The Teacher-Researchers Project
The Teacher-Researchers project builds on previous research by members of the project team which investigated teachers’ responses to the mandate to teach Australian literature introduced in the Australian Curriculum: English in 2008. Findings from this project and other studies indicate the need to support teachers to develop new knowledge about the breadth and variety of Australian texts as well as providing teachers with support to engage deeply with Australian literature to support their pedagogy.
The Pilot Project (May 2019) supports five secondary English teachers in Victoria to undertake a week-long literary research project drawing on the resources of the University of Melbourne Archives and the expertise of the project team, which includes key academics in education and literary studies to investigate texts and sources relevant to their teaching of Australian literature in the context of the Australian curriculum. A partnership with The Stella Prize is central to this project and the texts being investigated by teacher participants are Stella Prize long-listed.
The five teachers participating in this initial pilot version of the project have now been selected from a diverse range of schools in Victoria and their projects will include the following ideas, themes and texts:
- Australian identity via The Hate Race, Foreign Soil, and Terra Nullius
- Empathy and creative writing in Like a House on Fire
- Feminism and multicultural identity in Laurinda
- Intertextuality and intersectionality in The Hate Race
- Difference and polyvocality in Heat and Light, Foreign Soil, and Only the Animals
Teachers in this project will be supported to use their research project and their experience in the Archive as a starting point for ongoing advocacy and engagement with Australian literature in and beyond their schools.