Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Challenge of Global Learning Australian


Topic Theme: eLearning and Global Learning

Table of Contents

  • Executive Statement
  • Summary
  • Overview
  • 21st Century Global Learning Service
  • Contextual problem
  • Opportunity
  • Final Statement
  • Introduction: Call for a Quality Global Education Service 
  • Discussion Paper Relevance
  • Penal Colony: Education and Internal Threat
  • Quality Education: Private Secondary Schooling
  • Secondary Schooling Cultural mind-set
  • Global World: Restructure
  • International Achievement Data and Quality Teaching
  • Free Trade and Protectionism
  • Free Trade since 1957
  • Communities of Global Inclusivity
  • eLearning Recommendations
  • Bibliography

Executive Statement

Summary

This Executive Statement summarises  Key concepts in Global Learning discussion paper. It succinctly identifies the essential key issues associated with global competitive education markets, global work skills, past and present protectionist and free trade endeavors, the shaping of Australian education, and requirements for a 21st century global eLearning ecosystem. Education is an evolving manifestation serving Australia's immediate and foreseeable needs. This statement is to be used to quickly identify contextual issues and global learning opportunities as Northern Territory embraces a quality global education provision.

Overview

In October 2013 the Chief Executive Officer released the Department of Education 2013-2015 strategic plan. The plan targets quality, accountability, innovation, autonomy, flexibility, inclusivity, partnerships and the global economy as essential educational goals to drive future social and economic advancements across the Territory. In context to this paper, seeking opportunities in developing an educational hub, refocusing Distance Education to Asia,  increasing the number of international student in schools, developing independent government schools, Territorian students as skilled global citizens and Indigenous remote education are core to the prosperity of an outward looking and competitive market driven Northern Territory.

This paper discusses past and present reform, where education is the essential tool to manage internal and external risk to advance territory, state and nationhood prosperity. All the phases of national development (penal and nation building eras, post war and the present 'Asian Era') employ education as the systems driver for protection of wealth, development of industry, and prosperity and well being of it's people. The strategic plan clearly identifies values, skills, partnerships and systems of improvement required for the Territory to expand its service horizon into South East and North East Asia. The Department of Education is a service that has the capacity and vision to develop our youth to have the skills to participate in an ever increasing global future.

As a nation Australia has shifted from a framework of protectionist anti Asian socio-economic policies focussed on close relationships with Britain to free-trade policies based on the competitive prosperity of  a growing Asia. We have truly moved from the empire and our prosperity is deeply rooted in China, the South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. With trade comes opportunity, prosperity, and cultural change. Trade has and will continue to shape Australian cultural descriptions, expressions and quality of life. The Northern Territory Government seeks to increase trade with South East and North East Asia through the establishment of an International Education Hub, a graduating global skilled and Asian aware student culture and a quality global Independent Government School provision. Education is a top end commodity and if developed can significantly enrich Territorian's quality of life.

To grasp these opportunities reform is required to develop and deliver a quality education product, based on international standard rankings, cultural awareness and inclusivity. A quality global education product is based on ethic and moral values, strong, rewarding long term relationships, identifiable academic achievement and skilled work ready graduates.  Asian culture  must be welcomed as an important part of our curriculum provision to enrich the identity of the Northern Territory. Territorian teachers and students need to develop cultural awareness, language, inclusive participatory skills and knowledge of Asia if the opportunities of the Asian Era are to be gained. Elearning systems must seamlessly connect with Asia.

21st Century Global Learning Service

Education as a 21st century global service and economic driver must be purposefully relevant, a product that is identified for it's quality and demonstratively improves the user, and is accessible through client centred eLearning ecosystems employing flexible and adaptive technologies of the day.  It requires a  concentrated attention on cultural inclusion, quality, achievement, relationships and technology. The 21st century global learning product needs to be a quality based and personally rewarding experience. 21st century reform is more than an incremental improvement on past 19th and 20th century provisioning. Replacing exercise books with Microsoft Office, text books with online pdf resources and letters with email is a 20th century manufacturing model.

