Excellent PD in Townsville

Written on the 18 June 2016 by Heather Fraser

On Saturday 23 April, the Townsville Branch once again hosted a professional development session with a fabulous performance by Dr. Anita Jetnikoff on Curriculum in Flux. Anita was vivacious, interesting, exciting, colourful, provocative and affirming of teachers.

Anita enjoyed returning to her old stomping ground where she grew up, went to school and completed a degree and PHD at James Cook University. She had many connections throughout the crowd at Pimlico State High School where her mother taught home economics and a number of her brothers attended school.

Anita spoke about how curriculum is always in a state of flux and so often the moves to 'reform' it are political rather than pedagogical. So often in these days of accountability we focus on the learner. Anita focused on the teacher in this presentation.

As English educators we have to 'fit' whatever new policy model comes our way. The Australian curriculum seems to have tried to please every stakeholder in its process and as such has been formed without a single, unifying coherent theoretical basis. How do we challenge this paper tiger? We have to find the pedagogical models within the current framework and see what still works in practice.

At the chalkface there are still teaching, learning and assessment practices in English surviving from the last few decades of pedagogical change; and there is also room for accommodating new practices. Embracing and adapting the old and the new may be the key to staying creative and passionately engaged with our subject area.

One of Anita's major themes was: Don't throw out the creativity!!!

The muffins, scones and chocolate cake were excellent. Anita, as always was the consummate presenter. The feedback was great.

Author: Heather Fraser
About: President Townsville ETAQ Branch

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