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AEF response

Australian Curriculum Review recognises the importance of Asia for students

Asia Education Foundation welcomes the Australian Curriculum Review's commitment to the importance of teaching children about Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia.

The majority of public submissions to the Australian Curriculum Review acknowledged the importance of young Australians learning about Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia through the Australian Curriculum.

The Review recommended incorporating Asia-focused content in the core curriculum, where relevant, to meet this need. This will address the current low level of core content focused on Asia. A scan undertaken by AEF in 2014 indicated that English has 1 per cent of its core content specifically focused on Asia and Geography has 6 per cent. While History has 16 per cent, most is elective.

The Review emphasised the need to include the 'best validated knowledge and artistic achievements' in an Australian Curriculum. Asia is home to some of the most dynamic civilisations of all time. Study of Asia's contribution to human knowledge and civilisation will expand and enrich students' intellectual, personal and creative development.

The Review recognised the importance of learning about Asia to the future of Australia. Asia is the world’s largest economic region. Building the Asia capabilities of our future workforce contributes to our global competitiveness and equips young Australians with the skills to engage with the peoples of Asia so that they can effectively live, work and learn in the region. A continued focus on Asia in the Australian Curriculum also reflects Australia's increasing cultural diversity, with 40 per cent of new migrants to Australia coming from Asia.

Through the Australian Curriculum students will continue to develop knowledge and understanding of Asian societies, cultures, languages and environments, and the connections between the peoples of Asia, Australia and the rest of the world.

AEF looks forward to supporting teachers, school leaders and school communities to achieve this. AEF’s innovative school and professional learning programmes – and a multiude of rich online curriculum resources – support teaching and learning of Asian languages and studies of Asia in the Australian Curriculum.

Read more about the Australian Curriculum Review on the Students First website.

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