Contextual problem

This discussion paper doesn't explicitly detail the specific internal and external benefits and risks confronting Northern Territory education. The  intention is to identify Australia's provisioning as a whole and to be used by Department leaders for change-management-logistical-reflection and symbiotic relationships to provisioning contemporary eLearning platforms and ecosystem. The form of eLearning provision follows the function of education. Reforming education requires reforming eLearning.
Combined, the visions, goals and aspirations described in the Department's 2013-2015 strategic plan form a complex change based problem that cannot be solved by consolidating on past efforts or incrementally improving past solutions. Improving quality teaching against international standards, developing an impacting international student program, maintaining cultural integrity, employing contemporary 21st century eLearning programs, reforming Indigenous education and enabling government schools autonomy requires complex cultural change.  This reform will need a considerable effort in deconstructing the problematic and possibly unknown expressions associated with cultural change as the goals are a significant move from a primarily internal provision to one that places the Northern Territory educational service within the global competitive market.   Discussion paper key points:
  • Competitive Global Driven Economy
    • Northern Australia's engagement with the competitive markets of Asia as the driver of  the Australian economy.
  • Internal Threat
    • The transition and socialisation of children and parent perceptions to understand the characteristics of a global driven economy and to incorporate global learning values and standards within education provision
  • Quality Secondary Schools
    • Raising the cultural description of government secondary schools through Independent Government Schools and remove divisive misconceptions of academic accreditation and work-ready skill based accreditation and to synthesize government and non government school partnerships.
  • International Standards
    • Reforming curriculum implementation, assessment, delivery and Territorian achievement standards to make gains within Australian PISA, and NAPLAN rankings.
  • Free Trade and Opportunity
    • Seed the startup of  innovative programs, activate initiatives and fast track quality teacher professional learning programs to catch up with the global education leaders to access future opportunities made possible through free trade agreements in South East and North East Asia.
  • 21st century eLearning
    • Provisioning of a 21st century eLearning ecosystem that is ubiquitous to the user, enables user control and autonomy, and diversifies to satisfy the changing needs of complex reform agendas.


eLearning Recommendations

  1. A quality provisioned, global focused and education driven eLearning ecosystem which interpolates between government and private schools to fast-track a multi-sector learning provision into the competitive 21st century global economy. The eLearning provision must be world class. It is imperative that the interface is user friendly for english as a second language users.
  2. Territorian youth face a future of online lifelong learning. Students need to gain the 21st century technological skills and digital literacies to participate within the fast changing global business world, and obtain the dexterity to employ eLearning courseware throughout their working life.
  3. Professional Development eLearning platforms which incorporates just-in-time learning, performance support, mobile and informal learning and places the user as the controller and manager of their professional learning. Sychronise quality teaching professional learning programs to leading 21st century global education provision.
  4. Engagement with Asia will improve Australian education services. It is imperative that knowledge of Asian culture and access to Asian Language courseware is a key component of the Department's eLearning service. The eLearning ecosystem must have the capacities to seamlessly connect with Asian schools and cultural institutions.
  5. An eLearning ecosystem which formally and informally creates community learning, connects international students and local students, connects international students with home, connects international global classrooms across Asia and Australia, and delivers open access to rich online language and culturally informed courseware.  Systems must enable inclusivity, remove isolation, develop friendships, working relationships and partnerships and promote cultural awareness and empathy. It is not just about instructional content.

Opportunity

The provision of learning across Australia/Northern Territory is responsive to pressures generated by national assessment data and achievement standards, 21st century social expectations and technologies, teacher quality and  economic and employment opportunities

The reform initiatives; Independent Government Schools, Global and life-long learning, International Students, Distance Education, the establishment of an Education Hub, Indigenous Education Review, Middle Years Review and Secondary School Provisioning will reshape the description of education in the Northern Territory. These reforms require an efficient and interconnecting provision of  21st century eLearning technologies to develop a global, inclusive and  contemporary social learning product.

This is the opportune time to adapt a quality 21st century world class eLearning ecosystem enabling a framework of adaptive platforms and cloud connected technologies, and efficiently administered to support and engage students, teachers, parents and communities of learning within a competitive global education environment.

Final Statement

Technology change will not slow. It is a question of whether Australian Departments of Education eLearning provisions can connect to the needs of our 21st century youth. Each Department needs to move from the 20st century industrial productivity paradigm to the 21st century Human Era (ManPower) Relationship connectivity paradigm.

Introduction: Call for a Quality Global Education Service

'One of the defining characteristics of civilizations is their capacity to create systems' (Hannon 2014) to meet societal need, instigate and manage economic growth, maintain authoritative status quo, and to reform systems as and when conditions change and opportunities arise. 21st century global society is competitive and opportunistic. Governments are preparing its eLearning systems to compete and gain opportunities to secure its economic future through accessing the prosperities of competitive Asia. Departments of Education are reforming to deliver a 'quality brand' of education to enable a competitive and prosperous domestic economy. Graduating students need to engage and participate within the competitive global world.

