The Teaching Aust. Lit. project (TAL) was established in 2008 with ALTC, now the Office of Teaching and Learning (OLT) funding to record information about the texts being taught at Australian universities. It was a partnership between researchers Professor Philip Mead, Kerry Kilner, and Dr Alice Healy, at the University of Tasmania and then the University of Western Australia, The University of Queensland, and the University of South Australia respectively.
The aim of the project was to discover where, when, and in what context, Australian literary texts were being taught in Australian universities. We undertook a survey of students and academics to learn more about the attitudes, aspirations, and experiences of students and teachers of Australian literature. Our findings of that initial research project can be found in the Teaching Aust. Lit. Survey report.
In the years since the publication of the report in 2010, AustLit team members have taken responsibility for keeping the database as up to date as we can within our limited resources. Some academics have kindly provided us with updated information on their teaching activities and for that we are extremely grateful!
In 2014 we received an extension grant from the OLT to update our information. This enabled us to redesign the way we deliver access to the information on the texts and teaching contexts of contemporary Australian literary studies.
TAL is designed to assist tertiary and secondary teachers of Australian literature, members of the Literary and Cultural Studies discipline community, curriculum designers, policy framers and anyone interested in the state of Australian literature study with information about the current teaching of Australian literary and narrative studies in Australian and, in some cases, international educational institutions.
The TAL data is now fully integrated with the AustLit database so that biographical, bibliographical and contextual information on Australian literary cultures is easily accessible from individual work and author records.
Search AustLit for a text or an author to discover where, and in what context, novels, plays, poetry, film, and other Australian texts are and have been taught.
Explore some of the statistics here.
Similarly, to see where and in what context White's novel, The Aunt's Story, is taught click on the 'Units Teaching' link on the AustLit work record.
Every Patrick White text taught at university level will have that detail recorded.
AustLit tries to record this information for all writers with works taught at Australian universities. You can help by telling us about the texts you teach.
The TAL Project makes available information about the teaching of Australian literary texts in universities and tertiary institutions around Australia and overseas.
The inclusion policy for TAL is fairly broad and covers the following types of texts:
— Traditional forms of literary expression: novels, plays, short stories, poems
— Life narrative expression: autobiography, biography, memoir, oral history
— Critical textual expression: literary criticism and theory, essays, subject specific companions, ficto-criticism, etc
— Non-print media expression: film, screen writing, performance art, Indigenous artistic expression, web-based narrative material
The unit or course description includes, when available: brief details of the aims and methods of the course; details of the Australian literary texts taught or recommended for reading; the context within the university, school and/or department in which the course appears; links to the AustLit Resource whenever possible; options for updates and providing additional information.
The Teaching Aust. Lit. project developed out of the Teaching Australian Literature Survey project, an ALTC funded project conducted in 2008-2009.
This Survey was informed by initial research and surveying conducted by the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (ASAL) in 2006. The ASAL survey yielded some limited results and was useful in identifying the specific methodological, scoping and resourcing aims at the core of the ALTC Survey project’s design.
The ALTC Survey included the following target groups:
— Senior Secondary Teachers of Australian Literature
— 1st year Undergraduate Students of Australian Literature
— 2nd, 3rd and 4th year Undergraduate Students of Australian Literature
— Teachers and Co-ordinators of University Level Australian Literature Study
— Overseas Tertiary Teachers of Australian Literature
Other consultations with the tertiary and secondary community also contributed to this research. Stakeholders included: ASAL, the Australian Society of Authors (ASA), the Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE), the National Library of Australia (NLA), the journals Australian Literary Studies (ALS) and Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature (JASAL), and the International Australian Studies Association (InASA).
As an updatable resource the TAL project encourages participation by members of the teaching communities where Australian literature is taught and through the support of the peak body, ASAL.
We are keen to collect information from teaching staff or administrative staff in schools and faculties to submit information on the courses/units being taught so that in each semester/year the information is up to date while retaining details of past years’ teaching activities. †
AustLit continues to maintain the content within our limited resources, but we rely on the community participating on its continued development. Please help us keep the TAL data up-to-date.
† Please note that any data collected on Units taught before 2009 is incidental, and figures should not be used comparatively for these earlier years.
– the ability for teachers to explore how a text they might wish to teach is being used in other units and courses around Australia;
– to consider the types of assessment being used; and,
– to discover complementary and secondary texts in a given context.
The TAL project allows teachers of Australian literature to draw on a broad knowledge of the community’s experience of unit and course design and to contribute, interactively, to the development of that sharing of teaching experience.
See the Teaching Australian Literature Survey report for more background on what other teachers have done and how you can use AustLit's resources to enhance both your teaching and your students' learning.
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