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Teaching Reading in Australia

Publications Presentations References Links


About Teaching Reading in Australia

Welcome to the website for the Teaching Reading in Australia project. This project (DP0987648) was funded by the Australian Research Council from 2009-2011.

Debates on the teaching of reading, marked in such policy documents as the Rowe Report (2005) in Australia and the Rose Report (2006) in the UK, have a long history and indeed are at least coterminous with schooling itself. However, that history rarely figures in any significant or rigorous way in either the policy or the debate, which are characteristically professional and technical in their orientation, and/or organised around claims and counter-claims regarding the "sciences" of both reading and pedagogy.

The Teaching Reading in Australia project has taken an historical perspective on these issues and debates. Taking as its central concern the concept of the "reading lesson", the project has explored the historical dimensions of teaching reading in Australia, especially in the beginning stages. The project asked:

This project has been deliberate intervention into a highly charged and contested space in order to make a theoretical contribution to the policy environment. The point is not to arbitrate between the competing claims about the "best way" of teaching literacy, nor to consider some kind of (im)possible "balance" between different approaches or perspectives. Instead, the project explored the history of the formation of the problem of literacy teaching in the early years in order to think about the problem differently in the present. That is, it has taken up the challenge of thinking historically about reading pedagogy. As Freebody (2007, p. 65) notes, the "singular achievement" of recent policy, practice and research is "to have almost entirely purged itself of any interest in its own history, and in the history of its objects of study, as valid areas of inquiry". The project has begun the process of addressing this lack by providing historical resources to the field and the profession, as well as policy makers.

One of the aims of the project was to provide an electronic "trace" of its work so that it can be built upon by other researchers. The material collected is of significance to further curriculum and historical research regarding the development of reading education in Australia and elsewhere. This site makes available key publications and presentations by the project researchers and links to key resources for those interested in the history of reading curriculum and pedagogy.



Schooling Australia

Schooling Australia project website
Teaching Reading in Australia is a follow-up to an earlier project entitled Schooling Australia which collated archival English curriculum material from 1901-1938. This included primary, post-primary and teacher training curriculum material and teacher training resources from South Australia and New South Wales for the period 1901-1938 and nationally for the period of the 1930s.



For more information about the Teaching Reading in Australia project, contact Project Chief Investigators:

Associate Professor Phil Cormack
Centre for Research in Education
School of Education
University of South Australia
St Bernards Rd
Magill SA 5072

Tel: +61 8 8302 4230
Fax: +61 8 8302 4212
Email: phillip.cormack@unisa.edu.au

Professor Bill Green
Faculty of Education
Charles Sturt University
Panorama Avenue
Bathurst NSW 2795
Tel: +61 2 6338 4563
Fax: +61 2 6338 4824
Email: bigreen@csu.edu.au

Professor Annette Patterson
Faculty of Education,
Cultural and Language Studies in Education
Queensland University of Technology
Victoria Park Road
Kelvin Grove Qld 4059
Tel: +61 7 3138 3255
Fax: +61 7 3138 3988
Email: annette.patterson@qut.edu.au





This website was designed by Phil Cormack, Centre for Research in Education, University of South Australia

Chief Investigators:
Associate Professor Phil Cormack (University of South Australia)
Professor Bill Green (Charles Sturt University)
Professor Annette Patterson (Queensland University of Technology)

Research Assistants:
University of South Australia
Pippa Milroy (UniSA)
Yvonne Perkins (CSU & QUT)



Phil Cormack (University of South Australia)
Bill Green (Charles Sturt University)
Annette Patterson (Queensland University of Technology)

Historical materials and images displayed on this site are believed to be out of copyright (please contact the researchers if you believe copyrighted material has been included). Unless otherwise stated, the material on this website is available for non-commercial use by educators and researchers. Material used must acknowledge the authors of this site as well as the original authors (where appropriate). All other uses of this site require the written permission of the site authors.