Dr Don Carter has held numerous senior positions in education. Most recently he was senior lecturer in English education at the Australian Catholic University. He has held the position of Inspector, English at the NSW Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) where he was responsible for key projects such as the development of the new English K-10 Syllabus and the Stage 6 English Studies course. Don has also worked as an ESL/Multicultural Education consultant for the Department of Education and has been a head of English in government and non-government schools. His publications include The English Teacher's Handbook A-Z (co-edited with Associate Professor Jackie Manuel) and Imagination, Innovation & Creativity (co-edited with Associate Professor Jackie Manuel, Dr Paul Brock & Professor Wayne Sawyer).
Romantic Studies Association of Australasia
- Secondary Schools Representative
British Educational Research Association
Australian College of Educators
Australian Association for the Teaching of English
English Teachers' Association NSW
Australian Teacher Education Association
Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia
National Association for the Teaching of English (UK)
Can supervise: YES
Research interests include:
- literacy development
- standardised testing and student learning and well being
- curriculum histories
- curriculum design
- the influence of Romanticism on curriculum design and pedagogical practice
- literacy development for primary and secondary students
- writing as creative practice
Teaching areas include:
- secondary English teaching
- primary English teaching
Carter, D 2009, The English Teacher's Handbook A to Z, 1st, Phoenix Education, Putney.
This reference book provides teachers and pre-service teachers with a user-friendly, informative guide to the essential terminology distinctive to the subject, with a consistent emphasis on practical classroom teaching and learning ...
Manuel, J, Brock, P, Sawyer, W & Carter, D 2009, Imagination, Innovation, Creativity Re-Visioning English in Education, 1st, Phoenix Education, Putney.
The writers in this book - from Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the United States - have been selected from across a spectrum of excellence in research, scholarship, policy-setting, and practical experience in ...
Manuel, J & Carter, D 2020, 'Resonant continuities: the influence of the Newbolt Report on the formation of English curriculum in New South Wales, Australia', English in Education, vol. 53, no. 3, pp. 223-239.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2019, © 2019 National Association for the Teaching of English. In this paper, we examine the ways in which the conceptualisation of literature and literary study encoded in the inaugural secondary school English syllabus in New South Wales (NSW), Australia can be seen to anticipate the conceptualisation so fervently enunciated in The Teaching of English in England–the Newbolt Report of 1921. Through a comparative analysis of the two historical documents, the paper sheds light on the philosophical, ideological and discursive resonances between them, underlining the extraordinary trans-cultural and trans-temporal influence of the New Education movement on the formation of English during the early twentieth century in Australia and Britain. We contend that the Newbolt Report served to vindicate and lend additional authority to the ideas and values embedded in the 1911 NSW English syllabus that were in turn carried forward in successive iterations of the secondary English syllabus in NSW for more than a century.
Carter, D 2019, 'Restoring purpose: applying Biesta’s three functions to the Melbourne Declaration', Curriculum Perspectives, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 125-134.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2019, The Author(s). In December 2018, the Australian Federal Minister for Education announced an impending revision of the Melbourne Declaration, the document which sets out the aims of goals of education in this nation. This is significant, given that in the current age, questions about the purposes of education appear to be continuously contested or ignored (Biesta, 2017, 2013a, 2010, 2009; Ozoliņš, 2017; Webster, 2017; Schofield, 1999; Winch, 1996; Young, 2013). Controversies including performance in standardised testing; funding; teacher quality; and pre-service teacher education dominate headlines, diverting attention from the key question which is: what are the main purposes of education? To refocus our attention, Biesta’s (2009, p. 33) three purposes - ‘qualification’, ‘socialisation’ and ‘subjectification’ – are utilised as an interpretive framework to identify the functions as embedded in the key Australian educational document: the Melbourne Declaration. As a result of this analysis, this paper advocates the use of Biesta’s three purposes as an interpretive lens for the next iteration of the Melbourne Declaration to ensure attention is afforded to all three purposes, particularly subjectification.
