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Understanding Asia Literacy. Complexities and Practicalities Conducted by Andrea Dodo- Balu , TTA. Rationale.

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Understanding asia literacy

Understanding Asia Literacy

Complexities and Practicalities

Conducted by Andrea Dodo-Balu, TTA


Rationale

Rationale

The “…Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia priority provides a regional context for learning in all areas of the curriculum…[and]…is concerned with Asia literacy for all Australian students” (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2011a)


Rationale1

Rationale

“It would be foolish to assume that just because the legitimacy of the call for ‘Asia literacy’ is clear, that schools will simply be able to start making it happen” (Salter, 2009, p.4)


Learning objectives

Learning Objectives

Participants have:

a deeper understanding of

the contested nature of Asia literacy and

how this can impact its implementation in schools

a greater enthusiasm and confidence regarding

introducing Asia content into the classroom


Outline of day

Outline of Day

  • Introductions:

    • Who are we and why we have an interest in Asia literacy

  • Session 1: Defining Asia, Asian values and Australian attitudes to Asia

    • Defining Asia geographically

    • Defining the Asian way of life

    • Australian perceptions of and engagement with Asia

  • Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in our Schools

    • The politicised nature of educational policy regarding Asia

    • Parent, student and educators attitudes to Asia literacy

  • Session 3: Strategies to Improve Asia Literacy

    • Improving Asia literacy in secondary schools

    • Improving teacher confidence and enthusiasm for Asia literacy

    • Establishing viable and lasting Asia literacy programs

  • Close:

    • Feedback sheets and certificates


Introductions

Introductions:

Who are we and why do we have an interest in Asia literacy?

Please give your name, school and role within your school to the whole group

Break into small groups:

What kind of association have you had with Asia

from the past until now?

How did you become interested in the area

of Asia literacy?


Session 1 defining asia asian values and australian attitudes to asia

Session 1: Defining Asia, Asian Values and Australian Attitudes to Asia

Defining Asia geographically

“Differing definitions of Asia is the first of many points at which understandings of Asia literacy can diverge” (Salter, 2009)

Activity:

Share with your group how you would define Asia geographically. Which parts of Asia do you feel are most important for your school to concentrate on? Why?


Session 1 defining asia asian values and australian attitudes to asia1

Session 1: Defining Asia, Asian Values and Australian Attitudes to Asia

Defining the Asian way of life

Activity:

In your group, create a poster listing four values that you perceive could be defined as Asian in order of the most commonly held or influential.


Session 1 defining asia asian values and australian attitudes to asia2

Session 1: Defining Asia, Asian Values and Australian Attitudes to Asia

Defining the Asian way of life

A list of "shared values" formulated by the Singapore leaders (White Paper, 1991):

  • "place society above the self“

  • "upholding the family as the basic building block of society“

  • "resolving major issues through consensus instead of contentions“

  • "stressing racial and religious tolerance and harmony".

    (Yu, n.d.)


Session 1 defining asia asian values and australian attitudes to asia3

Session 1: Defining Asia, Asian Values and Australian Attitudes to Asia

Defining the Asian way of life

According to a study of college students conducted in 1994:

11% of Japanese; 34% of Korean; and 45% of US students feel satisfied when serving society

69% of Korean; 60% of Japanese; and 44% of US students feel their personal life is more important than their contribution to society

(Yoshizaki, 1997)


Session 1 defining asia asian values and australian attitudes to asia4

Session 1: Defining Asia, Asian Values and Australian Attitudes to Asia

Defining the Asian way of life

“…the Asian region is so complex and dynamic that the term ‘Asia’ seems increasingly inadequate” (Milner & Johnson, 2002)

yet…………...

As defined by ACARA:

“Asia literacy develops knowledge, skills and understandings about the histories, geographies, cultures, arts, literatures and languages of the diverse countries of our region” (ACARA, 2011)


Session 1 defining asia asian values and australian attitudes to asia5

Session 1: Defining Asia, Asian Values and Australian Attitudes to Asia

Defining the Asian way of life

Implications for schools

The contested nature of the term ‘Asia’ needs to be acknowledged and discussed within the school so that a shared school perspective can be reached.

This is an important step within the school to allow the Asia literacy program to be clear and manageable.


