Team leader: Christine Garbe

I studied German language and literature, educational and social sciences and history in order to become a high school teacher. I have always been interested not only in texts, like a philologist, but in the exciting adventures that might transpire in the encounter between a reader and a text: What happens in the heads, hearts and imagination of readers when they read a (literary) text? Thus, I have focused my research and lecturing activities on reading and literary texts. Since 2006, my work in European projects has been centered around struggling adolescent readers and good practices to support them (ADORE project) and on professional development for secondary teachers in content-area literacy (BaCuLit and ISIT projects).

At ELINET, I am in charge of two teams. As the lead of Team Coordination and Cooperation I am responsible for the overall coordination of the network, the cooperation with the European Commission and the external communication. There is a strong managerial aspect to our tasks; coordinating the work of the Management Board, setting up regulations, and monitoring the work of all teams and partners. We also strive to maintain a dynamic communication flow both within and outside the network, for instance by organising ELINET meetings and events together with local partners. Leading Team Adolescents encompasses more research aspects, such as analysing international studies and reports to make sense of all the data available. Our goal here was to compile this information to create legible, comprehensive reports outlining the literacy performance and policy of all ELINET member countries. Another large milestone was the collection of good practices examples in the field of adolescent literacy together with other teams throughout Europe.

Interview with team leader Christine Garbe, University of Cologne

Christine Garbe
Christine Garbe

What is your team’s responsibility in ELINET?

Team Coordination and Cooperation is responsible for the overall coordination of the network, the cooperation with the European Commission and the external communication. There is a strong managerial aspect to our tasks; coordinating the work of the Management Board, setting up regulations, monitoring the work of all teams and partners, and coordinating the documentation of all expenses and the reporting to the Commission. We also regularly inform all members about all important topics and the work progress and we are responsible for organising all ELINET meetings and events together with local partners.

What do you hope to achieve with this network?

Personally, I am thrilled that the European Commission initiated the concept of a European Network which coordinates literacy projects and inspires literacy policies on a European level. So, the overall objective of our activities will be the building of a strong network itself. Our network comprises 78 partner organisations from 28 European countries. However, as we have no direct political influence or power, the impact of our work will strongly depend on successfully communicating our expertise to policy makers and stakeholders, so that they will in turn be able to pro-actively address the issue in their countries. For this purpose, ELINET will develop some important tools. We will build a European Literacy Platform, providing information about all countries involved in the network, research results, good practice examples, as well as policy recommendations. All in all I hope that ELINET will help European literacy policies take a giant leap toward our common vision: to give each and every European citizen the necessary tools to prosper in the increasingly intertwined and completely (multi-)literate world of the 21st century.

What are the main challenges?

ELINET faces a lot of challenges. Though I am eager to address the tasks ahead of us, a two-year funding period may not give us enough time to thoroughly tackle European literacy problems. When looking at current political circumstances in Europe - in times of economic crisis and restricted public budgets, educational and social reforms tend to be neglected or cut back - we will need at least one decade to achieve results. Nevertheless, we will put these two years to a good use and lay well-researched foundations for the work ahead of us.

How can those obstacles be overcome?

We developed a very ambitious workplan for our two-year funding period, and all teams are busily working in order to stay on track. I hope the quality and relevance of our work will sweep the Commission off their feet to extend funding and thus the existence of the network. Simultaneously, we are researching other possibilities of raising public and private funds for future ELINET activities.

Personally, how did you become interested in literacy work?

I studied German language and literature, educational and social sciences and history in order to become a high school teacher. As early as at the university, and later even more while teaching at school, I had always been interested not only in texts, like a philologist, but in the exciting adventures that might transpire in the encounter between a reader and a text: What happens in the heads, hearts and imagination of readers when they read a (literary) text? Thus, my research areas and lecturing activities have always focused on reading and literary texts: reading socialisation and reading/media biographies, children and youth literature; gender and reading and reading promotion especially for boys. Since 2006, my work in European projects has been centered around struggling adolescent readers and good practices to support them (ADORE project) and on professional development for secondary teachers in content-area literacy (BaCuLit and ISIT projects).

Comments

      Jeremiah kegera

      Dear Servants of God,
      I greet you in the name of our beloved Lord Jesus Christ hoping that God is nursing you well with hope that Jesus is coming soon to establish everlasting kingdom on earth .
      My name is Jeremiah Kegera secretary of the small bible study group i and bro. Pius across friend of mine in Christ initiated the group in 2009 when we were expelled from United church of God , the same year since we refused to accept man made commandment which were imposed to members of the church eg giving un biblical tithing.
      I am married with five children are both secondary and primary schools am 51 years old , kenyan by birth in kisii county , in education am form four i sat my national examination in 1986 i did not manage to get any employment in kenya , although i was worked as a casual in veterinary dpt in 1991 to 19195 i was baptized by pastor Dough Hachark of United church of God by then . I believer and truth that Jesus Christ is my personal savoir and savoir of the universe whoever believed should not be parish but have inter life..
      Why we started the bible study group .
      1 . To study every doctrine as it is in the bible
      2 . To avoid man made commandments , hence observe only the commandments of God .
      3 . To get conducive environment for free study and room for challenges and correction .
      4 Free to invite people from various denominations who are are willing to know the truth as it in the bible regardless of their denominations to date are 16 in number .
      5 . To affiliate with any church who are ready to depend the bible and the bible a lone.
      6. To ask well wishers and donors to assisting us to preach the true gospel which is the core one in our group .We believer in one baptism ,one spirit and through the blood of Jesus Christ , we are all united into one ,no Jewish nor Greek or Samaritan. we are one in Christ .
      7 . We encourage anybody willing to join us to come and join us and share together according to the will of God , as it is in bible and the bible a lone Amen.
      Yours faithfully
      Jeremiah kegera on behalf of the group