24-25 November 2005
Critiquing and reflecting: LAS profession and practice.
We chose the title Critiquing and Reflecting: LAS Profession and Practice because the LAS2005 Conference marked an anniversary of sorts: in 1994, just over ten years ago, Kate Chanock of La Trobe University hosted the first national conference of LAS Advisers; together with the development of Unilearn, this was a breakthrough in terms of communicating what we do, why we do it and how we do it. LAS2005 aims to reflect on the period since 1994, and to celebrate Kate's vision.
The broad conference theme was
Critiquing and reflecting: LAS profession and practice. Looking back, looking forward: Reflect on your professional practice with the aim of critiquing what we do as individual practitioners, as a team, as a centre or unit within the academy, or as a profession.
Presenters could take up various sub-themes within that nexus, such as:
Resources relevant to the conference themes can be accessed via EdNA Online (Word doc, 1.82MB).
The John Grierson Grant, valued at up to $A1,000, was been set aside to assist with the costs involved in travelling to the LAS2005 conference. Delegates were eligible for the grant if they had been a LAS adviser/lecturer for not more than 18 months at the time of the LAS2005 Conference.
This was the seventh biennial LAS conference held in the period 1994-2005. It was primarily an Australasian conference, bringing together academics and professionals from Australia and New Zealand, but it also attracted international practitioners.
The Conference was directly relevant to people researching, teaching or interested in the teaching of academic skills, language skills and learning skills at a tertiary level. Thus, it sought representation from academic skills professionals, mathematics and statistics skills advisers, along with interested academics and students.
The Conference was a watershed in the development of the Australasian LAS profession: in 2005 we laid the foundations for creating a professional association. Thus, the conference theme, 'Critiquing and Reflecting', foregrounded many of the issues that LAS professionals face as individual practitioners, as part of a team, as a centre/unit within the academy, and/or as a profession.
We had four key conference aims:
Built on the tradition of annual Australian Study Skills Conferences, held between 1980-1985, the Language and Academic Skills Conferences have been held biennially since 1994. The LAS Conference has become a hallmark of the Australasian LAS profession - an opportunity to present our work to each other and to members of the tertiary education community. Each conference attracts between 150-200 national and international delegates.
There have been other milestones: the 1995 Bendigo Working Conference from which emerged the 'Position Statement: academic language and learning skills advisers/lecturers in Australian universities'; the development of Unilearn - our electronic discussion list; and the publication Academic Skills Advising: Towards a Discipline (1995), edited by M. Garner, K. Chanock and R. Clerehan.