Becoming a literacy expert
As a mother, primary teacher, academic and, more recently a grandmother, my journey in developing literacy expertise is ongoing. I am amazed by how much there is to learn about what it means to be literate, to be a confident meaning-maker, and how different that is today compared with when I started school - or when I began to teach. For me one of the saddest things in Australia (and beyond) is that not all children have equal access to rich language and literacy experiences and their life chances can therefore be sorely affected. I am thankful for the thousands of literacy teachers who make a difference in these learners’ lives.
Some of the central components of my literacy expertise include:
• an understanding of the inter-relatedness of talking, reading, viewing and writing
• the importance of having genuine conversations and storying together
• the centrality of developing a love of language and rich literature
• a thirst to learn more about how each individual child becomes literate (because it is different for everyone)
• a need to find ways to engage all learners in an ongoing literacy learning process
• a passion for the role of other arts disciplines in developing deep and creative understandings alongside the literary arts
• the need to read and reflect on research about literacy learning and then to translate to classroom contexts – in all their complexity.
Robyn Ewing AM