in full via Sydney Uni Digital Theses (Open Access).

In my thesis I report on three sets of data:

  1. Content analysis of newspaper items appearing in the major state and national papers from 1995-2005
  2. Teacher interviews and observations
  3. Selective content analysis (using theoretical sampling) of the syllabus and related documents

My findings relating to how the syllabus was challenged in various newspapers were published in English in Australia (2005): HSC English in the Media: The Reporting of Conventions and Controversies.

You can find posts on this blog relating to my PhD thesis by browsing the research category.

  1. #1 by Elaine Talbert on October 11, 2008 - 1:50 pm

    It sounds as though your renewed enthusiasm for your thesis topic will lead to some valuable reading/writing for English teachers. I will look out for future posts and tweets. I found research at Masters level hard enough with full time teaching. All the best. Elaine

  2. #2 by kellimcgraw on October 12, 2008 - 12:02 am

    I know, juggling the two is not fun at all! Thanks for the encouraging words – as you can imagine, all encouragement is welcome here!

  3. #3 by turgayevren on February 19, 2009 - 11:42 pm

    You have truly chosen a nice and challenging topic for your thesis. Though I studied ELT in graduate level, I did my masters in English Language and Literature with a focus on Postcolonial Literature and wrote my thesis on Post-colonialism and the Sacred. I am sure you will defend your thesis well in front of the jury since you have devoted yourself to the cause of teaching English.

  4. #4 by kellimcgraw on March 6, 2009 - 11:46 am

    @Turgay thank your for your comment, and your supportive words! Luckily we don’t have to defend our thesis in person here – but three people will read it and mark it, which is scary enough for me!

    @Alex, do you mean you would like to put a link to my site on your site? If so, that it OK – feel free to link here from anywhere 🙂

  5. #5 by suifaijohnmak on April 15, 2009 - 2:02 pm

    Great that we met on 3 April 09 whilst Stephen was here.
    Best wishes to your PhD studies.

  6. #6 by Martin Pluss on August 29, 2010 - 8:17 pm

    HI Kelli,

    Congrats – this is a huge achievement.


  7. #7 by Susanne Gannon on September 2, 2010 - 7:05 am

    Congratulations Kelli. I look forward to reading it when it is through. I’m sure it will be very useful for us all down. Hopw you are enjoying QUT and the wonderful people there: a great place to land. Susanne

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  1. Teaching Excellence Award « Kelli’s Blog
  2. The road ahead « Kelli’s Blog
  3. Application for extension of candidature « Kelli McGraw
  4. AATE Annual Conference 2010 « Kelli McGraw
  5. Thesis complete! « Kelli McGraw
  6. PhD COMPLETE! « Kelli McGraw
  7. ‘English’ and ‘literacy’ | Kelli McGraw
  8. Multiliteracies | Kelli McGraw
  9. The influence of the canon | Kelli McGraw
  10. Critical Literacy | Kelli McGraw
  11. Multiliteracies |
  12. Literary theory and the postmodern turn | Kelli McGraw
  13. Examination and Assessment | Kelli McGraw

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