Associate Professor Brendan Bartlett and the team from Griffith's Faculty of Education co-convened the 3rd Annual International Conference on Cognition, Language and Special Education Research held at the Crowne Plaza, Gold Coast from December 2 to 4 2005. Brendan Bartlett provides a wrap-up of the keynote addresses below...
Ruth Wajnryb, linguist and columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald made a great start to the conference with her academic and journalist perspective and providing an informing and humorous coverage of the importance of shared meaning for effective communication and teaching. Her paper, "I'll have what she's having": Exploring issues of alignment in the classroom realities of teaching and learning will be set reading for most undergraduate courses here in language education.
Griffith University's Claire Wyatt-Smith's treatment of quality, standards, and teacher judgement lifted thinking about how teachers could and should input into the standards and testing movements that are sweeping Australia, and what benefits they might reap if they do Vs if they don't. This was strong advocacy in this paper (Being serious about improving student outcomes: Bringing the issues of quality, standards, and teacher judgement to centre stage) - for being either highly active or knowingly reticent. I felt teachers would be well advised to be proactive by putting their needs/wants clearly to the test/standards panels. It would be time well spent for them to become fully aware of the issues and find the voice to articulate responses.
Jacqueline Thousand, of California State University, was engagingly enthusiastic throughout her time with us both at the pre-conference workshop and throughout the proceedings. She spoke about co-teaching, a new enthusiasm for which is sweeping OZ, US and UK, bringing into people's predispositions an informed view from the literature including her own recent and current research. Her paper, Co-teaching: The scientific evidence is a good read.