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Intention and Reality Bringing Engagement with Asia into the classroom Ian Keese B.Sc; B.A; Dip.Ed; FACE ACSA Biennial Conference.

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Presentation on theme: "Intention and Reality Bringing Engagement with Asia into the classroom Ian Keese B.Sc; B.A; Dip.Ed; FACE ACSA Biennial Conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 Intention and Reality Bringing Engagement with Asia into the classroom Ian Keese B.Sc; B.A; Dip.Ed; FACE ACSA Biennial Conference 25-27 September 2013

2 Presenter Background General Teaching experience Departmental – Board of Studies Writing Areas of historical study Academic Teaching Focus on Asia and Middle East

3 Overview Selected examples of our past engagements Evidence of recent decline – Languages A critique of recent attempts to address this decline: – The Australian Curriculum History – The White Paper –Australia in the Asian Century – Federal Coalition Policy Statements Reflect on how the situation may be improved

4 Everything old is new again … Admonishing comments about Australian’s ignorance of Asia followed by exhortations to wake up have occurred so often as to be a regular feature of Australian life. They are as Australian as Vegemite – only older Walker and Sobocinska, Australia’s Asia: from Yellow Peril to Asian Century (2012)

5 Asia as threat: Alfred Deakin 1893 … in the event of the great catastrophe occurring, the local interests which we hold so dear, and the industrial democracy which it is our first aim to preserve, might perish in a common wreck… in this youngest part of the world we are actually within hail of the oldest portions, and that almost within the shadow of its most absolute military despotism our nation should be building up ultra democracies of the most pacific type. Collins St Melbourne c 1890

6 … and Asia as something to admire Deakin quoting Max Muller : If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant, I should point to India. And if I were to ask myself from what literature we, in Europe, we who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans, and of one Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw that corrective which is most wanted, in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact, more truly human again I should point to India.

7 A forecast made in 1893 The so-called 'higher races of men’ … would in a few decades find themselves 'elbowed and hustled and perhaps even thrust aside' by people whom they had assumed to be innately servile; he made a particular point of China's potential, claiming that it only needed a dynamic new religion like Islam, the genius of a ruler like Peter the Great and modern European industrial techniques to become one of the world's most formidable powers From Australian Dictionary of Biography – John Tregenza Charles Pearson 1830-1894

8 Japan: Admiration …

9 … and British alliance Oh, East is East, and West is West… But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth !

10 …but as seen by Australia BRITANNIA: Now my good little son. I’ve got married again. This is your new father. You must be very fond of him THE MOTHERLAND’S MISALLIANCE Source; The Bulletin 1 March 1902

11 Relations 1930s to 1970s ‘ The questions is not whether the Waterside Workers are right or wrong in their views on what the international policy of Australia should be; it is whether that policy is to be determined by the duly constituted Government of the country or by some industrial section (26 th November, 1938)


13 Malayan Emergency 1955 -1962 Australian troops on parade in Kuala Lumpur

14 The Colombo Plan

15 A booklet first produced by the Immigration Reform Group in 1960 – an informal group of academics, professional people and clergy

16 Vietnam War 1962-1973

17 1960s The “Mystical” Asia re-appears

18 1965 Don Dunstan successfully moves that “White Australia” be deleted from the Labor Party Platform 1966 Harold Holt eases restrictions 1972 Whitlam removes all racial descriptions

19 Personal engagement

20 Japanese 1906Taught in Melbourne Business college 1918Taught at Fort Street High School (Sydney) 1940s600 students of Japanese in Melbourne 1960sStrong in Universities esp. Monash, ANU, UQ. 1970sJapanese tourist industry Series of national Japanese textbooks (Directed by Professor Antony Alfonso, ANU) Business involvement – Qantas slide kits Now:Slight decrease at secondary level, significant decline at Tertiary and Primary

21 Indonesian Late 20 th Cent. Australia a world leader in teaching language, politics, anthropology, history Between 2000 and 2008 a decline of 18% studying language and this is continuing. Now considered a language at risk

22 Importance of Indonesia Now 16 th largest economy – and possibly 7 th largest by 2030 Third largest population in Asia after China and India

23 Near neighbour (Darwin to Jakarta closer than Auckland to Sydney) One of world’s largest democracies Largest Islamic population of any country Constitution recognises freedom of religion More Christians than Australia

