Asia ConneXions Curriculum
The Asia ConneXions program focuses on three curriculum areas:
- Studies of Australian and Asian culture in the Social Studies subject, which, in NSW, is based on Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE) Curriculum;
- Asian languages and Asian culture studies for Australian schools that offer Asian language as a second language; and
- Moral and ethical issues and religion based on the Religious Education Curriculum of the Catholic Schools Office in order to challenge teenagers' thinking.
Studies of Australian and Asian culture (Social Studies)
Studies of Australian and Asian culture can lead students to become more aware of their own cultural and national identities as well as to learn each other's culture, as they discuss such topics as "What makes us Australian/Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Indian or Indonesian?" Students learn about the different ways that Australian and Asians think about the customs of doing things and their thinking behind such customs. Exposure to such experiences helps both Australian and Asian students to develop cultural understandings about each other, which enables them to cooperate more easily in the future. For Asian students, the cultural exchanges also provide them with opportunities to develop English language skills.
Asian languages and Asian culture
For Australian schools in regional/rural areas that offer Asian language as a second language, it is an exciting experience to meet Asian students through videoconferencing. Australian students practice their Asian language skills with other students from different Asian countries by talking about their culture and comparing it to Australian culture. In turn, Asian students develop their English language skills by teaching their language and culture, while speaking in English, to Australian students.
Moral and ethical issues and religion
Moral and ethical issues, such as pre-marrital sex, abortion, drugs, violence, gay/lesbian, are important and challenging issues for teenagers to consider. Such issues can open up their thinking beyond academic topics in schools. Also, Australian and Asian students may find different as well as similar ways of thinking among them, and their different reasoning as well as similar ones. The class topics are practical and relevant to both Australian and Asian students based on the NSW Religious Education curriculum.