A narrative inquiry into teachers’ interpretation and enactment of the Australian Curriculum: English demand for students to engage in reading for enjoyment

There is consistent evidence from more than five decades of educational research that reading for enjoyment provides students with a wide range of academic, personal and social benefits.  The significance of reading for enjoyment is recognized by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority in the Australian Curriculum: English (AC:E). The AC:E Year Level Description across all year levels from Foundation to Year 10, stipulates that, “students engage with a variety of texts for enjoyment” (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2014, Australian Curriculum; English F-10).

In the context of the current educational landscape, heavy emphasis is placed on performativity, accountability and measurement (Lingard & Sellar, 2013). Testing regimes and test-centric classroom practices promote student engagement in reading for a more instrumental or functional purpose (Cremin et al., 2018). Current research indicates a trend of decline in reading for enjoyment. This coincides with an increase of postliteracy and aliteracy in pre-service teachers (Dengler, 2018).

The contextual constraints and conceptual complexities of reading for enjoyment have been documented in the research literature. The potentially serious consequences of the decline in reading for enjoyment has prompted large-scale action research in the United Kingdom [UK] (Cremin, Bearne, Mottram & Goodwin, 2008). The success of the studies has produced a research-rich Reading for Pleasure (RfP) pedagogy and prompted the rise of a UK-based Reading for Pleasure (RfP) movement. 

This research seeks to explore teacher interpretation and enactment of the focus AC:E demand in the local Australian context. As this study seeks to explore the thoughts and experiences of classroom teachers working under intense pressures of accountability and competition (Bousfield & Ragusa, 2014), a narrative inquiry (NI) methodology is selected as an ideal approach to researching people, their values, intentions and actions (Bowman, 2006). NI is purposely chosen as a collaborative and reflective way of investigating experience. The NI methodological approach supports the aim to achieve an invitational and inspirational research project, which is focused on improvement in student engagement in reading for enjoyment.

Date:            17th January             

Time:              2pm            

Location:       506            

PANEL:        Professor Peter Renshaw & Associate Professor Ian Hardy            

Principal Advisor:    Dr Louise Phillips

Associate Advisor:    Dr Linda-Dianne Willis


About HDR Confirmation Seminars

The Confirmation Seminar is the first public presentation in the UQ milestone process.

Staff and students are urged to attend to support your colleagues at this first outing of their project.




Building 24, Room 506