Session 1 defining asia asian values and australian attitudes to asia6

Session 1: Defining Asia, Asian Values and Australian Attitudes to Asia

Australian perceptions of and engagement with Asia

“ Our particular history makes us persistently vulnerable to criticism that we take a superior colonial approach and we don’t respect other societies” (Milner, 2003)

Activity:

Is this criticism justified? How have public attitudes towards Asia changed over time? How do we define Australia’s current attitude to Asia?


Session 1 defining asia asian values and australian attitudes to asia7

Session 1: Defining Asia, Asian Values and Australian Attitudes to Asia

Implications for schools

The diversity of views and understandings of ‘Asia’ and discomfort about Australia’s past historical relationship with Asia has the potential to negatively impact attempts to implement Asia literacy in schools

For schools to be successful in becoming Asia literate, it is important that these questions and issues are brought to the attention of staff and that answers are sought


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Politicised nature of education policy (overview)

1970: Auchmuty report

Asian studies to be accorded parity of esteem with European languages and culture

1992: Asian Languages and Australia’s Economic Future (Rudd report)

Aimed at producing an Asia-literate generation to boost Australia’s international and regional economic performance


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools1

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Politicised nature of education policy (overview)

1989 & 1999: Hobart Declaration; Adelaide Declaration

Both emphasised Languages Other Than English (LOTE) as a key learning area

2008: Melbourne Declaration

states that Australian students should be “able to relate to and communicate across cultures, especially the cultures and countries of Asia” and targets, “Language (especially Asian languages)” as a key part of the curriculum (MCEETYA, 2008).


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools2

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Politicised nature of education policy (overview)

1995: NALSAS National Asian Languages and Cultures Strategy in Schools

Funding from 1995-2006 to achieve targets stipulated in Rudd Report

By 2006- 25% of Year 12 students to study a language with 15% studying the target languages of Japanese, Chinese (Mandarin), Indonesian (Bahasa) and Korean

- 60% of Year 10 students to study a priority Asian language

2002: Commonwealth funding for NALSAS was ceased


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools3

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Politicised nature of education policy (overview)

2008-9 & 2011-12: NALSSP National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Program

Goal is to double the number of students studying an Asian language by 2015

Funding of $15 million a year Commonwealth funding over 4 years compared to NALSAS funding of $26 million a year over 8 years from the Commonwealth which was matched by the states

Current: Australian Curriculum

Aims to achieve Asia literacy for all Australian students and states

“the most direct means of learning about and engaging with the diverse countries and people within the Asian region is to learn their languages”(ACARA, 2011b)


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools4

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Politicised nature of education policy: debates

Asian Languages vs community languages

The lobbying of various community groups to influence government policy regarding languages during the 1980s & 90s made the place of Asian languages in schools a highly contested area…

This diverse lobbying from various interest groups hindered and delayed the national implementation of language policy (Henderson, 2003).


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools5

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Politicised nature of education policy: debates

Asian languages or Asian studies

Asia literacy “… enables students to communicate and engage with the peoples of Asia so they can effectively live, work and learn in the region” (ACARA, 2011)

Can we communicate and engage with others without language skills?


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools6

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Politicised nature of education policy: debates

Asian languages or Asian studies

Argument for the greater importance of Asian studies :

cultural understanding through discipline-based inquiry

less disruptive to school routine

cheaper

In this way it was argued that more students would learn about Asia.


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools7

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Politicised nature of education policy: debates

Education policy and economic rationalism

Discourse on Asian languages and cultures was inevitably framed and constrained by economism (Henderson, 2003)

“[the] notion of ‘Asia literacy’ was effectively a major ‘signifier’ of Australia’s foreign policy orientation towards Asia (Pang, 2005)


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools8

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Politicised nature of education policy: debates

Education policy and economic rationalism

Advocates for Asia literacy argued that Asia’s significance for Australia extends beyond the monetary…

and

Asia literacy should be valued for its intellectual worth and potential for cultural enrichment (Henderson, 2003, 2004)


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools9

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Politicised nature of education policy: debates

Education policy and economic rationalism

Tying education too closely to foreign policies can result in “opportunism and short-termism” (Murray, 2010).

This is detrimental to languages programs: i.e.

“too often, Korean in Australasia has been emphasised due to its ‘economic importance’ rather than educational value, leaving Korean programs exposed to all the ‘sea changes’ and policy changes” (Shin, 2006)


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools10

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Politicised nature of education policy: debates

Education policy and economic rationalism

“Asia literacy is closely linked to the national economic interest”

The difficulty is that

“…as an economic interest, [Asia literacy’s] survival depends on the interplay of factors normally beyond the control of schools, teachers and students” (Pang, 2005)


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools11

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Politicised nature of education policy

Schools need to be aware of the politicised nature of education policy

as far as possible…

Render Asia literacy programs independent of government policies and funding so as to weather any dramatic changes and continue on with a sustainable program


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools12

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Parent, student and educator attitudes to Asia literacy:

Parents

“parents strongly support policy initiatives to engage Australia and Australians with Asia” (AEF, 2006)

88% believed that the government should have a long term strategic plan to implement such a policy

92% acknowledged the importance of the business and economic ties linking Australia with the countries of Asia

91% believed that an important skill for all Australians to possess is an ability to communicate across cultures

60%...responded that they would like their child to learn an Asian language

82% said that Australians needed to understand China as well as they understood Britain and the USA


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools13

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Parent, student and educator attitudes to Asia literacy:

Students

Attitudes towards studying Asia were found to be very positive overall

Most positive descriptor: “keen to learn about Asia and develop relationships, personal involvement and commitment to learn” (Griffin, Woods, Dulhunty & Coates, 2002)

50% of Year 5 students

40% of Year 8 students


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools14

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Parent, student and educator attitudes to Asia literacy:

Students

Second level descriptor: “Can see benefits: Has a positive attitude to learning about Asia, personal involvement and a caring approach emerging” (Griffin et al., 2002)

25% Year 5

25% Year 8

Total of first and second level descriptors indicate:

75% of Year 5 students and

65% of Year 8 students are positive about the study of Asia


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools15

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Parent, student and educator attitudes to Asia literacy:

Educators

Jurisdictions:

“Studies of Asia do not appear to be a current priority area for any State or Territory jurisdiction…

There is no imperative for studies of Asia as a separate and unique outcome of schooling…

in few instances have studies of Asia become a mandated part of the curriculum” (Erebus, 2002)


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools16

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Parent, student and educator attitudes to Asia literacy:

Educators

Jurisdictions:

“At least one text from [an Asian] category should be mandatory…

The establishment of a focus on Asian texts as a normal expectation in English course will not occur without deliberate effort, including a requirement” (AEF, 2010a)

Asia material should be “…central, mandatory and explicit” (AEF, 2010b)


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools17

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Parent, student and educator attitudes to Asia literacy:

Teachers

1998: 8% of students in teacher education programs thought they knew enough about Asia to teach it

(Hill & Thomas, 1998)

2002: The greatest barrier to further implementation of Asia literacy in schools is a lack of teacher knowledge…

teachers see no compelling reason why studies of Asia should be given priority (Erebus, 2002)

2009: There was a strong general disposition for the inclusion of content on Europe rather than Asia content across Australian schools (Wilkinson & Milgate, 2009).


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools18

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Parent, student and educator attitudes to Asia literacy:

Teacher education

1998: “the critical need is for the initial preparation of mainstream teachers to teach about Asia: to convert Asia literacy from political rhetoric to educational reality” (Hill & Thomas).

yet…

2001: There was an “…obvious…lack of overall commitment by pre-service education to the inclusion of topics related to the study of Asia” (NALSAS).

2009: “If their tertiary studies…have not included a focus on Asian studies, they may be less likely to incorporate it into their teaching” (Wilkinson & Milgate)


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools19

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Parent, student and educator attitudes to Asia literacy:

Implications for schools.

Schools need to be aware of the fact that teachers may not feel prepared to deliver Asia content in the classroom and give them opportunities to increase their confidence

Involvement in initial development of the Asia literacy program and ongoing inclusion in curriculum decision making processes could help increase their enthusiasm


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools20

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Parent, student and educator attitudes to Asia literacy:

Activity:

In view of the above information, what do you see as the biggest barrier to the implementation of Asia literacy in schools and why? How could your school respond to this barrier?


Session 2 the current state of asia literacy in our schools21

Session 2: The Current State of Asia Literacy in Our Schools

Participation rates in Asian languages and studies in Year 12

6% study an Asian language

10% of schools teach studies of Asia in Year 11&12

Attrition rate for language learners by Year 12

Japanese 94%

Korean 78%

Chinese 94% of L2 learners

Indonesian 99%


Session 3 strategies to improve asia literacy

Session 3: Strategies to Improve Asia Literacy

Focus on Learning Areas

Activity:

Get into pairs with someone from the same of similar learning area to yourself. Make small posters listings the potential problems you see in your learning area and some possible strategies to overcome these problems.


Session 3 strategies to improve asia literacy1

Session 3: Strategies to Improve Asia Literacy

Improving teacher confidence and enthusiasm for teaching Asia content:

Activity:

Form new pairs and brainstorm to generate ideas about improving teachers’ ability to deliver Asia content in their classrooms


Session 3 strategies to improve asia literacy2

Session 3: Strategies to Improve Asia Literacy

Establishing viable and lasting Asia literacy programs in schools:

Acknowledging the contestability of the term ‘Asia literacy’ is important as a starting point for developing a whole school commitment:

narrow down the geographical area the school will focus on

recognise Australia’s complex historical relationship with Asia

deal with any uncomfortable associations with a “dominant cultural pattern” this may raise (Salter, 2009)


Session 3 strategies to improve asia literacy3

Session 3: Strategies to Improve Asia Literacy

Establishing viable and lasting Asia literacy programs in schools:

“An essential element in all schools implementing Asia literacy is the presence of commitment and drive from…staff members who feel strongly regarding the need to develop ‘Asia literate’ students” (Erebus, 2002)

Generate ownership on the part of more teachers over more subject areas

Programs should be sustainable in the event of staff turnover

Action research and reflection could lead to new insights and changed practice


Session 3 strategies to improve asia literacy4

Session 3: Strategies to Improve Asia Literacy

Establishing viable and lasting Asia literacy programs in schools:

It is important for schools to be aware of the politicised nature of educational policy regarding Asia literacy.

Schools should be prepared for the possibility that funding for Asia literacy may be minimal or absent and that policies may fluctuate.

A sustainable Asia literacy program needs to be firmly established in a school’s culture in order to ‘weather’ such changes.


Session 3 strategies to improve asia literacy5

Session 3: Strategies to Improve Asia Literacy

Establishing viable and lasting Asia literacy programs in schools:

Community partnerships can help sustain Asia literacy programs

For example: “The Korean consultant position [which]was to be abolished due to funding cuts…was reinstated with a joint funding assistance from the Korean community and government…

[The] Korea-Australia Research Centre based at UNSW was…commissioned by the Academy of Korean Studies as a ‘regional hub’ (Shin, 2006)


Session 3 strategies to improve asia literacy6

Session 3: Strategies to Improve Asia Literacy

Establishing viable and lasting Asia literacy programs in schools:

Australia is host to a large number of international students from the target language countries and creative ways can be found to involve them in Asia literacy

For example: The ROSETE program “…involves a strategic alliance between an Australian university, an Australian government department, and education authorities in China…

[to enable] “…Chinese HDR students undertaking teaching Mandarin in [local] schools, and making their teaching as the focus of their research studies” (Zhao, 2011)


Session 3 strategies to improve asia literacy7

Session 3: Strategies to Improve Asia Literacy

Establishing viable and lasting Asia literacy programs in schools:

It is clear that teachers need to be equipped and energised to enthusiastically implement Asia literacy programs.

In-country tours: “will contribute considerably to the stock of Asia experience, knowledge and goodwill of the teaching profession” (Buchannan, 2005)

However…

The focus needs to move beyond worthwhile experiences for individuals and directly relate achieving a sustainable Asia literacy program across the school (Bruce, Norris, Norris, & Robison, 2001)


Session 3 strategies to improve asia literacy8

Session 3: Strategies to Improve Asia Literacy

Establishing viable and lasting Asia literacy programs in schools:

There needs to be a concerted effort to engage Year 12 students in studies of Asia and Asian languages

Recognise different language learner cohorts and separate second, background and first language speakers

Making learning about Asia a positive experience is essential

promote the pop cultures of Asia to engage students and generate passion


Close

Close

Feedback forms

Certificates and folders


Close1

Close

These slide and notes are available from:

http://blogs.murdoch.edu.au/andreaportfolio/


References

References

Asia Education Foundation. (2006). Views of Members of the Executive of the Australian Council of State School Organisations (ACSSO) and Australian Parents Council (APC) on Studies of Asia in Australian Schools. Melbourne: Asia Education Foundation.

Asia Education Foundation. (2010). Leading Asia Literacy. Melbourne: Asia Education Foundation.

