Reading the Evidence: why Australia should not follow England into the literacy abyss

Dr Paul Gardner

The Australian National Curriculum currently provides greater scope for the study of English in the primary school than its English equivalent. It is a curriculum that is more in tune with the literacy demands of the 21st Century. So, why is it under attack from powerful forces in Australian society that want Australian educators to fall into the same literacy abyss as their English counterparts? This seminar delivers a chilling message from the future for all those who have a love for the teaching of English and offers advice on how to remain in the 21st Century.

Dr Paul Gardner is a Senior Lecturer in Literacy/English in the School of Education at Curtin University. In his PhD he explored the implications of the social construction of writer identity and paradigms of the compositional process. Paul has been in academia for 20 years and has previously worked at three universities in the UK. Before that he had a varied career, which included: teaching English and Drama at high school level; being a Year 5 Leader in a primary school; spending 8 years as an advisory teacher for multicultural education and EAL/D, as well as working in a community arts centre and a Reggio inspired early years setting. This expansive career gives Paul a broad perspective on education which he uses to advantage his students. Paul has a number of recent and relevant publications in the area of Literacy.