Ten Ways to Incorporate Asia Perspectives

Article excerpt

Ten ways to incorporate Asia perspectives into the primary classroom: Resources to explore Asia through literacy, numeracy, science and history while developing social capabilities and intercultural understanding.

This list of resources is aimed at giving you a starting point on your journey--bringing Asia perspectives to your classroom. The resources are organised around themes commonly explored at the primary level across many different subject areas. Resources range from picture books and videos to online material. Some are old favourites but most are recent. For support in beginning this work the Asia Education Foundation website has a range of tools, resources and learning programs to support school leaders and teachers in their quest to embrace and deliver Asia literacy as part of the Australian Curriculum's cross-curriculum priority of Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia are available from their website at: http://www.asiaeducation.edu.au/teachers/curriculum_resources/ curriculum_resources_landing_page.html

Geography

1. What is Asia, who lives in Asia? What is it like to grow up in Japan or go to school in India? How are we similar and different to people living in Asia? The Families of the World video series (China, India, Japan, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam) depicts children from the city and country going about their daily lives. Teachers' notes guide the use of the videos in the classroom. (P-4) The Snapshots of Asia series uses commonly taught topics to learn about countries: Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, India and Malaysia. The resources are designed to help students explore the connections between the focus country and their own experiences. Series includes big books and related units of work with BLMs and are available in hardcopy from Curriculum Press http://www.curriculumpress.edu.au/main/goproduct/11268. Teachers' guide free to download at http://www.curriculumpress.edu.au/sample/pages/ SnapshotsOfAsiaTeacherGuide.pdf.(P-3)

History

2. Migration from Asia--where do we come from and why? An extensive range of picture books depicting the circumstances prompting individuals and families to leave their homes to seek safety or new opportunities in Australia is available, see list on the LMERC wikispace. http://globaleducationresources.wikispaces.com/Resource+lists

The Littlest Refugee by Anh Do and Suzanne Do is suitable for lower to mid primary and The Arrival by Shaun Tan for upper primary describe the refugee journey from Vietnam and China. The Arrival, a wordless picture book, is particularly useful for exploring issues of what we consider different or 'other', intercultural mis-understandings and imagining what it would be like to move to a different country: the trauma, confusion, amazement and awe of experiencing new cultures, languages and customs. Teachers' notes available at http://www.scool.scholastic.com.au/schoolzone/toolkit/The_Arrival.pdf

Personal and social capability

3. The Asia region and developing countries:

From a social justice point of view, Just like me is a new resource kit developed by International Needs with funding from the Australian government and AusAid. The kit contains a teachers' book with structures for staging inquiries, topics, activities, BLMs utilising graphic organisers and videos narrated by young people showing the life and lifestyle of other young people in less developed countries (India). Mid to upper primary. http://www.justlikeme.org.au/

4. Who are we? Cultural diversity and Asian Australians: resources for exploring multiculturalism and identity. The Living in Australia series produced for upper primary level students (Echidna books) investigates aspects of multiculturalism in Australia. Readers are exposed to migration stories, rich cultural traditions of families from China, India, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam as well as their contemporary daily life. …