MasterclassesKeynotes and Guest Speakers | Program | Social Program

As part of the program we are running a series of master classes on Tuesday 2nd October. These are one day intensive workshops which will be held at the Conservatorium High School and in several Sydney landmarks.

Game authoring and media literacy

Professor Andrew Burn: Institute of Education, University of London

This day offers a chance to have a go at making your own computer game, using a game-authoring software devised through a research collaboration between the Institute of Education, University of London, and Immersive Education Ltd. The activity will be based in an approach to English, Drama and Media education which uses game-authoring both to provide new insights into the structures of literary and dramatic texts, and into the contemporary cultures of computer game play.
Attendees will be provided with a free copy of the software (PC compatible only) for their own use. Bring your own PC computer. NSW DEC teachers will be able to access the Internet through their DEC password. If you have a dongle please bring. ETA will supply some as well.

Making Movies with a Mobile

Associate Professor Jane Mills: Charles Sturt University

In this Masterclass, participants will learn how to make movies on the mobile phone camera, explore the capabilities of the smartphone camera for screen literacy learning,  and discuss the potential of digital communication technology for cultural participation and global citizenship.  


Teaching the Present: How Popular Culture Can Revolutionize Your Classroom

Dr Adam Bradley, University of Colorado

This Masterclass will provide practical strategies for drawing upon popular culture in classroom instruction. From music to film to fashion and beyond, bringing elements of the present into your classroom can invigorate both you and your students. But doing this isn’t nearly as simple as it would seem. Teaching the present is, in fact, a largely unfamiliar enterprise that requires creating a critical distance for your students between themselves and their cultural surroundings.
By rendering the familiar unfamiliar, you challenge your students to find knowledge and inspiration all around them.

Rediscovering rhetoric: the lost craft of persuasion

Dr Neil James, Plain English Foundation

For centuries, rhetoric was one of the most prestigious and practical disciplines in education. It offered a systematic method for persuading an audience by discovering arguments, structuring a text, selecting the right style and delivering it effectively.
With the rise of the scientific method, rhetoric was increasingly emasculated and often removed from the curriculum altogether. The word itself became a pejorative for misleading or manipulative language.
Fortunately, a ‘new rhetoric’ movement has been rediscovering how the ancient craft of persuasion still provides a useful framework for communications in the Information Age.
Dr Neil James revisits three core canons of rhetoric by examining the use and abuse of argument, the structuring of texts and what distinguishes a finely tuned sentence from the verbal garbage of gobbledygook.
This interactive masterclass is for teachers wanting to rediscover rhetoric and how it can strengthen persuasion in texts for a contemporary audience.

Series and Storyworlds; a process for developing and writing episodic narratives.

Mike Jones: Australian Film. Television and Radio School

Movies were the art form of the 20th century, but episodic stories are dominating our imaginations as the screen art form for the 21st; on across platforms, mediums and screens of all sizes.
Cable and broadcast TV, Video on Demand, WebTV and Multiplatform Transmedia have created an appetite for big story worlds with characters, ideas, plot lines and depth that can sustain long-form narratives. This is not new for stories in book form: The Mahabharata, Homer’s Odyssey, Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tales of Genji, and Dickens’ Great Expectations are just a few examples of storyworlds delivering compelling episodic story telling.
But how do you write a Storyworld? And how do you provide students with creative process for generating episodic narratives?
This all-day workshop will lead participants through a practical and hands-on writing process for developing a Series Storyworld Bible. Using the Celtx screenwriting and production development software (and along the way learning how to master this free, accessible and powerful tool) participants will learn to articulate loglines, treatments, storyworld rules and pressures, structures of dramatic questions and narrative timelines. You will identify series returnable elements which compel audiences to come back episode after episode, and formulate patterns of narrative closure.

The workshop promises to be a rich and detailed workshop, practical and creative, whilst empowering teachers with a firm toolkit for developing writing, analytical and comprehension skills in students.
Bring your computer with latest version of Celtx installed. NSW DEC teachers will be able to access the Internet through their DEC password. If you have a dongle please bring. ETA will supply some as well.

A writer’s creativity: teaching creative writing

Associate Profesor Debra Adelaide, UTS; Paul Brunton and Megan Perry, State Library

‘I looked out my window in the dark’
Kenneth Slessor ‘Five Bells’
What do we see when we look out the window in the dark?  Starting or continuing a creative work can be like gazing out the window into a cold black void.  But with observation and memory stimulated, and the imagination highly tuned, writers might see what Slessor’s narrator sees: waves like diamond quills, like combs of light, like mackerel, slapping the sand.
Great literature is organic, generative, full of endless possibilities, and so this masterclass will use Slessor’s poem as a starting point, to examine ways of expressing and furthering creative ideas, and follow up with practical guidance for the emerging writer.
The Creative Writing masterclass will be held at the State Library of NSW which houses the papers of some of Australia's greatest writers. Led by Debra, Adelaide,  published author and teacher of Creative writing at UTS, the  workshop will be interspersed with tours of the library collection, looking at what inspired major Australian authors to produce their literary masterpiece.  Attendees will be shown how to access library sites online for use in the classroom, as well as touring the Patrick White exhibition.

Teaching Shakespeare through performance

James Evans: Bell Shakespeare

It’s easy and rewarding to study Shakespeare with motivated and enthusiastic students, but how do you convince even your most disgruntled and disengaged students that Shakespeare is worthy of their attention? Make it practical and make it relevant to their lives. Shakespeare’s plays are filled with human dilemmas that transcend time; many of these dilemmas are challenges faced by today’s teenagers. In this practical and performance-based workshop, Bell Shakespeare’s Resident Artist in Education will guide you through the latest strategies for bringing Shakespeare to life in any English classroom.
We will address English teachers’ occasional fear of drama by diving straight into the activities. Teachers will experience first-hand what it’s like to be a student engaging with Shakespeare’s text up on the floor.
We will uncover hooks for attracting students’ interest, as well as addressing the nuts and bolts issues of teaching iambic pentameter, verse structure and language techniques in interesting new ways. We will demystify Shakepeare’s words, explore multiple characters and perspectives, and devise fresh interpretations and stagings of some of the greatest scenes and monologues ever written.

Writing crime fiction

Dr Felicity Plunkett and Nerida Campbell

Criminality and justice have long been fascinations of writers and artists. The Justice & Police Museum collects a rich and wide range of materials including remarkable evidence and objects which offer insight into the human propensity to break the law. Join the curator, Nerida Campbell and Dr Felicity Plunkett for a day of crime writing with carefully selected resources that target the year 7-10 age group. Attendees will be introduced to the possibilities for research at the Justice & Police Museum, a place that has provided the background for the recent crime show Underbelly. Curator Nerida Campbell will select a wide range of material related to a crime which Dr Felicity Plunkett, writer and critic, will then use to guide teachers through the writing process, applying the latest strategies that American crime writing workshops are using. The ideas can be adapted to older age groups.

Speketh so Pleyne: Plain English for English teachers

Greg Moriarty: Plain English Foundation

With the passage of the Plain Writing Act in the United States, the plain language movement has reached a critical point of influence. Federal agencies joined financial organisations in having to write ‘in plain language in plain sight’. Similar laws are already in place in countries as diverse as South Africa and Sweden. Greg Moriarty will outline how teachers can draw from current developments around the world to help students prepare more effectively for future workplace writing. The masterclass will also explore the relevance of plain English for academic and literary texts. Although plain language has grown considerably in method, its core concepts are in fact very old. Greg will illustrate 15 core principles that plain English practitioners share with great writers ranging from Aristotle and Orwell to Chaucer and Coleridge. The masterclass will interweave practical exercises with a historical account of the plain style and where it is appropriate.

The Film Maker's Tools

Lynda Heys: Faraway Films

The Filmmakers’ Tools – “Reading Film as Text". This visual and entertaining presentation takes its audience inside the world of film to create a layered understanding of the film techniques manipulated by its composer (the director) to create meaning, while examining the underlying emotional structure and journey of characters within mainstream feature film storytelling. The session looks at the central characters and the worlds built around these heroes to heighten and confront their flaws, fears and needs and examines the way the tools of production change through the course of the film to externalize the inner journeys. Finally, it highlights how the layered choices made by filmmakers exist to manipulate the audience emotionally, forcing them to belong to the text rather than passively observe from their cinema seats.
Presented by LA based Australian filmmaker, Lynda Heys, The Filmmakers’ Tools Incursions on “Film as Text” have been seen by over 100,000 students and teachers of English in NSW over the past decade. This schools’ program has been developed from a professional industry program for filmmakers worldwide. After a six week series at Pixar Animation Studio in San Francisco, attendees declared it the best approach to story they had ever had. Disney immediately organized to bring Lynda, and her partner, Steve Turnbull, to its studio in LA, as did DreamWorks Animation, where it was considered “compulsory” for their entire story department, writers, directors and producers. In 2011, Screen Australia, Screen NSW and Animal Logic hosted a two day Master Class in Sydney for the Australian film industry. With Lynda coming out from the USA for the session, this ETA Master Class is a unique opportunity offering to challenge even the most experience teachers of film.
“This approach absorbs and goes beyond all other systems of story analysis available”. Chris Vogler, Author "The Writer’s Journey, Mythical Structure for Storytellers & Screenwriters

Faculty programming using a conceptual framework

Prue Greene, Department of Education Curriculum and Learning Innovation Centre and Karen Yager, Knox Grammar School

This Masterclass is focussed on how develop challenging, quality programs and integrated assessment using a conceptual framework that is applicable to programming for all students from early stage 1 through to stage 6. The conceptual approach to programming is a synthesis of the Quality Teaching Model, Wiggins and McTighe’s backward mapping and the gifted and talented models of Kaplan (2006), Williams and Maker. The focus is on grounding programming in the skills, knowledge and understanding of the Australian Curriculum for English. The concepts and key learning ideas come directly from the Australian Curriculum for English.
Participants in the Masterclass will develop a new or transform an existing unit of work and have access to extensive resources and practical examples that can be used back at school.
As a result of engaging in this Masterclass, teachers will:

  • gain an understanding of how to use a conceptual model to design or transform a unit of work and/or program;
  • extend their repertoire of innovative teaching strategies to challenge and enrich students;
  • gain a deeper understanding of how to use ICT to engage students and differentiate assessment;
  • become familiar with a conceptual model that can be used effectively to develop Australian Curriculum programs for English and to differentiate the learning; and
  • have access to extensive resources to support their development of quality programs for English.