Whispering to the hippopotamus about the 'Literacy Boomerang': Literacy wars and rumours of wars

Book chapter

Durrant, Calvin. (2012). Whispering to the hippopotamus about the 'Literacy Boomerang': Literacy wars and rumours of wars. In In B. Down and J. Smyth (Ed.). Critical Voices in Teacher Education pp. 185 - 195 Springer Science and Business Media. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-3974-1_13
AuthorsDurrant, Calvin
EditorsB. Down and J. Smyth

Over the past decade, the English-speaking world has witnessed a series of relentless attacks on school education, in particular the perceived state of English literacy levels amongst school-aged children, and the alleged lamentable standards of teaching methods contributing to this outcome. While there have also been concerted efforts to resist such a discourse, Australia’s print media have tended to highlight the viewpoints put forward by neoliberal education critics. This chapter will examine some of the main arguments and counterarguments that have been proposed during these very public ‘wars of the words’ in Australia in the light of the development of a National Curriculum. Indeed, such ‘wars’ could be interpreted as being both necessary and inevitable precursors to the definition and establishment of a national curriculum in English. This chapter will also explore the role of the media in mediating, weighting, ordering and privileging particular positions when reporting these debates.

Page range185 - 195
Book titleCritical Voices in Teacher Education
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media
Place of publicationThe Netherlands
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-3974-1_13
Research GroupSchool of Education
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Permalink -


Restricted files

Publisher's version

  • 55
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 1
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month
These values are for the period from 19th October 2020, when this repository was created.

Export as