Co-Chair of Australians for Northern Development and Economic Vision Imants Kins, stated that 'Northern Australia has the potential to drive the Australian economy in coming decades' (Kins 2013). In this media release Kins draws comparison to the historic American westward expansion and Australia developing its north.

The National Liberal Party's 2030 vision describes Northern Australia as the 'next frontier' with 'natural, geographic and strategic assets' and injunction with Australia's recognised quality of brand 'we should focus on the quality end' to 'capitalise on emerging markets' (National Liberal Party 2013 p1). The quality focus includes;

  • establishing world-class medical centres of excellence in the North;
  • creating an education hub with world-class vocational and higher education campuses; and
  • growing Australia’s exports of technical skills related to resources and agriculture.
    (National Liberal Party 2013 p3)

The Northern Territorian Country Liberal Party's vision sees a Territorian and Asian prosperous connected economy as one of our greatest assets. The vision is based on a three-hub economy of which 'education plays an integral part in developing these hubs and growing the Territory'. 'Developing a world class education system is a major objective of this Government’s strategic plan'. An emphasis will be placed on the 'science of how we learn' developing 'school culture' and 'student well-being'. Chief Minister Adam Giles states 'part of the Giles Government’s plan is to diversify our economy, build international education as an industry and create jobs for our kids. I want to position the Territory as an international education hub and …. we need to attract more students to Northern Australia' (Country Liberal Party 2014).

In October 2013, Chief Executive Officer released the Department of Education 2013-2015 strategic plan. The plan's vision and aspirations is to gain economic prosperity within a globally competitive neighboring region.  Key points are quality, accountability, innovation, autonomy, flexibility, inclusivity and partnerships. This is to reposition education as the driver of social and economic advancements across the Northern Territory. Goals most pertinent to a quality global service are;
  • Every student a successful learner;
  • Quality leaders, quality teachers, quality schools; and
  • Responsive services and systems.

Discussion Paper Relevance

This discussion paper reflects on past education reform and how it has changed since the 19th and 20th century nation building era to the contemporary logistics of addressing education in a 21st century competitive socioeconomic global world. It discusses cultural mindsets that implicitly and explicitly identifying quality. The paper discusses political decisions based on of global ranking and declining standards. It overviews the development of protectionist legislation and the influence this has had on cultural expression. In conclusion it draws attention to the learning technologies and the requirement to reconsider delivery through user/client centred eLearning platforms. The paper concludes with four eLearning recommendations.

Penal Colony: Education and Internal Threat

Australia's penal era created systems of instruction purposed to establish social control, a well-mannered servant workforce and a religious society. Children born of convicts lived under convict conditions. Most children were born out of wedlock and in desperate need of acceptable behavior training and required the literacy skills to read biblical scripture. The origins of what we know as an Australian education system  was founded and funded by the Society for Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. It was an international organization controlling the initial learning systems of penal Australia. The society funded teachers until custom duties(tarifs) became the supportive source of revenue. The Church and Schools Corporation was then established to administer public education. Curricular was based on moral scripture, fidelity, law abidance and manual skills. The Female Orphan School guiding mission was to 'train orphaned girls with the skills they would need to work as domestic servants and escape the life of poverty, idleness, immorality and prostitution that it was thought would otherwise befall them' (University of Western Sydney). The Female Orphan School was constructed on an isolated site (Parramatta) so that the children were 'entirely secluded from the other people, and brought up in habits of religion and morality' (University of Western Sydney).

Up to 1848 the only New South Wales' schools receiving state aide were...the denominational ones' (Wilkinson 2008). Educational services was funded by colony coffers (tariffs) but delivered through  religious organizations governed by a christian code of ethics, values and standards. International religious-based organizations initiated schooling to ensure that christian values and beliefs underlined the future servant workforce as the basis of a functioning economy. Education service responded to moral risk and the output of a subservient servant level workforce. A cheap quality workforce was required.

