Asia Education Foundation

Scroll down or click for contributions from the heads of Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership and Education  Services Australia, and video and audio recordings of the entire panel discussion. View Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians.

Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia


Rosemary Davis, Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority

Rosemary explained the remit of ACARA, which is to develop a world-class curriculum for all young Australians. This curriculum represents a commitment to the pursuit of excellence and equity and is seen to be a contributing factor in creating a cohesive society. She noted that a key factor in its development has been a collective approach, involving all stakeholders.

The new Australian Curriculum has the following components:

  •  The learning areas (English, mathematics, science and history in the first instance).
  • A set of seven general capabilities including literacy, numeracy and intercultural understanding.
  • Three cross-curriculum priorities including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, studies of Asia and sustainability.

She noted the need for students to be Asia literate and indicated that the AEF has made significant contributions to curriculum development. The organising ideas for the Asia priority are embedded in the content descriptions and elaborations of each learning area as appropriate.

Rosemary explained that the intercultural understanding capability and the Asia priority complement each other and together will contribute to the development of Asia literate students in our schools.

Towards an Asia literate teaching workforce


Margery Evans, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership

Margery outlined AITSL’s work to promote excellence in teaching and school leadership. It recognises the importance of a highly skilled workforce in the 21st century and she noted that Asia literacy will play a huge part in that.

The newly adopted teacher professional standards define what teachers know and do and provide indicators of the professional behaviour required of them. Four levels have been identified: graduate, proficient, highly accomplished and leading. Within these, there is an explicit focus on the requirements of the 21st century. Similar focus exists in standards for school principals.

AITSL takes the primary role in the accreditation of teacher education programs and is working closely with universities to take account of the new Australian Curriculum. This initiative necessarily addresses the requirements of Asia literacy and allows Asia-focused content and skills to be addressed in pre-service courses.

AITSL’s Flagship Professional Learning Program:  Leading Curriculum Change, is now being implemented which aims to build teacher capacity to enhance the implementation of the Australian Curriculum.

She emphasised the urgency of ensuring that standards are appropriate both now and into the future and welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with the AEF.

Supporting the Asia cross-curriculum priority


Susan Mann, Chief Executive Officer, Education Services Australia

Susan described the way Education Services Australia has a key responsibility in relation to the Australian Curriculum, particularly focusing on the digital sphere.

The role of ESA is to set up web services for the development and viewing of the curriculum. This is done through a sophisticated website, Australian Curriculum Connect, where users can personalise and customise the resources available. Of particular interest here is that they can filter by the Asia cross-curriculum priority.

As well, Susan outlined the work of the former Learning Federation over ten years on resources in digital format and indicated that many of them relate to Asia literacy. Further, the former Curriculum Corporation worked closely with the AEF over an even longer period on Asia focused resources. All of these can now be incorporated into a larger pool to support Asia literacy in the Australian Curriculum.

Susan acknowledged, however, that the pool of Asia literacy resources is not yet large enough, and she indicated that increasing the pool will be a focus of ESA in the immediate future. Another important challenge is to ensure that all teachers and students across the country are comfortable in the rapidly developing digital working environment.

Watch and listen


Supporting the Asia cross-curriculum priority

'We've got a strong foundation in place [for supporting digital learning].' - Susan Mann, ESA


Towards an Asia literate teaching workforce

'How do we make a relatively static set of standards relevant to the 21st century?' Margery Evans, Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership


Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia

'We want to ensure that we have successful learners, confident and creative individuals.' - Rosemary Davis, ACARA.