Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Itinerant academic

The rather sudden decline in my posting frequency is probably largely the product of a very busy year that's included trips to the US, Malaysia, Hong Kong and now Australia. The funny thing is that you find yourself catching up on work tasks and conversations in the most unlikely places - a day out with Catherine Beavis and her partner at Purling Brook Falls (above), and now reviews, journal work, emails and some writing at Noosa. Although it may sound glamorous it gets very tiring, and I'm now looking forward to some down time. Moving about has highlighted some interesting, and perhaps unsurprising, themes in literacy education. The most dominant of these by a long way is the work that literacy educators have to do to legitimise what they already know, or think they know to be worthwhile in the light of  new centralised curriculum and accountability measures. In the realm of new/digital literacies this is particularly noticeable, and makes little sense when seen alongside political rhetoric about economic competitiveness and 21st Century skills. Another theme concerns raising the achievement of marginalised groups, and particularly the recognition of different languages, cultures and forms of representation. In sum, for all the newness of these policy initiatives and curriculum changes, the same old issues come to the fore. Given increased connectivity, it now seems timely to encourage transnational connections between educators - connections that may provide challenge and support for those committed to real change.