SACE Research Project: The Literacy Demands

Background to workshop

In South Australia, students undertake a complex, independent research project as a part of their Senior studies. This is a requirement that must be fulfilled for the SACE (South Australian Certificate of Education) and it places a wide range of high level literacy demands on students. Preparation for the Research Project must begin well before the Senior years – schools should be gradually developing the students’ skill base from the early high school years. This workshop explores the range of skills (thinking and literacy) required by the project and considers how these can be included in the curriculum of students from as early as possible.

Audience

Teachers in South Australia – especially those in Years 6 through to 12. While the workshop will be valuable for teachers given the special responsibility of mentoring students in the Research Project, it will be even more valuable for teachers in the Middle Years who are responsible for laying the groundwork through the regular curriculum.

Length

As outlined below, this workshop takes approximately three hours. A shorter version (with less depth) would be possible. Alternatively, the workshop could be delivered across multiple, shorter sessions, e.g. two 90 minute workshops.

For one version of the workshop run for the Association of Independent Schools South Australia, an extra 90 minutes was added dealing with how to engage middle years students in literacy. Covering principles such as students’ virtual schoolbags, project based learning, wide reading and the use of technology, this proved to be a very effective introduction to the SACE Research Project.

Outline

  • What is the Research Project and what’s involved?
  • Exploring the task and criteria sheets, as well as samples of student work
  • Identifying the literacy demands of the SACE Research Project: Close analysis
  • Implications of these demands
  • Preparing students for success: Some ¬†significant concepts, including the context-text model and the oral-literate¬†continuum
  • Conclusion: Reflections and planning
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