Carter, D, Manuel, J & Dutton, J 2018, 'How do secondary school English teachers score NAPLAN?: A snapshot of English teachers' views', Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, vol. 41, no. 3.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Manuel, J, Carter, D & Dutton, J 2018, ''As much as I love being in the classroom...': Understanding Secondary English Teachers' Workload', English in Australia, vol. 53, no. 3, pp. 5-22.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper reports on the findings of a study of 211 secondary school English teachers in New South Wales, Australia. The study aimed to gather data on English teachers’ work and lives, including their perspectives on workload, motivation, work satisfaction, wellbeing, and career
intentions. In an educational environment dominated by a culture of ‘performativity’ (Ball, 2003,
p. 216) manifested through the institutionalising of standards-based systems designed to codify, measure and judge teacher quality, the views and voices of teachers themselves are too often marginalised or absent from research and policy debates. In this paper, we represent English teachers’
perspectives on their work and lives and draw attention to the impact of an intensified workload on their capacity for quality teaching and continued investment in teaching as a career. The findings
highlight a range of professional and situated factors (Day et al., 2006) experienced by teachers as a consequence of: administrative and accountability compliance demands associated with monitoring
and reporting of teacher and student performance; high-stakes test preparation, associated data gathering, administration, and heightened expectations from the school executive, students, parents
and the wider community; the speed of centralised curriculum change and policy reform; and diminished resources and support, including inadequate support for implementing new curriculum. The phenomenon of an intensified and excessive workload was perceived to be the single most determinant factor in impeding English teachers’ desire to focus on the ‘core business’ of teaching to their best. The paper calls for urgent attention to teacher workload and its far-reaching implications
for quality teaching, student learning and the retention and support of high-calibre teachers in the profession.
Manuel, J & Carter, D 2017, 'Continuities of influence: A critical analysis of subject English in the New South Wales’ secondary school curriculum of 1911', History of Education Review, vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 72-94.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: This paper provides a critical interpretative analysis of the first secondary English syllabus for schools in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, contained within the Courses for Study for High Schools (New South Wales Department of Public Instruction, 1911). The purpose of the paper is to examine the “continuities that link English curriculum discourses and practices with previous discourses and practices” in the rhetorical curriculum. The analysis identifies those aspects of the 1911 English syllabus that have since become normative and challenges the appropriateness of certain enduring orthodoxies in a twenty-first century context. Design/methodology/approach: Focussing on a landmark historical curriculum document from 1911, this paper draws on methods of historical comparative and documentary analysis. It sits within the tradition of historical curriculum research that critiques curriculum documents as a primary source for understanding continuities of discourses and practices. A social constructionist approach informs the analysis. Findings: The conceptualisation of subject English evident in the structure, content and emphases of the 1911 English syllabus encodes a range of “discourses and practices” that have in some form endured or been “reconstituted and remade” (Cormack, 2008, p. 275) over the course of a century. The analysis draws attention to those aspects of the subject that have remained unproblematised and taken-for-granted, and the implications of this for universal student participation and attainment. Originality/value: This paper reorients critical attention to a significant historical curriculum document that has not, to date, been explored against the backdrop twenty-first century senior secondary English curriculum. In doing so, it presents extended insights into a range of now normative structures, beliefs, ideas, assumptions and practices and questions the potential impact of these on student l...
Yoo, J & Carter, D 2017, 'Teacher Emotion and Learning as Praxis: Professional Development that Matters', Australian Journal of Teacher Education, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 38-52.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This ethnographic study analyses the diverse emotions emerging within one teacher professional development workshop that engaged teachers as creative writers. Participating teachers revealed a vibrant range of positive and negative emotions as they worked within institutional discourses that conflicted with their intrinsic beliefs about effective teaching. They revealed their emotional investment in their roles and their desires for meaningful practice in spite of pressures to abide by managerial practices. Researchers documented high levels of vulnerability, engagement and hope as participants engaged in writing as ‘praxis’ to experience their beliefs about effective pedagogy firsthand. These findings suggest that since teaching and learning is inherently an emotional experience, professional development needs to acknowledge a teacher’s complex emotional identity and to cultivate positive emotional growth. This study is relevant to teacher educators, preservice and practising teachers as it explores meaningful learning opportunities as a basis for effective teaching practice.
This paper is based on a research project designed to cultivate teachers as creative writers and as teachers of creative and critical writing. The project involved both primary and secondary teachers from eight schools located in Sydney, Australia. It documents the evolution of an open-ended research project that aimed to accommodate the needs of external stakeholders, participating teachers, and project researchers. It describes the development of a ‘professional learning community’ formed between the researchers and participants who identified as creative teachers and writers. It also explores how the research project acts as an example of how knowledge production can develop communities of practice via on-going collaboration with stakeholders. The authors highlight the complexities of conducting open-ended research that meets the emergent needs of specific communities of practice
Carter, D 2016, 'Retrieving the forgotten influence of Herbart on subject English', English Teaching: Practice and Critique, vol. 15, no. 1.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the strong influence of Herbartian ideas on the first secondary English course (1911) in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. While previous research has established the influence of the ‘New Education’ on the (NSW Director General of Education, Peter Board, the architect of the) 1911 courses, no specific analysis of Johann Friedrich Herbart’s educational ideas has been undertaken in relation to this seminal secondary English course.
