This project promotes the higher order literacy skills of economically-disadvantaged students. Higher order literacy is critical for productive engagement in academic, economic and personal spheres of life in literacy-rich knowledge economies. Opportunities for disadvantaged students to develop advanced literacy skills are limited as schools serving these students focus predominantly on basic skills training. The project investigates contradictions in policies and practices in Australia and Hong Kong to understand why and how disadvantaged students are supported or unsupported to learn higher-order literacy skills. It also explores successful practices that promote such learning, alongside basic skills, for disadvantaged students.


ARC Discovery Grant (DP180102982) $535,418


2018-2020 (extended to 2022)

Industry partners

Selected primary schools in Queensland and Hong Kong 

Research aims

1) Examine why and under what circumstances economically-disadvantaged students at upper primary levels in Australia and Hong Kong are supported or unsupported to learn HOLS

2) Identify and understand successful school and classroom practices that promote economically-disadvantaged students’ learning of HOLS at upper primary levels in these advanced economies

Selected Publications

Ng, C. & Renshaw, P. (2019). An Indigenous Australian student's perezhivanie in reading and the evolvement of reader identities over three years. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, 22, 100310.

Chief and Partner Investigator/s

Professor Clarence Ng

Professor Peter Renshaw (The University of Queensland)

Professor Alan Cheung (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Professor Barley Mak (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Professor Steve Graham (Arizona State University & ACU)



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