Arts, English and Literacy Education Research Network Events

The AELE Research Network organises and hosts a number of events and activities for researchers, teachers, students, policymakers and others in the fields of the creative arts and English.


English Alive with Professor Jonothan Neelands

Friday Nov 2, 2012 and Saturday Nov 3, 2012

We are excited to announce that we are hosting Professor Jonothan Neelands' presentations in Australia for The University of Sydney. His work on improving comprehension of complex texts such as Shakespeare and the improvement of students' literacy is well respected internationally. Whilst in Sydney he will be offering a one day workshop, English Alive. This is an event that is being advertised internationally, hence the limited places will fill up fast. Please ensure you enrol as soon as possible to secure your place for this rare opportunity. Click here (pdf, 333kB) for details.

HSC English Exams Unpacked with Jackie Manuel and Don Carter

Saturday Nov 3, 2012

In conjunction with Professor Neelands' visit, Jacqueline Manuel (Chief Examiner of HSC English, 2006-2011) and Don Carter (former NSW Board Inspector of English), will co-host a full day workshop to unpack the English HSC requirements for all English papers. They will provide practical and explicit advice, as well as professional approaches to ensuring your students perform to the best of their ability in the English HSC examinations. This is a one-off workshop which also has limited numbers and due to the high level professional experience of the presenters, will also fill fast. Please ensure that you enrol as soon as possible to secure your place in this valuable workshop on HSC English. Click here (pdf, 333kB) for details.

Presentation on the Australian Curriculum in NSW

Thursday, May 10, Room 612
Presentation by Mr Tom Alegounarias
President, NSW Board of Studies

Book Launch - Teenagers and Reading

Friday, May 4, Room 612
Book Lauch
Teenagers and Reading: Literary heritages, cultural contexts and contemporary reading practices. Edited by Jackie Manuel and Sue Brindley. (Wakefield Press/AATE)

AELE Colloquium Series

Download Colloquium Series Program


               April 12 | 3-5pm | Room 618

               Focus: Research in Education and the Arts: Methodologies

               Chair: Dr Jen Scott Curwood

               Panel Presentation: Professor Robyn Ewing, Associate Professor Michael
               Anderson, Dr Robyn Gibson, Dr Jen Scott Curwood

               RSVP: Lea Mai |

Colloquium 2

                May 10 | 3-5pm | Room 612

                Focus:Australian Curriculum Presentation

                Chair: Jackie Manuel

                RSVP: Lea Mai |


Colloquium 3

                 June 28 | 3-5pm | Room 612

                 Focus: Visiting Scholar Presentation | Dr Erica Halverson, Assistant Professor
                            University of Wisconsin, Madison

                 Chair: Dr Jen Scott Curwood

                 RSVP: Lea Mia |

Colloquium 4

                  August 9 | 3-5pm | Room 612

                  Focus: * Tony Britten and The Red Room Company (

                             * Showcasing AELE Research in the International Year of Reading

                  Chair: Associate Professor Jackie Manuel

                  RSVP: Lea Mai |

Colloquium 5

                 September 20 | 3-5pm | Room 612

                 Focus: RHD Presentations

                 Chair: Lea Mai

                 RSVP: Lea Mai |


  • Romanticism in the HSC: RSAA and AELE (22 October)
  • Libby Gleeson in Conversation with Geoff Williams (5 October)
  • Visiting Scholar | Professor Cathy Compton-Lilly, University of Wisconsin (July)
  • Book Launch | Transforming the Curriculum through the Arts by Dr. Robyn Gibson and Professor Robyn Ewing (26 October)
  • Visiting Scholar Presentation | Professor Paul Duncum, University of Illinois: Visual Culture Curriculum (27 October)





Future Directions in Literacy Conference

This conference aims to stimulate professional conversations about future developments in literacy pedagogy and practice for an international audience. It is an opportunity for teachers, students, academics and policy makers to share concerns and potential solutions to the problems faced by literacy educators. The scope of papers, workshops and presentations will cover the teaching of English from Kindergarten to Year 10.

In 2010 we will examine:

  • diverse student needs
  • literature in the classroom
  • digital literacies
  • new understandings and teaching strategies contributing to improvements in reading achievement.

The school continues to encourage connections between evidence-based research and practical outcomes to highlight successful partnerships. The conference structure ensures a close focus on practice, underpinned with strong theory investigated through discussions. As in past years, we know that the conference will provide a rare opportunity for academics, mentors, and new and established teachers to share their combined wisdom to create new learning possibilities.

Friday 3, Saturday 4 September 2010
8.30am - 4pm
Room 612, Education Building A35
Nina Goodwin at
Cost: $220 one-day individual registration, incl. GST | $420 both days
Further Info:

Future Directions Website

Colloquium – Arts in the National Curriculum

The Arts has been included in Phase 2 of the National Curriculum. For more details click here

A shaping paper is being finalised for dissemination in early June before a period of national consultation. Professor John O’Toole, lead writer of the shaping paper, will brief staff and students on the document. He will discuss the emergence of a National Curriculum in the Arts and its implications for teacher education. There will be time for discussion after the presentation.

All staff and students of the University are warmly invited to attend this colloquium.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Thursday 8 July 2010
Professor John O'Toole
Room 612, Education Building A35
Rachel Payne at by 2 July, 2010.
Enquiries: Associate Professor Michael Anderson

Teaching HSC English 2009 – Practical approaches to building successful learning and achievement

Conference, February 21, 2009

With the introduction of the new HSC English prescriptions for 2009, this one-day conference provides English teachers with an opportunity to engage in workshops and presentations that are directly relevant to teaching and learning in HSC English. A flyer (pdf, 1.7MB), conference program (pdf, 108KB) and registration form (doc, 956KB) are available for download.

Teaching English and the arts in the 21st century: action, imagination, engagement

International conference, October 9–10, 2008

This conference, hosted by the Arts, English and Literacy Education Research Network, provided an opportunity for educators to explore, critique and develop interrelationships between English and the arts within education, as well as contemporary developments in curriculum policy and practice in these fields.

Future directions in literacy conference 2008: local conversations

September 5–6 , 2008

This conference was organised to stimulate professional conversations about future developments in literacy pedagogy and practice for a domestic audience that encompassed Australia and New Zealand. Listen to the opening address by University of Sydney Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor Derrick Armstrong. Papers from the conference covered issues pertinent to the age range pre-Kindergarten to Year 8. For more information visit the conference home page.

A national curriculum in English: perspectives, principles, possibilities

Symposium, June 7, 2008

Hosted by the AELE Research Network, this symposium provided a forum for discussion for anyone interested in English in education. It brought together academics, scholars and researchers from various faculties, teachers from the government, Catholic and independent sectors, policy-makers, public servants, administrators in non-government education, parents and students. For more information visit the symposium home page.

Using a regional theatre as a learning resource

Steve Ball

International guest seminar, May 22, 2008

Speaker: Steve Ball, Associate Director (Learning and Participation), Birmingham Repertory Theatre, UK.

Steve Ball trained as a teacher and taught in Essex and Barcelona before training as an actor at the Welsh College of Music and Drama. He worked for a number of children's theatre and theatre-in-education companies, then, in Birmingham in 1986, founded Language Alive! and Catalyst, two of the region's leading educational theatre companies.

Steve has also worked as a writer and producer for BBC Education, lectured at universities in the US and Australia, and was head of arts for Birmingham City Council from 2001 to 2003. He has contributed to a number of journals and books, has an MA in arts management and a doctorate in arts education. His talk focused on "Getting Involved", a program he introduced at Birmingham Repertory Theatre to engage families, schools and communities.

The future of English studies in the secondary school

Colloquium, February 16, 2008

Presentation available from .

Research innovations in arts, English and literacy education

Symposium, October 24, 2007

As part of the Communities and Change Research Festival (22–26 Oct), the AELE Research Network presented the Research innovations in arts, English and literacy education symposium.

Master classes with Jonothan Neelands

October 22–24, 2007

In association with the school's Office of Professional Learning, the AELE Research Network offered three half-day master classes with world-renowned English and drama educator Professor Jonothan Neelands.

Literacy and social responsibility

Seminar series, Semester Two, 2007
Convened by Dr Alyson Simpson.

Aug 2 – Father Chris Riley, 'Youth off the streets'
Sep 5 – Frances Christie, 'Literacy for 21st-century Australia'
Oct 3 – Robyn Ewing, 'The imperative of an Arts-led literacy curriculum'
Nov 7 – Suzy Velkou, 'The Glebe early literacy project'

Abstracts and speaker biographies can be downloaded in pdf format.

Future directions in literacy conference 2007: international conversations

September 3–6, 2007

This conference stimulated professional conversations about future developments in literacy pedagogy and practice for an international audience. It provided a forum for teachers, students, academics and policy makers to share concerns as well as potential solutions to the current problems facing literacy educators. Visit the conference's home page in The Sydney eScholarship Repository to download papers.

Legends of English

Roundtable discussion, August 31, 2007

The AELE Research Network hosted a number of distinguished Australian English educators whose work has had a significant and far-reaching impact on the landscape of English education over the past 40 years.