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Overseas Study Program to Asia report


The Overseas Study Program resulted in significant gains in teacher confidence and capacity to lead and support school change to implement Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia cross-curriculum priority, internationalise the curriculum and to develop broader global perspectives and intercultural understanding within their school communities.

Key factors that improved teacher capacity included:

  • Experience in an Asian country and time spent with the sister school and partner teachers
  • Connections between Australian schools and schools in Asia
  • Learning from high performing systems and schools in Asia
  • Increased confidence, interest, willingness to take risks, and belief that Asia literacy and languages are an imperative for students
  • Increased intercultural understanding
  • Leadership support through professional learning, allocation of resources, support for program planning. 

Nearly all teachers who participated in the Overseas Study Program said their confidence to implement the Asia priority had improved and reported a change in their work practices. 

Nearly three quarters of principals said there had also been an increase in non-participating teachers' confidence and capacity to implement the Asia priority, indicating the impact of the Overseas Study Program beyond participants

Intercultural understanding

Teachers used their strengthened intercultural understanding: 

  • In the ways they worked with students, especially to connect their students with students in Asia
  • To improve learning and teaching programs
  • In leadership roles as knowledge they had to share with others and as skills they could use in the ways they worked with others.

Experiences in Asia

Those who had experienced the Overseas Study Program with time in-country and the opportunity to form professional and personal connections through the sister school wanted to provide the same opportunities for other teachers, students and parents in their schools.

As a consequence schools are giving more teachers experiences in an Asian country with visits to sister schools, reproducing aspects of the Overseas Study Program in-country cultural program and strategically targeting teachers across the school.

The teacher from Leongatha Primary School says the program has made her very conscious of including Asia in her classroom program. The in-country experience was crucial for learning about the culture, the people and forming relationships. It also gave her the resources and knowledge to implement Asia related content into her learning and teaching program.

Learning from high performing systems and schools

Participants across all programs into China, but especially those who experienced the high performing schools in Shanghai program, identified instructional practices, professional mentoring and structured observation as lessons they had learnt from China.

Principals and school leaders applied learning from the Singapore School Leaders Study Program to build teacher capacity through mentoring, coaching and feedback programs.

The principal of Canterbury Primary School says their school in Suzhou is in one of the most successful areas in the world for student achievement and that Canterbury is exchanging planning, processes and curriculum ideas seeking to identify and use the best instructional practices in order to improve their students' achievement outcomes.

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