Asia as a method in educational studies - Base entities (A)

This collection of papers is based on a large research project 'Asia as method in educational studies-base entities'. Previously, our research group successfully published a book entitled Asia as Method in Educational Studies edited by Zhang, Chan, and Kenway (2015). This project focuses on unpacking base entities of Asian education context. The concept of base entity in this project is drawn from the lens of Chen's Asia as Method (2010) which refers to an inter-referencing process of integration through the translation of exotic elements into local context (Chen, 2010).

The last decade has seen the expansion of movement towards understanding theories through a wide range of diverse contextual and cultural perspectives that have emanated from the East. Chen (2010) recommends that scholars from former colonies and ex-imperial countries in Asia should rethink and re-examine their own colonial and imperialist histories. The collection is important because it is the beginning of a conversation that responds to Chen's challenge. It does this in three ways. Firstly, this collection speaks to and about education issues in countries in Asia. Secondly, the authors in this collection are involved in the production and exchange of ideas, insights, and knowledge dialogically in and against the dominance of western academic discourses. Thirdly, this collection emerges from the assumption that as the world changes, the national states constituting Asia change as well and hence these Asian states have been "internally pluralised, or multicultured" (Beilharz, 2000, p.39).

This symposium consists of four papers discussing base entities from four different countries: Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, and Korea. In particular, the case from Indonesia discusses challenges to generate two educational concepts from Western countries, critical literacy and educational technology, in a society where obedience to educators is still prevalent. The second paper explores the complexities of China's 'base entity' in education studies. This base entity includes Confucianism, socialism and modernism. The third paper explores the original concept and development of the Rule of Law in Hong Kong and its significance by examining some important educational cases, such as immigrant children/cross-border students issue and national education. The last paper explores the concept of 'Korea as Method' via three faces of the South Korean national education: The Ban-gong (Anticommunism) education, the Thong-il (Unification) education, and the Kook-ga Joo-eui (Nationalism/Nationalistic) education. The examination of these faces provokes the applicability of 'Base-Entity' as a discursive instrument for discussing educational issues in Korea context.