Ladies and Gentlemen, Girls and Boys, Grandparents and Community Members: Welcome to the Wowan State Primary School Theatre Restaurant!
- Year: 2007
- Author: Exley, Beryl
- Journal Name: Education in Rural Australia
- Journal Number: Vol. 17, No. 2
- Country: Australia
- State/Region: Queensland
In recent years, the teaching staff from the Central Queensland school of Wowan State Primary School have been responding to recently released Education Queensland initiatives for whole school literacy planning, 'Literate Futures: Reading' (Education Queensland, 2002), and a framework for pedagogical reform, 'Productive Pedagogies' (Education Queensland, 2006). This article recounts one of their whole school showcase projects that exemplifies the innovative and connected ways this group of small school rural teachers are working to better students' engagement with the multiple demands of literacy in complex new times. Wowan State Primary School's 'Theatre Restaurant 2006' project was awarded a National Literacy and Numeracy Week Celebration Grant in 2006 for its effectiveness in creating real life literacy projects for its students and its connectedness to the wider community. This article also serves to contribute to the dearth of research on literacy in rural communities (Green and Reid, 2004; Reid, Edwards and Power, 2004) and correct myths that rural teachers are not highly skilled and fail to connect to their community (Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 2000; Clandinin and Connelly, 2004; Motley, Rossi and King, 2005) or that small multi-age rural schools do not provide exemplar practices worthy of national attention (see Sharplin, 2002; Jarzabkowski, 2003; Shelton, 2004).