School of Education publications

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Explore what it means to be a literacy educator!

Becoming a Teacher of Language and Literacy explores what it means to be a literacy educator in the twenty-first century. 

Contributed by:
Brenton Doecke, Glenn Auld, Muriel Wells, Rachel MacGilp, Anne Cloonan, Louise Paatsch, Joanne O'Mara, Sarah Ohi, Kirsten Hutchison, Gaelene Hope-Rowe, Maria Nicholas.

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It promotes a reflective and inquiry-based approach to literacy teaching and examines three central questions:

1. How do teachers approach the teaching of reading and writing, speaking and listening within a digital age?

2. How do teachers approach the standardisation of literacy, including high-stakes testing?

3. How do teachers work within the framework of the Australian Curriculum: English?

The book covers a range of contemporary topics in language and literacy education, including reading and creating digital texts, supporting intercultural engagement in literacy education, and developing community partnerships.

It provides students with:

* Teacher narratives that promote reflection about teachers' professional practice within local school settings. They convey the voices of teachers as they grapple with the challenges of their professional practice.

* Case studies and practice based accounts of literacy education.

* A reflective and enquiry based approach to literacy and teaching.

* Videos of the authors discussing the core ideas and themes presented in the book. Written by a team of experts in the field of language and literacy education, this is a valuable resource for all pre-service teachers.


Teaching International Students in Vocational Education: New pedagogical approaches

By Ly Thi Tran

Order Online

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Teaching International Students in Vocational Education: New pedagogical approaches is designed to support vocational education teachers in both addressing the distinctive learning characteristics of international students and preparing domestic students for global skills mobility in the 'Asian Century'.  Well-grounded in theories about teaching and learning in vocational and international education, and supported by empirical data drawn from interviews with teachers and program managers, the book expounds several evidence-based, highly effective, pedagogical approaches within the context of competency-based training.

These include:

  • the intercultural approach
  • the Ubuntu approach
  • the language and vocational learning integration approach
  • the perspective transformation approach
  • the value-added approach
  • work-based learning
  • flexible and divergent pedagogy.

These approaches focus on developing the learner's ability to consider the broader issues in an intercultural context, to capitalise on prior experience and to adapt vocational skills to workplace settings transnationally. The underpinning theory is brought to life with real-world exemplars, 'Implications for Practice', quotes and insights from teachers, as well as reflective questions throughout the book.

Teaching International Students in Vocational Education offers effective approaches to teaching and learning that will benefit not only international students, but also domestic students who gain from the enriched learning environment in which diverse cultural Knowledge, skills and attributes are shared.

Creative Physical Education:
Integrating Curriculum Through Innovative PE Projects

John Quay and Jacqui Peters (2012) Human Kinetics, Champaign IL.

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Creative Physical Education: Integrating Curriculum Through Innovative PE Projects offers a creative extended learning experience centered on the development, performance, organization, and analysis of teamwork, student-created games, a season, and practice activities. This book is suitable for use in both primary and secondary classrooms and for use by generalist and specialist teachers.

Above and Beyond the Bottom Line

by Professor Karen Starr

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book coverTeaching: Making a Difference

Teaching: Making a Difference, is a multi authored book and was developed to provide the pre-service teacher with new and contemporary lenses for helping them develop as future educators. Each chapter draws on the expertise of the contributor and reflects contemporary research. As well as myself, a well known and recently retired Deakin colleague, Paul Nicholson is also a chapter contributor. In developing the text the authors worked closely with the publishers to ensure that the first and following editions were supported by a unique multi-media package designed to give an ebook experience. When students purchase a copy of this text they receive a Desktop Edition of the text which allows them to access the content electronically. The search function allows students to locate key concepts; colour-coded highlights make notes etc. For lecturers, there are a set of developed power points for each chapter. These features are useful for staff who lead large teaching teams and are often inducting sessional staff. The team of authors are revising the book for a 2013 edition, so if you would like to see any revisions made, do get in touch! Associate Professor Julianne Moss

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A Mathematical Treasure Hunt

The major theme of what drives me as a mathematics educator can be summarised in one word: Engagement. Much has been written on students' sense of alienation in the mathematics classroom. My research and teaching explores ways to ignite in others the passion I feel for mathematics. Some of my earliest memories are of exploring ways to make mathematics fun. At the age of four I was creating card games to play with the family. As a primary school teacher I would develop explore the links between visual art and mathematics in my class. My interest in engaging students grew and I researched game-playing in the classroom. My PhD was titled The impact of mathematical games on learning, attitudes, and behaviours. A couple of years ago, while attending a mathematics education conference in Greece, I met a "geocacher" from Slovakia. He introduced me and a colleague at the University of British Columbia, Canada to GEOCACHING. We were intrigued.