Asia Education Foundation. (2011). Asia content in the Australian Curriculum Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia. Melbourne: Asia Education Foundation.

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2011b). Draft Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Languages. ACARA. Retrieved from www.acara.edu.au

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2011a). The Australian Curriculum.ACARA. Retrieved from: www.australiancurriculum.edu.au

Bruce, S., Norris, L., Norris, N., & Robison, J. (2001). Investigation on the Impact of In-country Study Tours for Teachers on the Uptake of Studies of Asia. Perth: Norris Simpson International.

Buchannan, J. (2005). Towards a Future for the Study of Asia in Australai: Asia on a shoestring? Social Educator v. 23 n. 3 , 39-48.

Department of Education, Science and Training. (2006). National Statement for Engaging Young Australian with Asia in Austrlain Schools. Melbourne: Curriculum Corporation.

Erebus Consulting Partners. (2002). Review of Studies of Asia in Australian Schools. Erebus Consulting Partners.

Gorjao, P. (2003). Australia's dilemma between geography and history: how consolidated is engagement wiht Asia? International relations of the Asia-Pacific, 3, (2) , 179-196.

Griffin, P., Woods, K., Dulhunty, M., & Coates, H. (2002). Australian Students' Knowledge and Understanding of Asia. Melbourne: Department of Education, Science and Training.

Henderson, D. (2003). Meeting the national interest through Asia literacy-an overview of the major stages and debates. Asian Studies Review, 27:1 , 23-53.

Henderson, D. (2004). Reconceptualising our cultural maps: teaching for cross-cultural understanding through the studies of Asia. Social Educator v.22 n.2 , 5-11.

Hill, B., & Thomas, N. (1998). Asian studies in Australian schools; the preparation of teacher education students. Unicorn Vol. 24, No.1 , 55-64.

Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs. (2008). Melbourne declaration on educational goals for young Australians. Melbourne, MCEEYA

Mottram, L. (2010) “The full story: Asian languages declining in Australian schools” ABC News The World Today. Retrieved from: http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2010/s2910865.htm


References1

References

Milner, A. (2003). Reviewing our Asian engagement 1. Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 57, No. 1 , 9-16.

Milner, A., & Johnson, D. (2002). The Idea of Asia.Canberra: Australian National University

Ministerial Council on Education, Emplyment, Training and Youth Affairs. (2008). Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Melbourne: Ministerial Council on Education, Emplyment, Training and Youth Affairs.

Murray, N. (2010). Duscussion: Languages Education in Australia: Shaky data, Disjointed Policy, and a Chicken and Egg Problem. In A. Liddicoat, & A. Scarino, Languages in Australian Education: Problems, Prospects and Future Directions (pp. 87-93). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

NALSAS. (2001). Scan of Studies of Asia Activities in Pre-Service Primary and Secondary Teacher Education. Canberra: Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs.

Pang, D. (2005). Education for location? The policy context of 'becoming Asia-literate' in five western countries/regions in the 1990s. Comparative Education Vol. 41, No. 2 , 171-198.

http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/when-fortune-fades-20090505-au0a.html#ixzz25qk6MnUz

Reeves, P. (1992). considering Pusey's Tract for our Times: Has Economic Ratianonlism Affected Asian Studies? Asian Studies Review 15, no. 3 , 64-69.

Salter, P. (2009). Defining 'Asia': refashioning of the Australian Curriculum. AARE 2009 International Education Research Conference: Canberra: papers collection. Melbourne: Australian Association for Research in Education.

Shin, S. (2006). Australasian Strategies for an Advancement of Korean Languge Education. Proceedings of the 1st Conference of Overseas Korean Language Educational Organisations and Local Representatives (pp. 99-109). Seoul: Korea Foundation and IAKLE.

Wilkinson, J., & Milgate, G. (2009). Studies of Asia in Year 12. Melbourne: Asia Education Foundation.

Yoshizaki, Y. (1997). The Value Shift of Japanese Youth Retrieved from: https://ojs.lib.byu.edu/spc/index.php/CCR/article/view/12599/12472

Yu, K. P. The Alleged Asian values and their implication for bioethics Retrieved from: http://www.eubios.info/ABC4/abc4232.htm

Zhao, D. (2011) Weaving Chinese Knowledge into a Case Study of Australian research-oriented School-Engaged Teacher Education Program. Proceedings of the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Conference 2100. Retrieved from: http://www.aare.edu.au/11pap/


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