File(s) under permanent embargo
Tracing the unsteady relationship between Asia Education Policy Discourse and History Curriculum in Australia
journal contributionposted on 2020-04-02, 00:00 authored by Rebecca CairnsRebecca Cairns
In Australia, Asia-related history has been part of secondary school history curriculum since the 1960s and Asia engagement has been an education policy imperative for decades. At the national level, different governments have attached competing rationales to the study of Asian histories and cultures. However, little is known about the extent to which these policy discourses influence state-based history curriculum. This article examines the Asia education policy/history curriculum nexus by analysing the relationship between the broader socio-historical policy contexts in which senior secondary curricula were created and the ways Asia-related histories are positioned within the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE). Framed as a history of the present it considers how these contexts constitute the discursive conditions of possibility for the representation of Asia. It argues that although VCE History was influenced by national Asia education policy discourses in the mid-1990s in particular, more recently Asia-related history has not expanded or diversified, even though Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia has been prioritised in the Australian Curriculum. It is important to investigate these inconsistencies to better understand the complexities that shape curriculum and the study of Asia-related history, and to trace the historical development of Australia–Asia relations through education policy.