The emergence of Asia: Development of studies of Asia in one Australian school

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Journal Article
Issues in Educational Research, 2002, 12 (1), pp. 1 - 18
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The need for an understanding of Asia has attracted increasing attention in Australia in recent years. One strategy in response to the need for greater Asia literacy has been the development of networks of Access Asia schools. The Asia Education Foundation (AEF) supports Access Asia schools in their efforts to increase and improve the Asia content in their curricula. This paper reports on the development of studies of Asia in one western Sydney primary school, which is a member of an Access Asia network. The project adopts a case study approach and attempts to provide comprehensive observations on the forces which drive and constrain the introduction of curricular change in this school. The study also features dialectic hermeneutic circles, seeking diverse opinions of various staff members, such as the Access Asia coordinator and the librarian, ascertaining factors such as the amount and availability of resources, and the attitudes of the school staff. In particular, the research pointed to the centrality of teacher practice in implementing change in schools, and the interplay between teachers and curriculum. It found that while some staff members have expended great energy in producing resources and encouraging others to undertake studies of Asia, the teaching of Asia related material in the school is somewhat sporadic. © 2002 Issues In Educational Research.
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