Asia, agency and authenticity: An Australian policy trajectory tale

Year: 2012

Author: Salter, Peta

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Various economic, political, social and cultural shifts have led to increasing interest in Asia on both global and regional scales, precipitating the declaration of the 'Asian century'.  Intellectual engagement with Asia has widened considerably through this shift as more educators are required to 'know Asia'; adding momentum to calls for internationalisation of education and intercultural education.  Addressing this shift requires in-depth study to detail not just espoused representations of Asia literacy at the macro-level, but also those enacted at a micro-level.  This paper reports the findings of a policy trajectory study of Asia-literate policy, exploring representations of and responses to imperatives of 'knowing Asia'.  In particular, this study illuminates a localised response to the positioning of Asia literacy as a necessary solution to regional and global concerns within policy construction. Of key significance is how policy is inflected, affected and deflected in various contexts of the trajectory, highlighting major critical and theoretical questions rather than simple problem-solving analysis.  Despite inclusion in the National Curriculum Asia literacy cannot be considered a straightforward addition and insight gained from this study is crucial as teachers seek to engage with the cross-curriculum priority: Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia.