ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
DIVERSITY: exchanging ways of being
This is the theme which will be explored in Perth in April 2016 when two professional organisations with local, national and international affiliations combine to pursue their common interests in teaching and learning. All too often in the past, diversity among learners, and between learners and teachers, has been regarded as an obstacle to learning, leading to one-way approaches to education which fail to take into proper account the relevance of prior learning and experience on the part of learners.
This ground-breaking conference proposes to explore the concept of language, literacy and numeracy education as a process of exchanging ways of being. It is concerned with how the learning experience can enable students and teachers of diverse backgrounds to learn from one another, and, in the process, develop effective competencies in a common language.
Australia has accurately been described as a meeting place of languages and cultures. There has been a longstanding commitment to meeting the English language needs of immigrants and refugees. Australia has also increasingly recognised the diverse linguistic inheritance of its Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and the need for specialised educational programs to cater to their needs. This Conference provides a significant platform for making known the achievements – as well as the enduring struggles – in meeting the language, literacy and numeracy needs of all Australians.