The latest Human Experiences text should be available this week from 'Five Senses Education'. Too late for anything but revision at this stage but I hope you find it useful. The recent survey results clearly showed, not surprisingly, that 'The Tempest and Hag-Seed' was one of the most popular choices for Advanced. It threw up some surprises, especially with the Standard courses but as always happens when selecting texts, your first 'must have' choice, then tends to dictate what follows in the modules.
Similar teacher guides to those written for the Common Module, will be written for the Advanced and Standard Modules and once the online store is finally finished, selected texts for Stage 5 will also be offered. Many of these have already been written, including 'Animal Farm', 'Jane Eyre', 'Wuthering Heights' and other classics such as 'Brave New World'. Shakespeare texts will also be included such as 'Othello', 'Henry V', 'As You Like It' and 'Macbeth'.
Teachers become adept at juggling many balls and so I wish you well with with coping with the many demands of these first few weeks.
Bookings are now open for booking school based workshops for staff or students. Send an email if your school is interested in discussing workshop options:
Throwing Light on Text
PD courses for many of the most popular Advanced and Standard courses will be offered later this term. These will mostly be 'Online' courses with some School Based 'face to face' workshops. These can be organised via direct email.
To enable us to design the sort of PD that you want, a 9 page e-book has been designed by myself, Peita Mages and TTA to gauge the texts that are being taught and your P.D. The e-book has helpful tips, strategies and resources. You can follow the link below for free download of this free e-book and send through your text list and PD preferences.
Any glance at the ETA Facebook page has shown how hard Senior English teachers have been working to prepare for Module A. The collaborative sharing has helped ease the burden but much of the holidays has doubtless been used as 'prep' time.
Popular choices include 'The Tempest' and 'Hag - Seed', Keats and 'Bright Star' or the perennial 'King Richard III' and 'Looking for Richard' which I think has remained on the list since 2001. For Standard, Lawson is matched in popularity by the poetry options and so focus will be on resourcing such texts. I will be working with TTA again this year to develop teaching resources for some of the most popular text choices for both Advanced and Standard courses.
I offered two school-hosted workshops last term and similar face-to-face workshops are also an option if teachers are interested in contacting me. They would have to be scheduled for late in Term 1, and so email me if you are interested.
Wishing you well in coping with the frenzied first few days back, and that your students enjoy whatever Module A texts you opted to study.
When: December 7th
Where: Richmond High School - Lennox Street, Richmond
Close to Richmond Train Station
Cost: $250.00 per head -5 hour workshop
Light Morning Tea and Lunch provided-Any special food requirements need to be forwarded to me by Dec 3rd.
Bookings: Contact me directly to book and be sent your invoice details
What to bring: laptop, paper, USB for 'goodie-bag' resources
PD Status: 'Teacher Identified'
Feedback from First Workshop is available at:
The Workshop Program is available below:
A teacher contacted me recently regarding the 'ambiguities and paradox' aspect of the Common Module and how best to evaluate it. I think that this aspect of the guidelines is clearly evident in '1984' . I have always hated the 'unpack the rubric' approach because as became so clear with 'Discovery', many students end up with a 'tick a box' or 'paint by numbers' type of textual commentary rather than personalised analysis. Orwell's political purpose is so crystal clear in his essays, and in his '1984' diarist approach and richly layered ironic representational techniques. As a social commentator and critic, he was justly praised for his language usage, sharp insight and political awareness. Such skills are evident in the way he he develops his core dystopic concepts of oppression, dehumanisation and rebellion. His use of verisimilitude and simulacrum conveys Party duplicity and indoctrination while O'Brien's revelations about Party ideology and methodology demonstrates the gulf between their motivations and those that drive the humanist concerns Winston grapples with. Given the representational focus of the module -examination of the varied satiric techniques Orwell has used, including oxymoron, hyperbole and allegory, students have a wealth of textual 'scenes' such as the 'Two Minute Hate' where they can examine how his layered satiric emphasis is achieved.
It is difficult for many students to make the leap from commentary to analysis but that is one of the key elements of this new syllabus, namely us teaching and reinforcing analytical approaches and styles through 'short' explicit examples.
Thank goodness the 'study guide' approach has seen its day as a way teachers approach textual study and welcome the reader response and journal alternatives.
Looking over Orwell's essays and finding some excellent ones that really clarify his writing motivations, has helped clarify why such contextualisation skills are key to really understanding the complexity of representation. He clearly asserts why he wrote with didactic purpose and why and how explored the power of language. Many schools have chosen '1984' and it is a brilliant text for this module because even at a structural level, the experiential range across the three social classes in Oceania is an excellent platform to evaluate 'Human "Experiences'. As Margaret Atwood noted, '1984' is a 'visionary text which casts its 'shadows over our future.'
Not sure which text I will tackle next but I hope you enjoy teaching '1984'.
George Orwell drew on his own W.W.II. experiences working with the BBC to demonstrate the power of propaganda to bolster the political power of those in control. In Oceania, patriotic fervour for the Party is linked to the perpetual state of war, with enables those in power to claim emergency powers over their populace.
The novel's protagonist is well aware of the falsification of statistics and data used to dupe the populace and make them compliant.
Readers of the novel when it was first published, would be familiar with the use of posters during the war, reinforcing that Orwell was making use of contextual influences to make his dystopic vision credible.
Orwell's text has proved to be a popular choice and so a second workshop has been organised. I have included a copy of the workshop agenda and you can email me for further details about the day.
Sample Feedback from previous Workshop: