2015 in Review: Helping Aussie Kids Go Global

By Kurt Mullane, Executive Director, Asia Education Foundation

One of the most encouraging developments observed by the Asia Education Foundation (AEF) during 2015 has been the burgeoning number of Australian schools making a commitment to offer globally focused student learning experiences that acknowledge Australia’s place in Asia and the world.

These schools understand that students require a global outlook to navigate a rapidly changing world. In this context, the AEF’s work in 2015 focused on supporting teaching about Asia, intercultural understanding, community engagement, and the incorporation of higher order skills in the curriculum. Indeed, the global context of school education has never been more relevant.

Here’s a snapshot reflecting the AEF’s achievements in 2015, including our efforts in supporting students to ‘go global’:

A new AEF web portal: now Australia’s most comprehensive source of curriculum resources, professional learning, research and materials related to Australia’s place in Asia and the world. To visit the portal click here

The expansion of our social media footprint via Twitter, Facebook and AEF E-News enabling us to link our 12,000+ followers with like-minded educators across the globe.

We have grown the Australia-Asia BRIDGE project to involve more than 600 schools as part of AEF’s aspiration to partner 2,000 schools across Asia:

  • Inaugural Australia-India BRIDGE program launched in New Delhi by Minister Pyne in August
  • ASEAN Australia Council (Australian Government) funding secured to partner Australian schools with schools from ASEAN countries.

For more information about our BRIDGE school partnerships click here

We have developed new professional learning offerings for school leaders and teachers:

  • Connecting Students to the World: focusing on the use of new technologies to build learning partnerships
  • AEF Summer School: developing leaders in intercultural capability
  • Partnership with the Victorian Department of Education to develop a guide supporting schools that undertake overseas professional learning
  • Collaborating on a new course for the Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership that enables Principals to lead the implementation of Asia capability in schools

We published ten reports as part of the AEF’s What Works research series cataloging effective practice in building student global outlook, Asia capability and intercultural understanding. To read the reports click here

We delivered overseas study opportunities for 200 teachers and school leaders across Asia, Europe and South America. For more information about our study programs click here

We published 300 curated ‘scoop-it’ curriculum resource lists and learning sequences, which are freely available to teachers. To access the lists click here.

We expanded our partnerships with business and industry through the Asia Literacy Ambassadors project, which enabled 5,500 students to develop a global outlook and explore career and life pathways. To sign up for a School-Business partnership click here

Looking ahead to 2016, we will build on the strong demand for AEF’s inaugural 2016 Summer School program and schedule programs for the 2016 Autumn, Winter and Spring periods. For more information about the upcoming summer school program click here

We have also developed a new customised approach to partnering with schools to deliver globally focused student learning experiences. We understand that schools want support tailored to their specific needs, and have adapted our offering accordingly.

In 2016, AEF Associates will be available to work with networks of schools and individual schools to:

  • Deliver better planned, sequenced and documented curriculum, reflective of the requirements of new curriculum policy;       
  • Improve teacher skills in specific areas;
  • Offer professional learning focused on specific barriers impeding globally-focused learning;
  • Adopt strategic leadership strategies related to global learning;
  • Implement programs that engage the school community;
  • Improve student integration and engagement;
  • Identify and utilise high-quality curriculum resources

For more information about this professional learning opportunity, please contact Lisa Hayman:l.hayman@asialink.unimelb.edu.au

Most importantly, AEF enjoys the support of many partners across Australia and Asia, including education systems and sectors, philanthropic and corporate supporters, government agencies, school leadership and classroom practitioners, teacher educators and peak parent groups.

We are extremely grateful to all of these partners and in particular our Advisory Board, the Australian Government Department of Education, and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the University of Melbourne, for the support they have given us this year.

We wish you all a safe and happy festive season.

More Information

Renuka Rajadurai

T: +61 3 9035 9605