Hear Garth Boomer's address at the 1991 ARA (ALEA) National Conference in Adelaide:
'To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield'
One person who helped us understand learning theory and it's place in a teacher's repertoire of skills was renowned educator Garth Boomer.
From the AATE website -
"Garth Boomer's life was a triumph, his contribution extraordinary, his premature death in 1993 a huge loss. While many English teachers in Australia may not have met Garth, some not have read his work, and a few not even have heard of him, his influence remains present and powerful - and impacts on virtually all our classrooms, so deeply did he influence the shaping of curriculum and pedagogy in Australia.
After graduating from Adelaide University, Garth taught English, Latin and Mathematics in South Australian State secondary schools before becoming the first consultant in English in South Australia. During and after his time as consultant he wrote a range of texts for English teaching. He took a year off to complete his masters (with great distinction) at the London Institute of Education in 1972-73 and his evangelical fervour for language and learning took on a new intensity.
On his return he was first an education officer, then an inspector of schools and, in 1980, Director of Wattle Park Teachers Centre (the curriculum and teacher development centre for the South Australian system).
His influence spread very quickly around Australia and overseas and by 1984 when he moved to Canberra to take up the role of Director of the Curriculum Development Centre and then Chairman of the Commonwealth Schools Commission in 1985, he had become perhaps Australia’s most significant English educator ever.
In 1988 Garth was appointed interim Chairman of the Schools Council, one of four councils of the National Board of Employment, Education and Training.In July 1988 he returned to South Australia as Associate Director-General of Education (Curriculum). He served as President of the Australian Association for the Teaching of English from 1981-1984, and was also chair of the International Federation for the Teaching of English for two years from 1983.
No-one has contributed more to the teaching of English in Australia than Garth Boomer: life-long member of AATE (he was awarded Life Membership in 1977) who has been described as a ‘provocative and inspiring conference speaker, vigorous workshop leader, compelling writer, pace-setting president’.
One of Garth’s secrets as a learner and educator was that he recognised that his own growth took place in conjunction with others. On many occasions he would quote from Tennyson’s Ulysses: I am a part of all that I have met and he had a fondness for the poem’s final line: To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield which was inscribed on his funeral plaque.
Pedagogy was Garth's driving focus. His writing captures a seminal revelation of action and reflection for teachers of yesterday, today and tomorrow, and remains to inspire us: The Spitting Image (with Dale Spender), Negotiating the Curriculum, Fair Dinkum Teaching and Learning, Changing Education and Metaphors and Meanings."
See more at the AATE website
Dr Richard Allington
Dr. Richard L. Allington is a Professor of Education at the University of Tennessee. He was an elementary school classroom teacher and a Title I director in poor rural schools prior to beginning his career as a teacher educator and instructional researcher. His research interests include reading/learning disabilities and effective instruction, especially in classroom settings. His publications include over 100 articles, chapters, monographs, and books. He served or serves on the editorial advisory boards of Reading Research Quarterly, Review of Educational Research, Journal of Educational Psychology, Reading Teacher, Elementary School Journal, Journal of Literacy Research, and Remedial and Special Education.
Dr. Allington has served as president of the National Reading Conference and the International Reading Association. He received the William S. Gray Citation of Merit from IRA for his contributions to the organization and the profession. He was co-recipient (with Dr. Anne McGill-Franzen) of the Albert J. Harris Award for contributions to improving professional understanding of reading/learning disabilities and was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame.
Dr. Allington is author or co-author of several books including:
- Classrooms That Work: They Can All Read And Write (AllynBacon)
- Schools That Work: All Children Can Read And Write (AllynBacon)
- What Really Matters for Struggling Readers: Designing Research-based Programs (Allyn-Bacon)
- What Really Matters for Reading Fluency (AllynBacon)
- What Really Matters in Response to Intervention (AllynBacon)
- Learning to read: Lessons from Exemplary First-grade Classrooms (Guilford)
- Reading to learn: Lessons from Exemplary Fourth-grade Classrooms (Guilford).
- Big Brother and the National Reading Curriculum: How Ideology Trumped Evidence (Heinemann)
- No Quick Fix: The RTI edition (TeachersCollegePress)
Key Educator in 'Revolution School' on the ABC
Diane Snowball is a Victorian educator with teaching experience that has ranged from prep through university levels over the past 50 years. Her experience includes both teaching and administrative roles in secondary and primary schools, but the majority of her time has been devoted to the provision of professional learning for teachers and those involved in all levels of school leadership, with a focus on improving students’ literacy.
Diane is a past president of the Australian Literacy Educators Association and has presented at many conferences in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Asia and the USA. She has written several books and articles about literacy teaching and has produced many videos, DVDs and CD-ROMs demonstrating the most effective teaching practices. In 1992 Diane was invited to provide professional learning for teachers and administrators at schools across New York City and in several other parts of the US, which she did for 16 years.
Diane’s main focus these days is on ways to provide the most effective professional development for Victorian educators so that all students have the best opportunities for achieving their potential and has been assisting the Western Metropolitan Region schools to meet this goal.
Diane was a presenter on ABC TV's 'Revolution School' in 2016, and she is a key advisor to schools/governments in literacy education.
Michael Fullan, O.C., is a worldwide authority on educational reform with a mandate of helping to achieve the moral purpose of all children learning.
A former Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto. Michael advises policymakers and local leaders around the world to provide leadership in education. Michael received the Order of Canada in December 2012. He holds honorary doctorates from several universities in North America and abroad.