Karen Yager, a teacher with more than 25 years’ experience, has been awarded the 2020 Reading Australia Fellowship for Teachers of English and Literacy.
The Reading Australia Fellowship provides $15,000 to a leading English and/or literacy teacher to undertake a career-enhancing research project that will benefit the successful Fellow as well as the education sector.
Karen Yager, who is deputy head at Knox Grammar School in New South Wales, will focus on the connection between the Australian landscape and literature, with the aim of developing an extensive resource to support English teachers in improving their students’ writing.
She says her research will feature “the evocative writing of Australian writers who have captured the heart and soul of landscapes to inspire young people to improve their own writing”.
Copyright Agency’s CEO Adam Suckling says: “Reading Australia provides invaluable resources to Australian teachers to encourage the teaching of Australian literature in schools.
“Now more than ever Australian teachers need our support. This Fellowship provides a significant opportunity for Karen Yager to develop new skills and resources to share with her colleagues and to benefit Australian school children.”
Reading Australia has published more than 200 full units of work to address the needs and challenges of English and literacy teachers, and to help them navigate Australian texts within the framework of the Australian Curriculum.
Yager says: “I have always been passionate about supporting students to not only improve their writing but to engage and inspire them to love writing.
“Unfortunately, for too many years, there has been a decline in the writing standards of Australian students. All too often students approach writing with trepidation. Good writing starts with great models and inspiring stimuli, such as our rich and colourful landscapes.”
Yager will complete the Fellowship by July 2021. She is also a PhD candidate with the University of Newcastle, investigating how professional learning can improve academic excellence, and this Fellowship will better inform her research.
Judges for the Reading Australia Fellowship for Teachers of English and Literacy were Helen O’Neill, member of the Copyright Agency Board and Cultural Fund; Phil Page from the Australian Association for the Teaching of English; Wendy Bean from the Australian Literacy Educator’s Association; and Alex Wharton, Head of English at Carinya Christian School and the inaugural recipient of the Reading Australia Fellowship.