Quality Education: Private Secondary Schooling

In 1872 Victoria made primary schools 'free, compulsory and secular' (Wilkinson 2008). New South Wales soon followed Victoria's implementation. Primary schools emerged as compulsory and cost free, whilst secondary schools remained fee-based, non compulsory and delivered a curriculum embellished with religious doctrine. This was the era when many of what is now known as the elite private boys' and girls' schools were established. Private secondary schools remain a significant stakeholder in our nation's education service. As of 2011, eighty four percent of private schools have a religious affiliation with seventy five percent being christian (McCrindle Research 2013 p1). In relevance to this paper, the contiual dominance of religious affiliated schools may present difficulties in attracting non christian international students who intend on entering higher education and professional positions. Quality Independent Government schools may be attractive to aspiring Asian parents and students.

Secondary Schooling Cultural mind-set

The exponential growth of a productive socio-economic nation was through the development of a government and private school service. The nation's cultural mindset of schooling in Australia was nurtured throughout the 20th century. Penal era provisioning established the elite religious-based fee-paying private secondary school network and throughout the 20th century a nurtured mindset developed.  Private religious-based secondary schools have values, quality teachers, and pathway children to professional ruling class jobs via higher education. Government secondary schools are valueless, have poor quality teachers and have stronger pathways to agriculture, manufacturing, and low/semi skilled and trade based jobs.

Private religious schools output the significant number of Australia's leaders. Seventy eight percent of the 2013 Abbot cabinet attended private school. Prime Minister Mr. Tony Abbott attended one of the founding penal schools - Sydney's St Ignatius College. Since world war two, nine out of fourteen Australian Prime Ministers attended private schools (Wikipedia 2014). Four of  the most powerful CEOs leading Australia's top companies all attended private schools (Wikipedia 2014).

Despite one hundred years of Australian education reform; significant federal, state and territory spending on infrastructure, operational cost and teacher wages; mandatory teacher registration based on national professional standards, and access to a free education system, over thirty percent of Australian students attend fee-based private schools to gain 'religious affiliation', 'teacher quality', 'values, discipline and security' (Buckingham 2010 p20). 'Private school parents believe that these schools provide a better environment for their child to achieve their potential, better discipline and school order'  (Buckingham 2000 p1). Private school students have 'lower levels of unemployment and greater participation in higher and further education' (Buckingham 2000 p5).  Since the 1970s, there has been a significant rise in the proportion of students enrolling in non-government schools. Non-government schools educated only 22% of all students in 1970, and has risen to 35% in  2012 (ISCA, 2012). Since 1985, the increase in students at independent schools has grown by 5 times the increase in government schools (McCrindle Research 2013 p3).

'Failing teachers in failing schools' and 'it is the teacher’s fault when students fail to learn' (Dinham 2012) are commonly aired sentiments. This mindset is not based on evidence. 'We lack the evidence to evaluate how effectively individual schools are teaching and modelling values' (Masters 2004). However, we do know that private secondary schools 'students come from higher socio-economic groups within the community' (Masters 2004).

To establish a global service government and non government schools need to form partnerships of delivery to raise the skills of youth and to attract international students, professional and skilled workers. Both private and government sectors working together delivering academic and vocational skills to global quality standards. A global education service provisioning through a highly skilled and quality based teacher workforce is essential if visions of government are to be attained. A quality provisioned, global focused and education driven eLearning ecosystem which interpolates between government and private schools to fast-track a multi-sector learning provision within the competitive 21st century global economy. 

The eLearning provision must be world class. It is imperative that the interface is user friendly for english as a second language users.

Global World: Restructure

 'Global integration and international mobility have increased rapidly.' and 'skilled jobs now dominate job growth....' (Melbourne Declaration 2008 p5). Changes in technology required new skills. In the 1980s manufacturing, agricultural and factory jobs started disappearing through automation and overseas. New jobs were created through the infiltration of personal computing. Businesses had to quickly access a workforce skilled in computing to remain relevant in a transitioning global market. The realisation of global change was viewed as an economic risk and has since translated to a systems level risk. Year 12 retention rates had to change. Since the 1980s  a significantly higher retention rate has occurred (fifty percent 1985 / eighty three percent 2009 Australian Bureau of Statistics 1991). 'Australian apprenticeships and traineeships, basic vocational skills for occupations, semi-professional and vocational training' (Australian Federal Government 2013) enabled a higher retention rate and assisted Australia to restructure its skill base. 'VET is considered to have been successful …. because it integrates vocational options in combination with traditionally academic studies at the senior secondary school level (Department of Education Employment & Workplace Relations, 2012). A strong vocational education service is essential to Australia's future position within the global economy. If  Australia is to be an 'equitable and just society', 'provide a high quality of life for all' and 'to compete in the global economy' (Melbourne Declaration 2008 p5) a strong vocational educational provision is required.

