Some indications are that 'The Life of Pi' will be a popular choice, allowing those teachers who have previously done 'The Shoe-Horn Sonata', Wilfred Owen and 'The Story of Tom Brennan', to only have to change one of the four texts that are already familiar with.
I think this would be the best option however, for the one hour documentary 'Frank Hurley' would be far more accessible and achieve the same result. As a media text, it would also enable teachers to focus on the medium as a 'social construct' and the subject matter links beautifully to the 'Discovery' brief we have been given. I think many students will find 'Pi' enjoyable to watch but too esoteric to study for AOS. I was thinking of offering 'Frank Hurley' as a TTA workshop but was not sure there would be sufficient interest to make it worthwhile.
The Discovery workshop for 'The Tempest' will be text specific unlike those offered for 'Belonging' which addressed three possible prescribed texts. The first workshop is already full with the second one on Dec 2nd beginning to fill as well. I am unable to offer many TTA workshops this year and thought teaches would still be wanting current HSC electives for 2014. In hindsight, I would have been better to offer more from the new text list but wanted to get a feel for the options that might prove popular and therefore require more PD.
Some teachers are still free to choose the best texts for their given cohort whereas, it now seems that everyone in a course has to do the same texts. The benefits are obvious at a management level but educationally, I am still against this because it fails to address a teacher's individual strengths and preferences and the choice of texts that could best maximise a particular classes exam results. It is an unwinnable issue however which highlights the decision making that must go into choosing the best selection for the majority of students.
'The Tempest' as an AOS option is probably the most accessible for Advanced students because it can be don conceptually without the onerous Module A 'comparative' or Module B 'critical study'. 'King Henry IV, Part I' could work well for Elective 1 but is not the most popular Shakespeare-wish they had chose 'Henry V' instead which would have been brilliant for 'People and Politics'.
That is why I have run with 'The Tempest' to cater for many Advanced classes that will be doing this as their Shakespeare option.
Calling for Blog Feedback
It would be really advantageous to get feedback about what text choices are being made as there is still sufficient time to offer more AOS workshops in Term IV linked to popular text options.
Responding to queries about what texts I will be offering for 'Discovery' workshops