Brian Moon (PhD)
Education Consultant and Author
 
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Questions and Answers



How do these books differ from other English texts?

Many textbooks for English offer the student a wide range of reading materials and activities but without fully explaining the rules and assumptions that underlie success. They leave important connections unexplored and often value gimmickry over depth of content. As a result, they can be inconsistent or unclear.

In contrast, Brian's materials are carefully theorised and highly detailed. They develop sophisticated understandings by focussing on the social and historical dimensions of language and reading; and they are carefully crafted to teach advanced analytical techniques to students. They offer instruction that is clear and complete.

It is rare for a university researcher to produce school and college level texts, because this kind of publication does not attract university funding. Most researchers publish their findings only in specialised journals. These books, however, make new research available to classroom teachers and their students in direct and practical ways.


What theories are the books based on?

The books draw upon a range of literary and pedagogical theories. The approach to literary texts draws upon history, sociology and genre study. Literature is considered as both a body of knowledge and a social practice with learnable rules and procedures.

Two key elements are the building of content knowledge (about texts, authors, events) and the exploration of "reading practices" -- routines and assumptions that readers acquire in their role as members of a community. The books reveal the connections between knowledge and practices, and they teach students how to perform the kinds of readings that are associated with literary competence.

The instructional design of the books combines elements of explicit instruction and constructivism. The keys to effective teaching are clear explanations, practical demonstration, and activities that engage students in the learning. Together, these strategies promote high-levels of skill and understanding.


 


Who publishes the books?

In Australasia the books are published by Chalkface Press. In England they are published by the English and Media Centre in London. In the United States they are published as part of the Chalkface Imprint series by the NCTE press.


Who is Chalkface Press?

Chalkface Press is a specialist educational publisher based in Australia, dedicated to producing high quality, innovative texts for English. Chalkface selects authors who are specialists with advanced qualifications in their fields, and who can translate complex modern theory into practice. The company has links with London's prestigious English and Media Centre and with the National Council of Teachers of English in the United States. In 2001, Chalkface Director Dr Bronwyn Mellor was awarded an Order of Australia medal for her services to education and educational publishing.


Who are the other publishers?

NCTE (The National Council of Teachers of English) is the peak professional body for teachers of English in the United States. The NCTE's publishing division has published books by Brian Moon as part of its Chalkface Imprint series. The English and Media Centre, London, produces critically acclaimed materials for teachers and students across the whole range of English and Media courses.


How can I contact the author?

As you will appreciate, it isn't possible for Brian to respond to enquiries from all the countries in which his books are published. If you have specific questions about obtaining the books or reproducing extracts from them, these should be directed to the publisher. If you wish to know more about the theory and research behind the books, you may wish to consult some of Brian Moon's academic papers by following the link above.

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