English and Creative Writing
English and Creative Writing as a discipline assumes that cultural production both reflects and shapes social forms and identities, and that the analysis of cultural production is therefore a necessary component of any attempt to understand the world. It challenges the assumption that cultural production is a peripheral or decorative social form and analyses the ways in which cultural production shapes our understanding of ourselves and our social contexts and practices.
English Studies prioritise close reading of selected texts and other cultural forms, traditionally focussing on literary texts but also more recently on other kinds of cultural products, including cultural theory. It produces and analyses a range of knowledges about cultural forms and their capacity to document, comment on, and change society.
Learning and teaching are the central activities of the Discipline of English as a community encompassing staff and students at undergraduate, Honours and postgraduate levels.
The Discipline recognises the need for a shared involvement not only in the pursuit of knowledge and an understanding of its contexts, but also in the maintenance of excellence in learning and teaching. We recognise a shared commitment to monitoring the quality of our teaching and the learning experience of our students with regard for their diverse needs and aspirations and future destinations.
Effective learning and teaching is discursive, adaptive, interactive and reflective, and essentially a dialogue between teacher and student. Therefore the over-arching frame for learning and teaching in the Discipline of English is a ‘conversational’ model in which a range of learning activities take place in different contexts, all of which contribute to this learning conversation.
Student evaluations allow crucial direct feedback to the teacher and department about how effective the conversation has been for the student’s learning, thereby allowing for modification of the teacher’s approaches.
The Discipline aims to provide a collegial and supportive structure for student learning committed to teaching excellence and enthusiastic participation in the diverse practices of our discipline. Research and teaching must remain closely connected in order to maintain the relevance and the disciplinary rigour of these practices.
We are similarly committed to consistency and clarity in our student-centred teaching practices, including:
- clear statements detailing how the curriculum relates to desired learning outcomes through its modes of teaching and assessment
- clearly explained and relevant assessment tasks and requirements
- provision of high-quality and up-to-date materials to support student learning
- effective and timely feedback on student progress and performance.
The teaching modes adopted for any given subject, and thus the learning experience it provides, are shaped by both the content of the subject, including its principal methodologies, and by the expertise of its teachers — but always in response to the need for flexible student-centred learning.
The Discipline endeavours to make both a globally-contextualised education and life-long learning central to its range of subject offerings, forms of delivery, and assessment. With consideration for the diversity of skills and experiences which students bring to our subjects, we are committed to the skilled dissemination and utilisation of both established and new methodologies and technologies appropriate to our discipline.
The Discipline of English has been recognised for excellence in learning and teaching, and is committed to ongoing structured review of its learning and teaching, and to encouraging and facilitating innovative teaching initiatives and research into teaching.
Staff in the English Discipline have received a number of awards honouring its excellence in teaching.
The Stephen Cole the Elder Prizes for Excellence in Teaching
Winners of The Stephen Cole the Elder Prizes for Excellence in Teaching have included:
- Associate Professor Tom Burton (1993)
- Dr Susan Hosking (1994)
- Dr Heather Kerr (1994)
- Dr Dianne Schwerdt (1998)
- Dr Joy McEntee (2001; awarded for excellence in teaching in the first five years of teaching)
- Dr Lucy Potter (2006
Higher Degrees by Research (HDR)
Dr Susan Hosking won the University's Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research Supervision
Dr Heather Kerr won the Dean's Award for Excellence in Higher Degree Research Supervision
Executive Dean's Prizes and Vice-chancellor Awards
- Amanda Nettelbeck won the inaugural Executive Dean's Teaching Award (2005)
- Rowena Harper won the Executive Dean's Prize for Excellence in Teaching in the first 5 years (2006)
- Lucy Potter won the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching (2006)
- Ros Prosser received the Executive Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching (2009)
Carrick and Australian Council of Learning and Teaching Awards
Professor Tom Burton was awarded a 2008 Australian Learning & Teaching Council Citation for an Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning "For successfully stimulating deep learning by bringing to the study of English both rigour and a boundless enthusiasm that challenge and inspire students to achieve".
Dr Lucy Potter won a Carrick Citation for "outstanding contributions to student learning" in 2007; Lucy's citation was specifically for "outstanding modelling of both effective, student-centred teaching and dynamic leadership" in the discipline of English, including ESL.
Dr Joy McEntee received a Citation (2006) from the Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education for modelling an "infectious enthusiasm" for learning and teaching as stimulating and emotionally rewarding experiences, inspiring both learners and teachers over a 10-year period.
Australia Award for University Teaching
Two of our staff members have been nominated for the Australian Award for University Teaching (Humanities):
- Susan Hosking (nominee 1996, finalist 1998)
- Joy McEntee (2004).
Departmental Learning and Teaching Award
The Discipline received the University's Departmental Learning and Teaching Award in 1999.