Schools across Western Australia are working hard to develop Asia literacy within their schools. Curriculum Pathways to Asia Literacy, a cross-sectoral workshop, supported by the Asia Education Foundation, was recently held at the Consulate of the Republic of Indonesia in Perth to allow individual schools to design and implement their Asia plan.
The Australian Curriculum cross-curriculum priority of Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia prompts schools to provide meaningful learning experiences for students that are aimed at maximising engagement with and learning about a diverse Asia and the contributions and achievements of people from the region. Asia literacy provides students with the skills to communicate and engage with the people of Asia so they can effectively live, work and learn in the region.
Curriculum Consultants: Pamela Stewart (Department of Education of WA), Maree Whiteley and Kate Reitzenstein (Association of Independent Schools of WA) and Greg Parry (Catholic Education Office of WA) facilitated the workshop. Participants were encouraged to attend the workshop in a small school groups to plan their projects across learning areas and instil a whole-school approach to Asia Literacy and were provided with useful planning frameworks and templates. These are all available through the Asia Education Foundation (AEF) which also has a rich supply of teaching resources via the AEF website.
Hearing four stories from schools across the state, participants were able to reflect on what makes an 'Asia Literate Teacher' and an 'Asia Literate School'. Special thanks to presenters Janice Dunlop (Margaret River PS), Norman Paini (Morley SHS), Carolyn Vlahov (Mercedes College) and Vicki Enfield-Kirk (Scotch College) for their honest stories of past successes and challenges. Claire Leong, Program Development Manager of Lattitude Global Volunteering encouraged participants to engage with Asia by hosting gap students from China and Japan to work as language and culture assistants in schools, and to encourage local students to consider volunteering in Asia after they graduate.
Holding the workshop at the particular venue, the aula (hall) of the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia (KJRI), symbolised how we can easily engage with and learn about Asia without having to step out far from our own schools. Entering the Consulate building, participants entered another space, full of different values, customs and artefacts, providing an opportunity for new learning themselves. Welcomed by Bapak Syarief (Dede) Syamsuri, Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia, teachers shared a special Indonesian lunch of a nasi tumpeng with other KJRI staff.
Consultants would like to thank Ibu Ririn Fitriani and Ibu Nusiaga Putri for the opportunity to hold this event at the KJRI and wish Bapak Dede selamat jalan and semoga sukses for his new posting to Morocco at the end of the year.