The Big Picture

Subject English across Secondary and Tertiary education in WA

This research focuses on some of the most pressing concerns in Subject English at this moment in time: the crisis in Literature study across the state, and the standards of English within the wider disciplinary space.

About the project

This project seeks to review the state of teaching in Subject English at both secondary and tertiary levels of the discipline in Western Australia. It is targeting three key areas:

  1. Creative Writing Pedagogies
  2. Text Lists and Teacher Choices
  3. Discipline Intersections: Mapping concepts and standards between secondary and tertiary English in WA

Working across these areas, the project seeks to understand the challenges faced by educators, and identify some of the possible reasons interest and enrolment in Subject English is declining. It hopes to improve the collaborative relationships within the sector, increase professional support for educators and foster pedagogical conversations around creative writing in particular.

The project will ultimately aim to support educators in the discipline through the production of a set of teaching resources, developed and offered as a MOOC available free to all through UWA.

Currently, the resources under development include interviews with creative practitioners for classroom use, TED-talk style mini-lectures on key curriculum concepts, and resource packages supporting both subject knowledge and educational practice.


  • To facilitate research into Subject English pedagogy
  • To provide critical support to teachers of Subject English throughout the state
  • To improve the standard of Subject English education in Western Australia
  • To increase student engagement with Subject English at secondary and tertiary levels
  • To foster communication and collaboration between teachers of Subject English.

The team

Lead Chief Investigator

Claire Jones

Chief Investigators

Associate Professor Tanya Dalziell, Professor Tony Hughes-D’Aeth, Dr Catherine NoskeJosefine Wang.

Online Resources

The Big Picture project is a research project that examines issues related to subject English in Western Australia at both secondary and tertiary levels. In light of the current circumstances with social distancing and the move to online learning, we have created online units for WA senior secondary students. The units work within the WA Curriculum and are linked to the ATAR English, ATAR Literature or the General English syllabi.

Units include video lectures by UWA faculty, online lessons and guided investigation tasks. They are intended for teachers to incorporate into their own teaching programs, but can also be followed by individual students.

The University of Western Australia and The Big Picture Project acknowledge the English Teachers Association of WA for supporting this project.

English Teachers Association WA

General English

Exploring Pop Culture Connections in Self Made

Exploring Humour with Upper Middle Bogan

ATAR English

Exploring Form and Perspective: Fyre

Recognising and Writing Voice

Interpretive Storytelling: Self Made

Recording Voices and Perspectives through Podcasts


Transformation and Adaptation

ATAR Literature


William Blake: Songs of Innocence and Experience in Context

Wuthering Heights: Close Reading and Continuing Relationships

Reworking Othello (with resources from UWA and Harvard University’s EdX course)


Our partnerships

English Teachers Association of Western Australia

The English Teachers Association of Western Australia have joined the project as funding partners, and will be supporting the development of the teaching resources which are produced.

Hologic logo

The School Curriculum and Standards Authority have been involved in supporting the project through the provision of (redacted) curriculum and teaching materials. This data has helped us build a picture of the state of English and Literature in WA.

We have been building broad connections to the sector in this project, working with published authors and professional educators across both the secondary and tertiary disciplines, as well as across tertiary institutions. If you are interested in the project, please contact the team via the details below.

Contact us