Historic Australian Conceptualisations of English, Literacy and Multimodality in Policy and Curriculum and Conflicts with Educational Accountability
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Abstract: Attainment of functional English literacy skills by all students has been a focus of Australian national policy since the 1989 Hobart Declaration (MCEETYA, 1989). This focus underpins current educational accountability policy enacted through the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). The Adelaide and Melbourne Declarations (MCEETYA, 1999, 2008) maintained focus on English literacy skills but also identified ICT skills as essential for students for 21st century, suggesting teachers should make use of contemporary learning resources to engage students. Literacy, multimodality and ICT have been intertwined in various definitions of literacy and English in Australian policy and curriculum for some time. This article examines historical and current constructions of English, literacy, multimodality and ICT in policy and curriculum over the last two decades and in current educational accountability practices through NAPLAN. Research on Queensland teacher identification of English literacy skills is reported to show how national educational accountability that fails to reflect policy and curriculum focuses on multimodality may serve to narrow classroom English literacy.
English in Australia
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Education Assessment and Evaluation