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Literacy education: for work and at work Peter Freebody School of Education, The University of Queensland Adelaide, 5 August 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Literacy education: for work and at work Peter Freebody School of Education, The University of Queensland Adelaide, 5 August 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Literacy education: for work and at work Peter Freebody School of Education, The University of Queensland Adelaide, 5 August 2005

2 The changing environment All employment sectors (professional, manufacturing, construction, trades, etc) with flat or dropping employment share across the 1980s and 90s except Service sector growth (35% in 1978 – 44% in 1992) and continuing

3 Growth rates in employment share, Professional/manag’t: 45% Semi-professional: 25% Tradespersons: 0% Clerical, sales (incl. casual): 30% Labouring/unskilled: 4%

4 Pathways? More and more long-term movement: in and out of education and training in and out of different jobs in and out of casual-stable work

5 The setting: Forms of learning and reading, and ‘forms of life’: A challenge from Jean Anyon’s (1997) ethnographic study of city schools in New Jersey

6 Learning and work Four ways of relating the work activities presented to students, the ethos of the classroom, and the opportunity structures they co- present

7 The first … “preparation for mechanical labour” carefully sequenced movement from simple to more difficult tasks / tests test- rather than rationale-driven no explicit connectedness a culture of learning for ‘correctness- and-control’

8 The second … “preparation for low/middle-level office/bureau work” learning to be ‘selective and appropriate’ little creativity or critical judgement a culture of ‘learning for access to and appropriate use of information

9 The third … “preparation for intellectual, scientific, artistic work” discerning, critical thinking acquiring cultural and symbolic capital an ethos of expressiveness, self- evaluation and analysis

10 And fourth … “preparation for leadership, ownership and control” debate, the appreciation and mobilisation of multiple perspectives knowledge of and practice in manipulating the socially valued tools of system analysis and knowledge making

11 What if.. ‘good students’ from each of these classrooms scored equally well on standard ‘reading tests’? Would they be ‘equally good readers’?

12 Future, multi-literacies Literacy refers to “the flexible and sustainable mastery of a repertoire of practices with the texts of traditional and new communications technologies via spoken language, print and multi- media.” (Luke, Freebody & Land, 2000)

13 Teaching literacy  Shared perspective, vocabulary in the school?  Shared theories of curricular scope and sequence?  Four resources for literacy develop and inform one another as the school years progress

14 The jobs a pedagogy has to do Manage the bodies and props; Manage the attention of students; ‘Deliver’ the syllabus; Allow for self-expression; Protect all individuals; Relate to individual differences; Monitor students’ progress; and ….

15 Changing teacher practice? An e.g. Edwards-Groves (2003) Having teachers focus on the “participation structure” What changes would enhance you lessons as “settings for thought”?

16 What the teachers found… and changed Pre- and post- framing: ‘Why this?’ ‘Why this now?’ and ‘What’s the goal?’ – “letting them in on the secret” Regulatory talk cutting across the pedagogical line Too much ‘what next?’ for thinking Limited range of literacy resources

17 The significance of the critical The down side of New Times: the inadequacy of common sense as a critical resource The cautionary tale of Guttenberg and Ramus: taming the technology Preparing our students to structure their opportunities in the Misinformation Age?

18 References Anyon, J. (1997) Ghetto schooling: A political economy of urban educational reform. New York: Teachers College Press. Edwards-Groves, C.J. (2002) Building an inclusive classroom through explicit pedagogy: A focus on the language of teaching. Sydney: Prentice Hall. Luke, A., Freebody, P. & Land, R. (2000) Literate futures: Review of literacy education. Brisbane, Queensland: Education Queensland.


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