Geocaching is a global treasure hunt that invites people of all ages to discover actively the beauty of their environment through the assistance of a Global Positioning System (GPS), mathematical know-how, and a bit of foraging. Geocache comes from the term Geo = earth and Cache = hidden supply or treasure (Christie, 2007). The 'geocacher' is equipped with a GPS device, locates hidden containers called 'geocaches' in the environment and shares his/her experience online with the geocaching community. Geocaching was started in 2000 by a technology enthusiast in Oregon, U.S.A. wanting to test out the accuracy of his GPS. The bug for hiding and finding treasures soon took off with fellow GPS enthusiasts in hot pursuit. Today the leading geocaching website boasts over one and a half million active geocaches around the world ( A geocache is typically a small watertight container that holds a log book, pencil and little 'treasures'. The treasures inside the geocache are usually inexpensive toys and trinkets. The geocache location coordinates and clues are posted on the internet for interested seekers. The understood protocol is that the finder enters their name in the log book, takes one item and replaces it with something of equal or greater value, and re-hides the geocache for the next geocacher. The seeker logs his/her find online for others to view.

Last year, in conjunction with a school in Melbourne's south-eastern suburbs, I developed a mathematical geocaching program to engage the students across all levels of the primary school. The students participating in the project were switched on and having fun. I have never seen kids so excited and engaged in mathematics. Along with teachers at the school, we decided to share the program with teachers across Australia and wrote Geocaching: A mathematical treasure hunt. Middle and Upper Primary. The junior version of the book will be published soon.

We are currently researching the impact of the geocaching program on mathematical learning for primary school children across three countries, Australia, Canada and Slovakia. If you are interested in finding out more about geocaching please do not hesitate to contact me.
Happy treasure hunting! Dr Leicha A Bragg

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Literary Praxis
A Conversational Inquiry into the Teaching of Literature

Piet-Hein van de Ven
Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Brenton Doecke (Eds.)
Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

Literary Praxis: A Conversational Inquiry into the Teaching of Literature explores the teaching of literature in secondary schools. It does this from the vantage point of educators in a range of settings around the world, as they engage in dialogue with one another in order to capture the nature of their professional commitment, the knowledge they bring to their work as literature teachers, and the challenges of their professional practice as they interact with their students.

The core of the book comprises accounts of their day-to-day teaching by Dutch and Australian educators. These teachers do more than capture the immediacy of the here-and-now of their classrooms; they attempt to understand those classrooms relationally, exploring the ways in which their professional practice is mediated by government policies, national literary traditions and existing traditions of curriculum and pedagogy. They thereby enact a form of literary 'praxis' that grapples with major ideological issues, most notably the impact of standards-based reforms on their work. Educators from other countries then comment on the cases written by the Dutch and Australian teachers, thus taking the concept of 'praxis' to a new level, as part of a comparative inquiry that acknowledges the richly specific c character of the cases and resists viewing teaching around the world as though it lends itself unproblematically to the same standards of measurement (as in the fetish made of PISA). They step back from a judgmental stance, and try to understand what it means to teach literature in other educational settings than their own. The essays in this collection show the complexities of literature teaching as a form of professional praxis, exploring the intensely reflexive learning in which teachers engage, as they induct their students into reading literary texts, and reflect on the socio-cultural contexts of their work.

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The Many Meanings of Intoxication and Drunkenness

By Peter Kelly, Jenny Advocat, Lyn Harrison and Christopher Hickey  

Efforts to address drunkenness and intoxication get lost in translation

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Confronting Practice
Classroom Investigations into Language and Learning

Brenton Doecke and Douglas McClenaghan

Confronting Practice: Classroom Investigations into Language and Learning comprises stories by Douglas McClenaghan, in which he provides richly detailed accounts of his work as an English teacher in a state secondary school in Melbourne.

These stories are juxtaposed with writing of a more analytical character that teases out their significance for understanding teaching and learning. The book begins with the everyday world of Douglas's professional practice, and continually returns to this world in an effort to trace the larger structures and relationships that mediate his pedagogy in the local setting in which he works.

The book offers a fresh look at issues in English language education, offering an original synthesis of ideas and intellectual traditions in the field. This dimension of the inquiry gives rise to another set of questions, specifically related to English curriculum and pedagogy:
How can English teachers enable their students to experience a rich and meaningful curriculum vis-a-vis the forms of accountability imposed by standardized testing and a competitive academic curriculum?
What perspective do students' out-of-school literacy practices provide on the literacy practices that they are obliged to perform in schools? What can English teachers learn from the out-of-school literacy practices in which students engage?

How can English teachers enable students to develop a critical perspective on their lives and the society around them?

In tackling these questions, this book takes its place alongside key studies that have contributed to an understanding of the ways in which students engage in the English curriculum and schooling in general.

  1. Stepping Inside a Classroom
  2. Confronting Practice
  3. Writing Our Way In
  4. Autobiographies
  5. Learning from 'Experience'
  6. Texts and Textuality
  7. Beginning Again
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