We are happy to announce the keynote speakers for the European Conference on Literacy 2015:
Teachers as researchers: new actions, perceptions and appreciations
Teresa Cremin, Professor for Literacy at the Faculty of Education and Language Studies, Department of Education (The Open University, UK) will talk about teachers' attitudes towards reading and writing in the classroom.
Accountability cultures, in which teachers predominantly focus on tests and targets, tend to have a homogenising effect, with children’s literacy development being discussed according to levels and outcomes. Inevitably, teacher-child relationships are also framed and potentially constrained by such externally-imposed goals. Drawing on two studies in which teachers were positioned as researchers, I will explore what happened when the practitioners found out more about the children’s everyday literacy lives and became more conscious of their own literacy histories and practices. In Teachers as Readers, practitioners became action researchers, and documented their own learning journeys as readers and as teachers. In Researching Literacy Lives, teachers, involved as ethnographically styled researchers, undertook Learner Visits to children’s homes. In this keynote, I will examine the new actions, perceptions and appreciations which were fostered, as well as the challenges and tensions involved as the teachers coped with openness and not knowing, examined the potency of relationships, reciprocity and affect, and came to question and change what counted as literacy in their classrooms.
Being Wisely Aware: Facing The New Landscape of Communication
Jennifer Rowsell, Canada Research Chair in Multiliteracies, Department of Teacher Education (Brock University, Canada), will give an insight into "old" and "new" landscapes of literacy.
Drawing wisdom from the phrase, the only constant in life is change, for my keynote I will contrast past conceptions and framings of literacy as they were lived and understood then, in the 20th century, with conceptions and framings as they are lived now, in the 21st century. Taking a landscape view of research that I have conducted over the past five years, I will offer an integrated perspective on ways of thinking about contemporary literacy learning and some radical shifts in teaching and learning spaces that need to transpire for true change to happen in literacy pedagogy and practice. The keynote is based within a definition of literacy that rests on the everyday and that accounts for the diverse ways the everyday is understood. Looking across four government-funded research projects on a range of topics from linking arts and aesthetics with literacy, to iPads and haptic learning, to teaching literacy through Minecraft, and I will conclude with ways in which speculate literacy can be reimagined now.
Josef Winkler, highly nominated Austrian author; recipient of the Georg-Büchner-Preis, the most prestigious literature award in Germany.
Assessing and Supporting Young Children’s Oral Language through Play:Learning from Northern Canadian Primary Teachers and Students
Shelley Stagg Peterson, Board Member of the International Literacy Association (former International Reading Association), Toronto.
Oral language is foundational to literacy, yet relatively little research has examined children’s talk in primary classrooms. The Northern Oral Language and Writing through Play research project is a seven-year study that attempts to address this gap. In this presentation, preliminary findings from action research with teachers and students in kindergarten and grade one classrooms in northern rural and Indigenous communities will be introduced. Analysis of video-recordings of the children’s interactions in dramatic play and construction centers has yielded insights into the ways in which children use language for social and academic purposes in play settings. Implications for assessing and supporting young children’s oral language will be proposed.