MON@SIA SYMPOSIUM – ‘Asia Literate Schooling in the Asian Century’.

Loading Map....

Date(s) - 15/10/2015
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Edu-TLS Seminar CL_29Anc_Rm110 (25),




‘Asia Literate Schooling in the Asian Century’.

Globalization, migration, transnational movements and the development of the tiger economies of Asia have led education leaders and policy makers around the world to view schools as key sites for developing ‘globally competent’, ‘Asia literate’ citizens who have the capabilities to live, work and interact with the people, cultures and societies of Asia.

This symposium brings into dialogue three experts at the forefront of current thinking, policy and practice on Asia-related schooling. Their presentations draw on their respective contributions to Asia Literate Schooling in the Asian Century (Routledge 2015). This book critically scrutinises and analyses the concepts, policies and practices of Asia literate schooling, given the diverse, contemporary manifestations of ‘Asia’, and discusses the consequences for international debates and agendas about intercultural schooling in a global world.


Christine HalseProfessor Christine Halse: What makes Asia literacy a ‘wicked policy problem’?

ABSTRACT: This presentation explores the last four decades of policy commitment to Asia literate schooling in Australia. It will show how the unstable policy conditions have constituted Asia literacy as a ‘wicked policy problem’, even when there is extensive political, financial and community support for Asia-related curriculum policy and practice. Wicked policy problems arise when there is conflict between complex economic, philosophical, ideological, political, educational and personal priorities. This presentation will discuss the character of these conflicts and highlight how ‘wicked policy problems’ make alternative policy approaches incomprehensible until the conditions of the policy problem are redefined.


Christine Halse is Professor and Chair of Education at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. Her research has focused cultural diversity in education policy, practice and curriculum. She has published extensively on Asia literacy in schooling policy and practice and is the past president of the Asia-Pacific Education Research Association and the Australian Association for Research in Education. She is lead author of the national report Asia literacy and the Australian Teaching Workforce (2013). Email:



Elizabeth Bullen ef3175461ca2c553c2_l_ade26Dr Elizabeth Bullen: Asia and Pedagogy: The case of the autobiographical picture book

ABSTRACT: The Asia literacy curriculum objectives in Australian primary school classrooms are currently hampered by the scarcity of quality narrative picture books about Asian countries. Few books engage children without also representing Asia problematically. Anh Do’s The Little Refugee asserts an authentic cultural insider perspective on both Vietnam and Australia. In fact, it presents a paternalistic view of Asia and a self-congratulatory vision of Australia. This presentation engages with the picture book and life-writing genres to highlight the pitfalls and possibilities of using the autobiographical picture book to promote Asia literacy.

Elizabeth Bullen is a senior lecturer in Children’s Literature at Deakin University. Her research is interdisciplinary, synthesising approaches from Literary and Cultural Studies and the social sciences, and draws on a background of research in Education. She has published her research in Children’s Literature in Education; Gender and Education; Media, Culture & Society; and Girlhood Studies. She has won Visiting Scholar awards to the Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, McGill University, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, New York University, and the Internationale Jugendbibliothek, Munich. Email:


Fazal_RizviProfessor Fazal Rizvi: ‘Learning Asia: In search of a new narrative’

 ABSTRACT: Asia literacy is a stated priority for Australian education.  However, policy and curriculum documents present Asia as both distant and other. Such a view is contrary to the multiplicity of Asias Australia engages with: the Asia within, the Asia of new media or the Asia currently home to 200,000 Australians living and working throughout the region. Australia needs to reconceptualise Asia and itself as cosmopolitan societies in a globalising era.

Fazal Rizvi is a Professor in Global Studies in Education at the University of Melbourne. He has written extensively on questions of racism and multicultural education, Australia-Asia relations, models of educational policy research, theories of globalisation and international education and contemporary youth cultures. He is a fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and a board member of the Asia Education Foundation. Email: