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Australian Council for Adult Literacy


Victorian Adult Literacy and Numeracy Council

Professor Mary Hamilton, Lancaster University, UK • Australian events

Mary HamiltonSYDNEY• October 16, 2013 • Public lecture 'Literacy in an era of big data: Engaging with the politics of numbers'


MELBOURNE • October 22, 2013 • 'Sustaining Learner Voices in a Changing Policy Context'


Professor Mary Hamilton – Lancaster University, UK is one of the founding figures of New Literacy Studies that introduced a social practices perspective on understanding and researching literacy.

In recent years Professor Hamilton’s works have included historical and interpretative policy analysis exploring how international influences reach into local practice and the implications of this for tutor and student agency in adult literacy education. Through her publications and research she has developed particular expertise in the international surveys of literacy and politics of measurement.

Mary Hamilton was a keynote speaker at the recent ACAL Conference in Sydney.

(SYDNEY) 'Literacy in an era of big data: Engaging with the politics of numbers'

UTS logoWhen: Wednesday 16 October 2013

Time: Drinks from 6.00pm for a 6.30pm start

Where: Lecture Theatre CB02.04.11, UTS Building 2, Level 4 (Broadway level), Room 11 – enter via UTS Tower, Broadway, Sydney


RSVP: Claire.Moore@uts.edu.au by 09 October 2013

This lecture will focus on the literacy crisis highlighted by findings from international surveys – the most recent of which (the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies or PIACC) have just been released. UTS Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Professor Mary Hamilton will argue that the numerical results of such surveys are far from neutral ‘facts’ and that they serve wider global agendas that are important for researchers, practitioners and literacy advocates to engage with. She explores what these surveys can tell us about literacy and how they tell us, how they affect the ways we visualise what literacy is, who needs it and why. The lecture will then link these issues into the bigger landscape of educational policy and emerging trends in the use of "big data" by commerce and government to make evidence-informed decisions and to monitor practice. With such enthusiasms now driving many educational and research initiatives, critical debate is needed about how the 'facts' about literacy are constructed and how they reach into our everyday lives and imaginations.

(MELBOURNE) 'Sustaining Learner Voices in a Changing Policy Context'

Victoria UniversityProfessor Mary Hamilton will talk about a project she is currently involved with that is creating an oral history and digital archive of Pecket Well College, a user-run residential college for adults with literacy and numeracy needs. She will talk about the context within which the college developed, its ideals and methods of working, how it kept going and the difficulties it experienced in functioning within a changing policy and funding environment. Mary will use this example to make some broader points about the politics of student voice and community education.

VALBEC, Victoria University and Monash University have combined to invite Mary Hamilton to speak to LLN Practitioners in Melbourne.

Tuesday 22nd October, 5-7pm.

Victoria University Flinders Street Campus, Level 9, Flinders Street, Melbourne


Cost free but RSVP is essential

Register here

Monash University will also offer a lunchtime forum for staff and practitioners on Wednesday 23rd October.