UKLA Academic Book Award 2022 Winner

UKLA is delighted to announce that the winner of the UKLA Academic Book Award 2022 is Knowledge in English: Canon, Curriculum and Cultural Literacy byVictoria Elliott, published by Routledge with the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE).

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UKLA is delighted to announce that the winner of the UKLA Academic Book Award 2022 is Knowledge in English: Canon, Curriculum and Cultural Literacy byVictoria Elliott, published by Routledge with the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE).

The judging panel found the book to be provocative, challenging and timely with its focus on problematising the recent ‘knowledge turn’ in English teaching. It has a distinct, refreshing authorial voice. The early years and primary specialists on the judging panel found it informative and interesting to reflect on from their perspectives even though the book focuses mainly on the teaching of literature in the upper years of secondary schooling. The author tackles head on some of the current issues in English literature teaching, drawing on her experiences as both a lecturer in higher education and a former classroom teacher in school. Each chapter presents a different argument related to the contentious issue of what different commentators deem ‘knowledge’ to be, providing much for readers to think about in an engaging and accessible way. The book focuses predominantly on schools and examinations within the United Kingdom, but the author also discusses ideas which many teachers elsewhere currently face and, hence, provides much for a wider readership to reflect on, not least what might be meant by knowledge, canonicity, curricula or cultural literacy. The book’s subject matter means that issues of diversity are raised throughout. Race and gender in the English curriculum are also addressed directly and robustly in a chapter of their own. Overall, it was felt that the book made for a thought-provoking, enjoyable and rich read, one which was also welcomed as being very much of the moment. 

The UKLA Academic Book Award 2022 judging panel also highly commended Charting an Asian Trajectory for Literacy Education: Connecting Past, Present and Future Literacies, edited by Su Li Chong and published by Routledge.

This book focuses on some of the varied literacy education practices in seven Asian countries. The judges welcomed its range from the early years to university level. The emphasis on researchers’ and research participants’ lived experiences, especially in diverse Asian contexts, makes a distinctive contribution to literacy education, particularly likely to be of interest to researchers and academics. The collection provides various personal stories, told in multiple different voices, nicely illustrated in the book’s many photographs. Each research project is discussed in detail enabling readers to reflect on its implications and replicate it, if they wish. Panel members appreciated being able to relate the research to their own experiences of working with diverse students in schools, recognising distinctions in the value placed on reading in the home as well as differences in ways of becoming literate. The book was commended not only for its sociocultural approach but also for the fact that – unusually – the authors are members of the communities about which they are writing. 

Finally, UKLA would like to congratulate the following authors and publishers of the other two books which were shortlisted for this award, both of which were considered to be of interest:

Understanding & Teaching Primary English: Theory Into Practice  by James Clements and Matthew Tobin,  published by Sage

Writing for Pleasure: Theory, Research and Practice by Ross Young and Felicity Ferguson,   published by Routledge

It was another very good year for academic publications on many different aspects of literacy.

Chair of Panel: Gabrielle Cliff Hodges

Panel Members: Sarah Brownsword, Christine Lockwood, Penny Manford, Roger McDonald, Elizabeth Ward, Rebecca Simpson-Hargreaves, Sara Stanley

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