Bridget Forster, a Victorian teacher with more than 20 years of experience, is the 2023 Reading Australia Fellow for Teachers of English and Literacy and teacher librarians. Bridget is the Head of Kerferd Library and VCE Literature Teacher at Mentone Girls’ Grammar School.
The Reading Australia Fellowship provides $15,000 to a leading English and/or literacy teacher or teacher librarian to undertake a career-enhancing research project that will benefit the successful Fellow as well as the education sector.
Bridget’s project will focus on using AI generated texts in the English classroom to interrogate the notion of an Australian literary voice. Her research will explore questions including how teachers can identify cultural bias and ethical issues in the use of AI in the English classroom; delve into the copyright implications of AI; and ask how students can be taught to be ethical users in this new and evolving context.
Copyright Agency CEO Josephine Johnston congratulated Bridget: ‘As Reading Australia celebrates 10 years of publishing quality resources for Australian teachers, for books mapped to the Australian curriculum, we are especially delighted to announce Bridget Forster is this year’s Fellow for Teachers of English and Literacy and teacher librarians. This Fellowship provides a life-changing opportunity for an Australian teacher or teacher librarian and Bridget is the fifth teacher to receive the Fellowship.
‘Reading Australia works closely with teachers to create resources for books by Australian writers. It could not be more apt to announce this Fellowship during the AATE/ALEA National Conference in Canberra and to celebrate the announcement with teachers and educators.’
The Copyright Agency created Reading Australia in 2013 to provide much-need resources for Australian teachers. There are now 275 curriculum-mapped resources on Reading Australia for years F–12.
‘My Fellowship project will explore the fate of the Australian written voice in the age of AI generated texts. The wide adoption of AI Large Language Models such as ChatGPT in Australia changes the tone, rhythm, and language of our communications, diluting our rich and distinct Australian voice. My research will explore approaches to AI Large Language Models in the English classroom, covering issues of identity, creativity and ethics,’ said Bridget Forster.
‘This project is important to me because I see Australian stories as important in both negotiating and affirming personal and cultural identity. Moreover, it is crucial that we equip our students to navigate the evolving AI-powered information landscape critically and ethically.’
Bridget will share her research and findings broadly with colleagues next year.
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About Reading Australia
Reading Australia was created by the not-for-profit Copyright Agency in 2013 with the goal of making it easier for teachers, through their passion and skills, to spread a love for Australian texts. We believe that every society needs to tell its own stories, and the best way we can achieve this is to provide quality and insightful resources to support English and literacy teachers in bringing Australia’s rich and unique literature into classrooms.
About Copyright Agency
The Copyright Agency is an Australian not-for-profit organisation that represents over 40,000 members across the publishing, media, visual arts, education and surveying sectors. Our mission is to provide simple ways for people to reproduce, store and share words, images and other creative content, in return for fair payment to creators.