WAIER logo Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc
2013 Research Seminar Program

WAIER invites you to an afternoon seminar to be held at Murdoch University

Wednesday 27 March, 4.30 pm-6.00 pm
Venue: Education and Humanities Building, Staff Common Room 2.21
See [Campus Maps] for location and visitor parking
Afternoon tea from 4.30 pm, presentation 5.00-6.00 pm, with time for discussions.

Resisting a 'back to basics' agenda: Literacy education and online discussion

Presented by Dr Wendy Cumming-Potvin
School of Education, Murdoch University
Co-author Dr Kathy Sanford

The global obsession with excellence in literacy is interwoven with government aspirations to tout 'world-class' standardised test scores (Alexander, 2011). In parallel, popular media discourses often blame teachers and teacher educators for a so-called 'literacy crisis'. This reductionist approach contrasts with a post-modern landscape of profound socio-cultural diversity, which requires complexity in teaching, learning and researching literacies (Cumming-Potvin, 2012). Drawing on qualitative research which resists a 'back-to-basics' agenda, this presentation focuses on the journey of one pre-service teacher who was afforded online learning opportunities to discuss literacies with postgraduate students, a unit coordinator and other pre-service teachers. Conducted in a West Australian tertiary community, the study draws on Gee (2005, 2011) and The New London Group (1996). Preliminary results suggest that influences of power cannot be dismissed when opening dialogic space characterised by complexity and difference (Blackburn, 2012; Hooks, 1994).

Photo: Wendy Cumming-Potvin
Dr Wendy Cumming-Potvin
School of Education, Murdoch University
Dr Wendy Cumming-Potvin is a Senior Lecturer at Murdoch University in Western Australia. Specialising in qualitative research, with a focus on new literacies and social justice, Wendy has a strong interest in investigating teacher education and the application of information and communication technologies. As a researcher on an Office for Learning and Teaching project, Wendy is examining engineering education for social justice. [Personal website]

Dr Kathy Sanford is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. Her research interests include gender, new literacies and technologies, learning through videogames, e-portfolios, non-formal education, and teacher education. Her most recent research project is entitled Youth civic engagement: Real life learning through virtual games environments. [Personal website]


RSVP: Dr Leanne Fried [l.fried@ecu.edu.au] by Friday 22 March for catering purposes

This seminar has been generously sponsored by the Teachers Mutual Bank


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