Call for papers for the two conference days 13 – 14 September 2017

In 2017 the Australian Council for Adult Literacy celebrates 40 years of actively promoting language, literacy, numeracy, and communication provision and research. This Conference offers an opportunity to also travel back through these forty years of official activism to consider how metaphors of trade, neighbourly contact and mobility shape understandings of adult basic education, foundation skills and the everyday ‘literacies’ of workplaces, academic institutions and communities.

The conference title – Traders, Neighbours and Intruders: Points of Contact – provides the framework for collective change where policy makers, practitioners and researchers can learn from and engage with a long history of language and policy provision in northern Australia and our neighbours in Asia.

For centuries Australia’s northern regions have often been portrayed as marginal to the communication practices that sit at the heart of mainstream Australia. Yet northern Australia’s rich linguistic traditions, its multicultural engagement, its economic agendas and its policy making opportunities in remote and very remote contexts suggest multiple and diverse ways of moving forward as a prosperous nation.

Points of Contact is a metaphor for critically engaged debates that touch on issues of education and training for active citizenship, productive work, cultural engagement and leisure pursuits.  Without positive opportunities in these areas and chances to activate democratic engagement many people are unable to shape the conditions under which they can live their lives.  Points of Contact emphasises active participation in decision making across a range of decision-making spaces: in classrooms, in factories, under trees, in policy meetings, over backyard fences, in political backrooms and in research teams.

In light of the rich cultural and historical landscape that is northern Australia and its immediacy and connection with a number of our closest neighbours, the conference venue in Darwin provides a rich location from which to challenge stereotypes, reinvigorate relationships and provoke new conceptualisations of participation in Australian life, including for example:

  • cross-cultural practices and identities and how these have changed over time
  • the implications for locating oneself in the ‘LLN’ or alternatively named fields
  • advances in technology and how these shape and re-shape communication and identity
  • assessment, monitoring and power in formal and non-formal education
  • citizenship practices and texts that encourage transnational networks.

Strands

Three conference strands are available for presentation:

 

Strand 1 – 21st Century identities and citizenship traditions

This conference strand will explore the traditions and practices that have guided adult literacy language and numeracy practitioners over time and been an important driving force behind participation and contestation of traditional notions of communication. Presenters will engage with the patterns and trends emerging in wider Australia to examine how these have offered opportunities and advancement for learners and practitioners, how they have guided particular policy and pedagogical agendas and how they shape our understanding of identities over time through literate and computational practices. Here we ask people to locate these broader agendas in the local and specific contexts of their practices within the fields configured as Foundation Skills, TAFE, SEE and related community, vocational, government and workplace settings.

Strand 2 – National and institutional structures, policies and participation practices

The Australian adult literacy and numeracy field is shaped by an expectation that participation in society requires particular kinds of language, literacy, numeracy, and communication competence. Australia’s legal framework presumes knowledge of English language and Roman script as the vehicle of communication. This includes registration at birth, on entry to the country, and through population measures that track education and training activities. The Foundation Skills field provides its own routines and measures of participation in the form of the Australian Core Skills Framework and English language tests which parallel a range of other national and transnational tests such as TIMMS and PISA. Here we ask people to consider how these large scale routines and testing measures shape responses to national, state/territory and local provision.

Strand 3 – Digital and computational practices in mobile worlds

The character of work and its forms and functions have altered substantially as a result of digital practices that change how we understand and do work in contemporary Australia. This extends to how citizenship practices are enacted, what programs are offered and how they are organised and delivered to improve life choices for Australians, and how we create opportunities for leisure, alternative working lives and options for returning to work and study. This strand challenges participants to go beyond some of our conventional understandings of communication through written words to explore the implications of codes, coding, communication conventions, cyber worlds and the implications of migration and mobility for ‘programs’ and ‘programming’. Here we ask participants to consider the implications not only for learners but also for practitioners and policy makers as they navigate new worlds of communication

Presentation modes

The Conference Program offers four presentation modes and encourages participation and submissions from practitioners, policy makers, managers and researchers:

1. Workshops

(60 minutes) Workshop sessions will invite participants to be involved in active learning that will enhance their professional development and provide them with take-away skills and knowledge that will grow their capacity to respond to the diverse practice contexts of education and training represented at the conference. Workshops might address teaching and learning challenges, policy and advocacy upskilling; an introduction to a new curriculum or program approach or similar. Workshops may be delivered by teams – people having substantive responsibilities during the workshop should be listed as presenters.

2. Panel Presentations

(60 minutes) Panels  will be selected on the basis of topics that are likely to promote debate and have significant influence on future initiatives. The Chair of each panel should submit full details of the presentation including: title of the panel; name(s) and affiliation(s) of the chair and panel participants and a 200 word abstract. Each Chair should be available throughout the panel to introduce the topic and convene post-panel discussion. Option: Individual presenters will have the opportunity to have their paper peer reviewed, separate to the other papers in the Panel Presentation. This must be indicated at the time of submission. All peer reviewed papers must demonstrate a contribution to original research findings – or original research in progress.  Papers will be reviewed and selected on the basis of relevance to the conference theme, degree of originality, potential to add to existing scholarship, clarity of conceptual, methodological and theoretical contributions and reference to an appropriate body of literature (at least 8 scholarly and/or policy references).

3. Practice Tasters

(30 minutes) The conference aims to provide a mix of research, policy and practical professional development opportunities for participants.  Practice tasters may take the form of poster presentations, exhibits, models and artefacts or 30 minute presentations of ‘tried and tested’ approaches used with organisations or learning groups. Each submission should explain the background to the approach, the education, learning and training challenge it intends to address and a small but relevant body of work that has informed the development of the approach.  Practice Tasters might include materials development, community engagement activities, policy initiatives or research methodologies. Practice Tasters may be delivered by teams – people having substantive responsibilities during the session should be listed as presenters.

4. Individual Papers

(30 minutes including time for discussion) Individual papers may be co-authored – all contributing authors should be listed for presentation details. Option: Presenters will have the opportunity to have their paper peer reviewed. This must be indicated at the time of submission. All peer reviewed papers must demonstrate a contribution to original research findings – or original research in progress.  Papers will be reviewed and selected on the basis of relevance to the conference theme, degree of originality, potential to add to existing scholarship, clarity of conceptual, methodological and theoretical contributions and reference to an appropriate body of literature (at least 8 scholarly and/or policy references).

Critical dates

Abstracts and proposals are due by March 19, 2017 and acceptances will be notified by March 31, 2017. PowerPoints and presentations that have not been peer reviewed will be added to the website as they are made available.

Peer-review option

Abstracts are due by March 19, 2017, acceptances will be notified by March 31, 2017. The full paper is to be submitted by June 30, 2017, full peer review paper feedback provided to authors July 10-21, 2017. Revised peer reviewed papers due August 4, 2017. The final PDF of peer reviewed papers will be added to the conference website in late August.

Fees

All presenters (excluding invited keynotes) will be required to pay a discounted registration fee. ACAL reserves the right to limit the number of presenters per session entitled to a discounted fee.

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How to submit