Education services require a strong vocational provision to ensure a equitable and quality of life and enable students to obtain the skills to obtain career paths in the global economy. Australian youth face a future of online lifelong learning. Students need to gain the 21st century technological skills and digital literacies to participate within the fast changing global business world, and obtain the dexterity to employ eLearning courseware throughout their working life.

International Achievement Data and Quality Teaching

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) describes contemporary Australia as a nation that measures high in well-being, a disposable income above the OECD average and is a 'top-performing country in terms of the quality of its educational system' (OECD 2014). 'Australia has fewer under-performing students than the OECD average' (OECD 2013 p4). However, nothing remains the same in a competitive global market. The risk of falling behind and under-performing against global achievement data has the attention of federal, state and territory politicians, Departments of Education, researchers, and stakeholder organisations.

In the climate of competitive ranking and nationhood prosperity, quality of teaching has been identified as the critical issue. New South Wales Government Great Teaching, Inspired Learning discussion paper illustrates a scenario where 'the relative performance of Australian students has declined', 'numeracy results for secondary school students are declining' and 'students in other OECD countries are overtaking us' (NSW Government 2012 p3). The NSW discussion paper equates decline of student standards with a decline in quality teaching. 'The quality of an education system simply cannot exceed the quality of its teachers' (NSW Government 2012 p3). Hattie's research states teachers make the difference. They ‘account for about 30% of the (student achievement) variance. It is what teachers know, do, and care about which is very powerful in this learning equation’ (Hattie 2003 p 2). Teachers are the major in-school influence on student achievement (Hattie) and empowering better teaching practices has the biggest impact on learning.  Andrew Frazer’s Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL) presentation Creativity and Innovation in Education states that ‘teachers can play a significant role in providing solutions’ (Frazer 2007 slide 11) through their professional endeavour to ‘develop and innovate on good practice’ (Frazer 2007 slide 39).  ‘Innovative teaching supports students’ development of the skills that will help them thrive in future life and work’ (Bernard 2011 p 12). 

Teacher quality is described as the problem and the solution to Australia's declining OECD standards ranking. They are also the solution to a desired rise in global achievement ranking. In 2012 Prime Minister Julia Gillard stated that she wanted 'to see the country in the top five (Pisa rankings) in reading, mathematics and science by 2025' (Sydney Morning Herald 2012). To achieve a rise in the rankings Chief Executive of ACER, Professor Geoff Masters states 'It's about the quality of teaching, it's about the quality of the leadership' (Sydney Morning Herald 2012).

Global achievement rankings are associated with economic prosperity, and as quality of teaching is associated to Australian prosperity teaching methods demonstrated by quality endorsed international education jurisdictions are being used to reform Australian educational services. The Great Teaching, Inspired Learning NSW Government discussion paper refers to models of high performing systems in Korea, Finland, Singapore and Shanghai China. The NSW paper aligns education with the threat of declining prosperity in the fast changing global economy. This threat also includes Australia's capacity to attract international students vital for the  expansion of our knowedge industry. 'In recent years, Malaysia, Singapore and China have allocated large amounts of resources to develop a 'world-class education system and has attracted increasing numbers of international students' (Kell and Volg location 2012 location 239 of 5233). India, China, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia are growing faster and their ' influence on the world is increasing' (Melbourne Declaration 2008 p5).

Global learning reform has place the teacher as an important influence on Australia's future living standards and capacity to prosper in this competitive global world. The global knowledge industry is competitive. Northern Territory reform needs to advance teachers through quality professional learning targeting global quality teaching methodology and pedagogy using through 21st century eLearning technologies. Professional Development eLearning platforms incorporating just-in-time learning, performance support, mobile and informal learning and places the user as the controller and manager of their professional learning are required.