24 What Australians think of Indonesia Source: The Lowy Institute Poll 2013 (selected items)

25 Chinese Increase from 2000-2008 from 78,765 to 92,931 Year 12 increase 2,935 to 5,256 However: Growth comes from native speakers Decline for those for whom it is a second language


27 Asian Literacy Knowledge, skills and understanding About: History, geography, arts, literature and language Purpose: Social inclusion Ability to live and work in the region

28 Focus in History Countries of Asia – Diversity of region – Contributions of Asian countries – Dynamic nature of socio-political relationships within region Australia-Asia relations – History of Asia Australia engagement – Contribution of people from Asian countries – Role played by Australians in Asia

29 Australian Curriculum History 7-8

30 History 9 - 10

31 A “typical” course in History Years 7 – 8 Egypt or Greece or Rome Ancient India (Asoka) or Ancient China Medieval Europe Shogunate Japan (Tokugawa period) Black Death Years 9 -10 Industrial Revolution Australia c. 1800 – 1914 World War I World War II Rights and Freedoms Popular Culture or Environmental Movement

32 An “ideal” Secondary History Convey a sense of movement over time Migration out of Africa Development of separate civilisations and beliefs – and common features of each Interactions between these civilisations Globalisation in progress Give some weight to all major religions/traditions/philosophies Greco-Roman Judaeo-Christian Islamic Confucian Hindu Buddhist Explore Australia’s long past and post settlement history

33 How to do this 1.Begin with the Inquiry Questions at the start of each year’s program 2.Use the Overview as the structure/outcomes for the year 3.Select sequences from the content area to develop these themes, with a focus on three but drawing similarities and contrasts from other areas

34 The Asian Century Most of the focus is NOT on engaging with Asia but on: Being in a position to compete with Asia Gaining economic advantage from developing economies Maintaining security in a world of new powers

35 Relation to Curriculum: Schools All schools will engage with at least one school in Asia to support the teaching of a priority Asian language. Measures to track how Australian students are increasing their knowledge of Asia Detailed strategies for studies of Asia to become a core part of school education Access to at least one priority Asian language: Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Indonesian and Japanese Ensure that every Australian student has continuous access to high quality Asian language curriculums Detailed strategies for studies of Asia and Asian languages take-up in schools

36 Relation to Curriculum: Universities By 2025, 10 of Australia’s universities will be in the world’s top 100 Boost the number of Australian students studying in Asia through closer links with regional institutions, and improve financial support and information for students who study in Asia Support universities to increase the number of students who undertake Asian studies and Asian languages as part of their university education. Encourage every Australian university to have a presence in Asia and establish an exchange arrangement involving transferable credits with at least one major Asian university.

37 The Coalition Policy “New” Colombo Plan Policy Revive the teaching of ‘foreign’ languages with Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian and Hindi being four among thirteen Restore the focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics Depoliticise the history curriculum

38 Developing an Asia Literate Workforce The Asia Literate Teacher: Possesses expert knowledge of content, assessment strategies and pedagogy for teaching Asia related curriculum; Demonstrates familiarity with a wide range of Asia related teaching resources; Actively builds intercultural understanding; Frequently, purposefully and seamlessly integrates Asia into the curriculum; Uses ICT to connect their students with students in Asia; and Leads Asia related learning within and beyond the school. Source: Asia Literacy and the Australian Teaching Workforce

39 Motivators to become an Asia literate teacher (800 responses) Source: Asia Literacy and the Australian Teaching Workforce – Summary report p 8

40 Enablers for teachers Experience of Asia from work, study, travel, or family connections; Substantial, ongoing tertiary study and/or professional learning; School connections to the countries of Asia; Support from their school and school system; School teaches an Asian language

41 Conclusions: inhibitors Our relationship with Asia has always been in flux between admiration and rejection. Current decline in numbers doing most Asian languages. In absence of any major crisis most Australians content to remain in relative ignorance History Curriculum and White Paper promote engagement with Asia but unlikely to succeed without long-term backup.

42 Conclusion: strategies Asia relevant content, knowledge and skills included in all initial teacher education programs Targeted programs to attract Asia-ready teachers. Educate community and build up community support. Direct experience of Asia through exchange, travel and study programs

43 Thank you! Questions, comments or suggestions?

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