The gatekeepers: negotiating a place for Asia literate curriculum in schools

Salter, Peta (2011) The gatekeepers: negotiating a place for Asia literate curriculum in schools. In: AARE 2011 Conference Proceedings. 00328. pp. 1-15. From: AARE 2011 Australian Association for Research in Education Conference: researching across boundaries, 27 November - 2 December 2011, Hobart, TAS, Australia.

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This paper is part of a larger project that aims to provide insights into policy responses to calls for Asia literacy; an initiative that seeks to cross cultural boundaries by fostering intercultural understanding. The project is framed as a case study of Asia literate policy within one school setting incorporating qualitative data analysis. This project investigates the representation and response to Asia literate policy in three parts of policy analysis framework: policy as text, policy to context and policy in context (Ball, 1993), to develop a critical understanding of Asia literate policy trajectory. Critical analysis of Asia literate policy beyond the official text is integral to exploring notions of discourse and agency central to the policy as "[critical] policy studies concerns the nature of the links between policy as intended by the policy-makers and its relationship to what actually happens in practice"(Blackmore & Lauder, 2004, p. 98).

This paper reviews critical policy research approaches and explores the framing of Asia literate curriculum policy development at the juncture of policy to context; the micro level of localised complexity in a school context. Policy texts do not necessarily easily transfer into sustainable institutional practices that automatically enact good or even consistent understandings of the policy itself. Policy is negotiated or mediated by key staff; curriculum leaders that become "gatekeepers" (Ball, 1993) of policy knowledge. At school level these gatekeepers are relied upon to relate policy to the school context, further adding to the representational and interpretational history of the policy.

This paper seeks to provide the theoretical basis for separate open-ended interviews with key staff mediating the policy at the site. Data from these interviews will inform the next stage of research; engagement with both Heads of Department and classroom teachers to elucidate teacher agency and constraints in responding to Asia literate policy and decisions made by key mediators of policy. Overall, this research has the potential to bring real change to Asia literate policy approaches at a critical moment as "Australia and Australia's Engagement with Asia" is highlighted in the emerging national curriculum as a cross-curriculum priority (ACARA, 2010, p. 20) that will be enacted as a curriculum policy nation-wide.

Item ID: 21287
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISSN: 1324-9320
Keywords: Asia literate, curriculum, policy
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Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2012 05:48
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130302 Comparative and Cross-Cultural Education @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930501 Education and Training Systems Policies and Development @ 100%
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