About The Teaching Australian Literature Resource
The Teaching Aust. Lit. Resource (TAL) is designed to assist tertiary and secondary teachers of Australian literature, members of the Literary and Cultural Studies discipline community, curriculum designers, policy framers and anyone interested in the state of Australian literature study with the discovery of information about the current teaching of Australian literary and narrative studies in Australian and overseas educational institutions.
At the launch in late 2009 the TAL Resource covers all Australian universities and some tertiary colleges.
The TAL Resource compiles data about Australian literature teaching organised by institution, course, unit, and texts studied. This data is available through a searchable web interface so that users can quickly find information about where and in what context Australian literary texts are taught and the types of assessment undertaken, providing links to relevant university websites in schools and departments at universities around the country.
The TAL Resource is fully interoperable with the AustLit database so that biographical, bibliographical and contextual information on Australian literary cultures is easily accessible.
The TAL Resource makes available information about the teaching of Australian literary texts in universities and tertiary institutions around Australia and overseas.
The inclusion policy for TAL is fairly broad and covers the following types of texts:
- Traditional forms of literary expression: novels, plays, short stories, poems
- Life narrative expression: autobiography, biography, memoir, oral history
- Critical textual expression: literary criticism and theory, essays, subject specific companions, ficto-criticism, etc
- Non-print media expression: film, screen writing, performance art, Indigenous artistic expression, web-based narrative material
The unit or course description includes, when available: brief details of the aims and methods of the course; details of the Australian literary texts taught or recommended for reading; the context within the university, school and/or department in which the course appears; links to the AustLit Resource whenever possible; options for updates and providing additional information.
The Teaching Aust. Lit. Resource developed out of the Teaching Australian Literature Survey project, an ALTC funded project conducted in 2008-2009.
This Survey was informed by initial research and surveying conducted by the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) in 2006. The ASAL survey yielded some limited results and was useful in identifying the specific methodological, scoping and resourcing aims at the core of the ALTC Survey project’s design.
The ALTC Survey included the following target groups:
- Senior Secondary Teachers of Australian Literature
- 1st year Undergraduate Students of Australian Literature
- 2nd, 3rd and 4th year Undergraduate Students of Australian Literature
- Teachers and Co-ordinators of University Level Australian Literature Study
- Overseas Tertiary Teachers of Australian Literature
Other consultations with the tertiary and secondary community also contributed to this research. Stakeholders included: ASAL, the Australian Society of Authors (ASA), the Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE), the National Library of Australia (NLA), the journals Australian Literary Studies (ALS) and Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (JASAL), and the International Australian Studies Association (InASA).
As an updatable resource the TAL Resource is designed to encourage ownership by members of the teaching communities where Australian literature is taught and through the support of the peak body, ASAL. The TAL Resource has the capacity for teaching staff or administrative staff in schools to submit information on the courses/units being taught so that in each semester/year the information is up to date while retaining details of past years’ teaching activities.*
AustLit will also be involved in the ongoing maintenance of the content as it is in the interests and remit of that resource to serve the teaching community But we will rely of the community participating on its continued development. Please help us keep the TAL Resource up-to-date.
* Please note that any data collected on Units taught before 2009 is incidental, and figures should not be used comparatively for these earlier years.
Possible use-case scenarios for the TAL site include:
- the ability for teachers wishing to use a particular text in a course exploring the TAL to discover how it is being used in other units and courses around Australia;
- to consider the types of assessment being used; and,
- to discover complementary texts and secondary texts in a given context.
The TAL Resource will allow teachers of Australian literature to draw on a broad knowledge of the community’s experience of unit and course design and to contribute, interactively, to the development of that sharing of teaching experience.
The TAL Resource provides a platform upon which to build a long term analysis of the changes to Australian literature teaching while providing a discovery resource for the discipline community to share knowledge about their experiences of teaching of Australian literature.
The database will be updated annually with your help and through AustLit’s ongoing work in the field to ensure that the snapshot of 2009 data can be built upon over time and thereby trace the changes from the perceived low point in the first decade of this century, through the national curriculum debate, the appointment of senior positions in Australian literature at university level, and the maturing of the AustLit database as a recognised national teaching resource.