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The current study was conducted by researchers from Deakin University, led by Professor Christine Halse from the Centre for Research in Education Futures and Innovation (CREFI). The study was commissioned by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), funded by the Department of Education, Employment and Workforce Relations, and managed by the Asia Education Foundation (AEF).

The purpose of the study was to inform future decision making for policy and practice by providing empirical, research-based evidence about the understandings, characteristics, enablers and needs of teachers and principals to deliver the Asia priority in the Australian Curriculum, relative to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and the Australian Professional Standard for Principals.

The findings and recommendations are derived from a large-scale national survey, extensive narrative data collected from teachers and principals, case studies of Asia literate teachers at different points on the career continuum, in different schools and Australian states, as well as general discussions at the AEF Forum in Melbourne on 5 June 2012 (see Chapter 3).

The study arose from Australia’s need for an Asia literate teaching workforce to lead the development of future generations of Asia literate citizens. The nationally agreed goals for schooling in the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA, 2008) affirm that young Australians need to be ‘Asia literate’ and able ‘to relate to and communicate across cultures, especially the cultures and countries of Asia’ (p. 9). This policy agenda is being implemented through the Australian Curriculum, particularly through the Asia languages curriculum and the cross-curriculum priority area of ‘Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia’.

The Australian Curriculum describes Asia related learning as contributing to the national social and economic good by building ‘Australia’s social, intellectual and creative capital’ and producing ‘active and informed citizens working together to build harmonious local, regional and global communities’. It states that the Asia literate citizen will have ‘the skills to communicate and engage with the peoples of Asia so they can effectively live, work and learn in the region’, because these skills are ‘vital to the prosperity of Australia’ (ACARA, 2012). The White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century (Asian Century Taskforce, 2012) positions the teaching and learning of Asian languages and studies as national objectives that are integral to national productivity. 

1 supporting file(s)

in this resource pack


Asia Literacy and the Australian Teaching Workforce - summary report