Category Archives: literacy

How to improve literacy rates: a simple plan

The government is considering a simple plan. To improve literacy you mandate regular high-stakes multiple-choice national testing in our schools. This keeps teachers on their toes and students focused on what matters most. I’ve just come out of a classroom … Continue reading

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ELPC 4: And finally, a rubric

This morning I’ve been working on a rubric for the journals referred to in the earlier posts in this series. I don’t like marking with rubrics (but then I don’t like marks much!), but I do find rubrics useful as … Continue reading

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ELPC Part 3: Redefining writing? What next!

I used to think that I worked best on my own, down at the coast with my own emerging thoughts and the world shut out. It was never true, I now realize. Even when I was writing my PhD thesis … Continue reading

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ELPC Part 2: Inching towards a more charged focus question

So. Here I am, at the coast on my own for three days. Time to think and read and write. Bliss. It’s 7.30 at night and I’ve finished dinner (but still got my apron on); a salmon and bean frittata … Continue reading

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ELPC Part 1: A fertile research question

When it comes to learning something new, just listening to an expert is usually not enough. Nor is passively reading. Usually we need to do something, to actively construct the knowledge ourselves, from a number of different sources and for … Continue reading

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Some thoughts on the fly

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. A lot has happened, is happening, and I keep trying to find time to write about it. There’s no substantial time right now, with journals to read, schools to visit and lessons to … Continue reading

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The mystery of learning to read

My colleague at the university and in our course on ‘Literacy across the curriculum, Associate Professor Kaye Lowe, has talked with our students about the essential mystery of how we learn to read. It’s often impossible to pinpoint what it … Continue reading

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Thoughts on ‘literacy across the curriculum’ from my students

The university course is now almost a fortnight old, and the 90 postgraduate students have all begun their blogs. The course is called “Literacy across the curriculum”, and the students have been writing about their current understanding of the term … Continue reading

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Cris Tovani’s ‘Do I really have to teach reading?

This blog post is a bit different from all the others. The subject is Cris Tovani’s book Do I really have to teach reading?, the set text book for the postgraduate students doing my unit ‘Literacy across the curriculum’. The … Continue reading

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On the nature of literacy (with a nod to Spinoza)

In my last post, I suggested (following a lead inspired by Neil Postman) that we’re waging war on illiteracy. But this is wrong. We’re battling ignorance. Our enemy (at whatever level we teach and in whatever discipline we teach it) … Continue reading

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