Manuel, J & Carter, D 2016, 'Sustaining hope and possibility: Early-career English teachers' perspectives on their first years of teaching', English in Australia, vol. 51, no. 1, pp. 91-103.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This paper reports on the findings from a study with 22 early-career secondary school English teachers in New South Wales, Australia. Against the backdrop of increased attention to the patterns of teacher recruitment, retention and attrition, the present research sought beginning teachers' perspectives on the extent to which their initial motivations for entering the profession had been sustained, affirmed, challenged or modified by their teaching experience. A questionnaire was utilised to gather data on initial motivations to teach; beliefs and values informing the decision to teach; the challenges and rewards of early-career teaching experiences; attitudes to the current official state English curriculum; levels of personal and professional satisfaction with the role; and career intentions. An analysis of the questionnaire responses identified the primacy of altruistic and intrinsic factors in the initial decision to become a teacher. Responses to questions about their early-career experiences revealed that for a significant proportion of teachers, their initial aspirations, expectations and goals had been disrupted to a greater or lesser degree by a range of contextually-contingent forces. Half of the sample indicated that their sense of professional agency had been undermined by the pressures associated with preparing students for high-stakes external examinations and their marginalisation from decision-making processes that impact upon their classroom practice. More than a third of the sample disagreed or were 'unsure' that they would be teaching for another five years. Given the reported rates of early-career teacher attrition of between 20 and 50%, the findings from the present study offer additional evidence of the factors that can influence early-career teachers' decisions about their career futures and are therefore of value to ongoing revisions of teacher recruitment and retention policies and practice.
Manuel, J & Carter, D 2015, '“I had been given the space to grow”: An innovative model of assessment in subject English in New South Wales, Australia', English Teaching: Practice and Critique, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 100-120.View/Download from: Publisher's site
– This paper aims to provide a critical interpretative analysis of an innovative model of assessment in subject English in New South Wales, Australia. The purpose of this paper is to explore the theoretical and practical dimensions of assessment in the English Extension 2 course. This course forms part of suite of senior secondary English courses within the Higher School Certificate program that includes high-stakes external examination.
– The paper draws on methods of documentary analysis. It sits within the tradition of curriculum research that critiques pre-active curriculum documents as a primary source for interpreting the theoretical and pedagogical principles and assumptions encoded in such documents. A social constructionist approach informs the analysis.
– The model of assessment in the New South Wales (NSW) English Extension 2 course provides students with the opportunity to engage in sustained research and the production of a major piece of work. In its emphasis on student creativity, reflective practice, metacognition and independent research, the course exemplifies the ways in which the principle of assessing both process and product as organic is achievable in a context of high-stakes external examinations.
– In an era of high-stakes, external and standardised testing regimes, this paper challenges the normative definitions of assessment prevalent in secondary schools, particularly at the senior secondary level. The assessment model underpinning the NSW English Extension 2 course offers a robust alternative to the increasingly prescriptive models evident in current education policy and practice. The paper calls for renewed attention to the potential for such a model of authentic assessment to be considered in the assessment programs of other subjects constituting the curriculum.
Manuel, J & Carter, D 2015, 'Current and historical perspectives on Australian teenagers' reading practices and preferences', Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 115-128.
A recent piece in the 'Australian Financial Review' (2014) reported that national book industry sales figures were being 'propped up' by 'young adult fiction - and its teen fans': 'young adult fiction sales are up 26% this financial year, while adult fiction has declined by 11%' (p. 3). Book industry sales point to a flourishing young adult fiction market, depicting various trends in intentional reading preferences. From these statistics, however, it cannot be assumed that purchase patterns in any category of books are directly indicative of young people's actual reading lives, within and beyond the parameters of formal school-based education.
Carter, D & Manuel, J 2018, 'Early career English teachers' perspectives on teaching literature in secondary schools' in Goodwyn, A, Durrant, C, Reid, L & Scherff, L (eds), International Perspectives on the Teaching of Literature in Schools Global Principles and Practices, Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 88-99.
