ABOUT THE LEARNING CONFERENCE
Araluen Arts Centre Alice Springs, Northern Territory,
1-4 October 1997
This was the fifth Literacy and Education Research Network
Conference, held every two years. It's nearly a decade now, and
the LERN conferences have gone from strength to strength. The
fourth conference, held in Townsville, North Queensland in July
1995, attracted almost 800 delegates from 16 countries, and included
over 150 presentations.
LERN conferences are community events, as well as thoughtful
and scholarly occasions. They are a time of celebration and affirmation.
Once again, this conference was one of these community occasions.
Alice Springs, in the Centre of Australia, was the perfect venue
for its beautiful desert location, and for the vibrant and diverse
communities that give the Red Centre its life. This year the
conference was co-hosted by Indigenous colleagues and in conjunction
with the Institute for Aboriginal Development in Alice Springs.
The continuing dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous
educators was a highlight of the conference, as were the kinds
of collaborations required in a pluralist democracy and globalising
LERN conferences are also participants' conferences, with
everything from plenary presentations by world renowned educators,
to small workshop descriptions of practice by teachers and students,
to informal 'garden chats' with the keynote speakers, to a continuous
program of local community arts events.
Once again, the International Multiliteracies Project team
was among those presenting at the LERN conference. This time
they addressed practical dimensions of the two 'multis' in teaching
and learning: multiculturalism and the multimedia of new information
and communications technologies. They discussed how to address
Multiliteracies in curriculum and teaching. Also attending and
presenting were teachers from several different countries discussing
the ways they have used and adapted the Multiliteracies framework.