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For Educators: Embracing the Asian Century

“Asia’s growing influence is proving to be a great catalyst for worldwide change. Australians need new knowledge, understandings and skills related to both the Asian region and to Australia’s engagement with Asia in order to meet the challenges and opportunities of living and working in the twenty-first century”. (The National Statement on Asian Literacy in Australian Schools 2011-2012)

“Australia is increasingly looking to Asia strategically, politically and culturally as well as economically. Correspondingly, Asia literacy is going to be a key requirement of our young people, as Australia seeks to strengthen its ties in the Asia region and be an effective contributor to the wellbeing of the region as a whole. For this, young people will need broad insight into the histories of the countries of the Asia region, including their shared history with Australia, its complex and diverse cultures and an understanding of the contemporary challenges and opportunities that exist for the region. By knowing something of Asian societies, cultures, beliefs and environments, they will deepen their intercultural understanding, enrich their own lives and increase the likelihood of successful participation in the ‘Asian century’, for themselves and Australia as a whole.” From Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia cross-curriculum priority. See link below.

Imagine yourself in the shoes of your students. Can you confidently design a curriculum to equip them to live in today’s world? Education ministers state the need for Australians to be 'Asia literate' in the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians They recognise that the growing influence of Asian nations impacts on the future opportunities of all young Australians.

The Australian Curriculum establishes that, by the time they leave school, all young people will have developed ‘Asia literacy’ through gaining foundation and in-depth knowledge, skills and understandings of the histories, geographies, societies, arts, literatures and languages of the diverse countries of Asia and their engagement with Australia.

Cross-curriculum priorities of the Australian Curriculum are embedded in all learning areas.
Thus, the Zen Oriental Journey program objectives are to develop participants’:

• knowledge and understanding of Asia’s cultures, within historical, political and social development contexts.
• capacity to implement the Australian Curriculum’s cross curriculum priority of Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia across all learning areas.
• understanding of the diversity of values within Asian societies and an awareness raised beyond stereotypes.
• understanding of the economic, strategic and cultural importance of Asia and its links with other countries in the region and Australia.
• qualification to enrol in the topic EDUC9888 Utilising Asia In-Country Experience at Flinders University and accredit the topic towards either the Graduate Certificate in Education (Studies of Asia) or the Master of Education Degree, (Studies of Asia).

Themes for the study tour have been derived from the key organising ideas of the National Statement on Asia Literacy. Zen Oriental Journeys aim to develop Asia literate school leaders and teachers, Asia focussed classroom resources, support Asian language education programs and increase student, parent and community demand for Asia literacy. Themes around which the study tours are developed include Asia and its diversity, achievements and contributions of the peoples of Asia, and Asia-Australia engagement.

For each cross-curriculum priority, a set of organizing ideas reflect the essential knowledge, understandings and skills for the priority. The organizing ideas are embedded in the content descriptions and elaborations of each learning area as appropriate. These organizing ideas underpin the construction of the Zen Oriental Journey tour program and itineraries.

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