Literature teaching remains central to the teaching of English around the world. This edited text brings together expert global figures under the banner of the International Federation for the Teaching of English (IFTE).
Manuel, J & Carter, D 2018, 'The status and relevance of the Growth model for a new generation of English teachers in New South Wales, Australia.' in Goodwyn, A, Durrant, C, Sawyer, W, Zancanella, D & Scherff, L (eds), The Future of English Teaching Worldwide Celebrating 50 Years From the Dartmouth Conference, Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 133-146.
This powerful collection will be of value to researchers, postgraduate students, literature scholars, practitioners, teacher educators, trainee and in-service teachers, as well as other parties involved in the teaching and study of English.
Manuel, J & Carter, D 2017, 'Inscribing culture: The history of prescribed text lists in senior secondary English in NSW 1945-1964' in Dolin, T, Jones, J & Dowsett, P (eds), Required Reading. Literature in Australian Schools Since 1945., Monash University Press, Clayton, pp. 78-105.
Manuel, J & Carter, D 2017, 'Provenance and Transformation: The history of prescribed text lists in senior secondary English in NSW, 1965-2005' in Dolin, T, Jones, J & Dowsett, P (eds), Required Reading. Literature in Australian Schools Since 1945., Monash University Press, Claton, pp. 106-136.
Carter, D 2012, 'Teenagers and reading in school: Some observations onAustralian senior secondary English reading lists' in Manuel, J (ed), Teenagers and ReadingLiterary heritages, cultural contexts and contemporary reading practices, Wakefield Press, Kent Town, South Australia, pp. 128-141.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Teenagers and Reading: Literary heritages, cultural contexts and contemporary reading practices brings together international research and practical perspectives on the current state of teenagers' reading. The contributions by teachers, researchers and other educators explore the 'what, how, when, where, and why' of adolescents' reading, advancing our understanding of the relationships between and among teenage readers, texts and contexts.
Carter, D 2009, '"Something Grand and Lustrous": Some Reflections on Creativity in Subject English and Beyond' in Manuel, J, Brock, P, Carter, D & Sawyer, W (eds), Imagination, Innovation, Creativity, Phoenix Education, Putney.
Since its institutionalisation as a school subject in the 1800s, English has been marked by the regular recurrence of often polarised and highly contested debates about what does and what should constitute the subject. At certain periods in its history there has been a significant need for a re-evaluation and a subsequent renaissance in English in Education. The editors and the other contributors to this book are convinced that English is in such a period right now.
Particularly in the last decade or so, the field of English in Education - in both primary and secondary schooling - has increasingly come under pressure from a range of forces. Not the least of these has been the ever increasing focus on the necessary, but not sufficient, skills of basic literacy - which has had the unfortunate, but often unintended, consequence of threatening to dilute that imaginative, innovative and creative kaleidoscopic richness which characterises the finest English curriculum, teaching and learning.
The writers in this book – from Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and the United States - have been selected from across a spectrum of excellence in research, scholarship, policy-setting, and practical experience in English in Education. They are as one in their determination to reclaim and expand the richness and diversity of the subject English, as they are richly diverse in their own expertise in the field of English in Education. Their essays collectively stress the importance of reconnecting and re-engaging with what teachers love about English: its unique capacity to engage the mind, the spirit and the heart; to stimulate imagination, curiosity and creative capacities through meaningful immersion in the stories of humanity; and to enrich and develop students’ cognitive and affective command and understanding of language in all its expansive dimensions, contexts and purposes.
Carter, D & Hunter, J UTS School of International Studies and Education 2019, Submission to the NSW Curriculum Review from the UTS School of International Studies and Education, Submission to the NSW Curriculum Review from the UTS School of International Studies and Education, no. 1, pp. 1-14, Ultimo.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Report to the NSW Curriculum Review
Manuel, J, Carter, D & Dutton, J 2017, Submission to the NESA Consultation on the Draft Stage 6 English Examination Specifications Sydney Story Factory: Workshop Program Evaluation Summary, Submission to the NESA Consultation on the Draft Stage 6 English Examination Specifications Sydney Story Factory: Workshop Program Evaluation Summary, pp. 1-17, Sydney.
Response submitted to the New South Wales Education Standards Authority on the draft Stage 6 English examination specifications.
Catholic Education Office (Wollongong)
Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation