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How do Brian's books differ from other English texts?

The main difference is that Brian's textbooks are research-based and carefully theorised. Many textbooks for English offer the student a range of reading materials and activities without carefully considering questions of theory or method. As a result, they can be inconsistent or outdated in their approach, and often fail to develop clear or sophisticated understandings. In contrast, each of Brian's books is the result of detailed research and investigation. The books offer innovative approaches to literary study, focussing on the social and historical dimensions of language and reading, and they are carefully crafted to teach advanced analytical techniques to students.

It is rare for university researchers 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 literature study is broadly socio-cultural, which means the study of literature is considered as a social practice, with learnable rules and procedures. This is in contrast to books that treat literary reading as natural personal response. A key concept in this approach is the notion of "reading practices" -- routines and assumptions that readers acquire in their role as members of a community. Brian's books reveal the operation of these practices and teach students how to perform the kinds of readings that are associated with literary competence. They also show how the reading practices we have acquired can reproduce ways of thinking about the world that may be value-laden.

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

spacer 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 Western 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. (Visit the Chalkface Press website.) 

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. Other frequent questions will be added to this site as they come to light.    


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