Free Trade and Protectionism

The history of Australia engaging with Asia can be viewed through Free Trade and Protectionist policies. In the 19th century Australia and Britain negotiated an ‘imperial preference’, in which Australia could export products to Britain on lower import tax levels to 'solidify economic and political bonds with the Empire' (Rogers p1). Imperial preference finished in 1840 when Britain reverted to free trade. This resulted in a systemically divided colony where Victoria was protectionist and NSW was proactively free trade. The divided continent had a dis-functional intra-colony trade barrier problem and the 'failure to reduce barriers on intra-Australian trade …. was the driving force behind Federation' (Irwin 2005 p2). However, the discovery of gold triggered a steep immigration growth. The increase of Chinese and non European immigrants triggered the Immigration Restriction Act 1901. The Act was 'designed to limit non-European and other so-called undesirable migration to Australia' and 'by any normally accepted definition this' was 'a racist policy' (National Archives 2014). The act was in force from 1901 to 1958. 'The Chinese population of Australia diminished from over 35,000 in 1901 to under 10,000 in 1947' (La Trobe University). In '1916 the Australian government introduced the War Precautions (Alien Registration) Regulations, which required non-British subjects to register as alien' (National Archives 2014). This included previously naturalised Chinese Australians. Such political and cultural decisions created a loss chance for Australia to build long term and lasting relationships with neighbouring Asia. Hostility to the undesirable non-European migrant limited Australia's trading relationships with neighbouring Asia and the teaching of Asian knowledge and culture in Australian schools.

On Federation, tariffs between states were removed, border taxes were introduced  and gradually external tariffs were increased.  In 1890  intra-Australian trade was seventeen time greater than external trade. It fell to twelve times greater in 1900 and grew to thirty three times greater in 1909. 'The average Australian external tariff on imported manufactured goods rose from 6 percent in 1902 to 16 percent in 1913' (Irwin 2005 p7). Australia entered nationhood divided and became increasingly protectionist and demonstratively racist.

The first Australian Government was Protectionist then followed by Protectionist, Labour, Free Trade, Protectionist, Labour and Commonwealth Liberal (Wikipedia 2014). Sir George Reid Australian Prime Minister 1904 to 1905 educated through Scotts College, leader of the Free Trade party 'advocated the abolition of protectionism, especially protective tariffs and other restrictions on trade, arguing that this would create greater prosperity for all' (Wikipedia 2013). John Stuart Mill (1948) proposed that 'the importation of goods at cheapest cost as a national good …. made the country more economically efficient' (Rogers p2). A national debate discussed the merits of tariffs to support entrepreneurs, infant industries and to 'catch up with industrial leaders' (Rogers p5).

In this early post federation era secondary schools were largely administered by religious organisations. Asian Australians youth were alienated and Australia lost its change to develop entrepreneurial, cultural and product trade relationships with Asia. A nurtured anti-asian culture emerged.

Free Trade since 1957

Prime Minister Menzies stated 'Britain is our best market (Menzies 1957)' whilst  negotiating a free trade agreement with Japan. Menzies stated that the  'prosperity of Japan was linked with the peace of the Pacific' and that the agreements 'removed discriminations against her that existed since the war' (Menzies 1957). The Australian Japanese free trade agreement triggered the removal of the  protectionist legislation, and the White Australia Act was removed soon after. Japan is now Australia's second largest export and third largest import market. Menzie's decision altered Australian perception of it's geolocation in the world. In 2005 there were 19,000 Japanese students studying in Australia (Australian Bureau of Statistics) This equates to 32% of the International Students studying in Australia.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard described opposition leader Gough Whitlam's visit to China in 1971 as a breakthrough point for exports, investment, tourism and study between the two countries. Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs was created in 1979 and Australia agreed 'to accept some 36,000 Indo-Chinese refugees. In 1989 Prime Minister Bob Hawke responded to the 'Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing' by extending the visas of Chinese students' (NSW DEC). Gillard pointed to the importance of China to Australia's prosperity  and her commitment as Prime Minister to create 'stronger bilateral architecture to better co-ordinate the breadth of our contemporary relationship' (Gillard 2012). The relationship would build 'economic strength' and a 'productive and resilient economy', 'our capabilities through world-class education systems' as a 'key to success in this changing world' and benefit 'Australian social and cultural life' through 'enhanced people-to-people links' (Gillard 2012). Gillard's political thought introduces the concept that engagement with Asia will improve the quality of Australian education. China is now Australia's largest export market and import market. China, Japan, Republic of Korea and India are our top four export markets. At A$15.1b, education is our fourth largest export (Australian Government 2012). In 2013 there were 139,236 Chinese studying in Australia (Australian Education Australia 2013). National Australia Bank chairman Michael Chaney predicts that by 2020 520,000 International students could be studying in Australia, contributing $19 billion into our economy (The Australian 2013).

On becoming Australia's 28th prime minister Tony Abbott  declared 'Australia is under new management and is once more open for business' (Abbott 2013) and has negotiated free trade agreements with Japan and China. The Australian Japan free trade agreement will allow 'Australian financial, education, telecommunications and legal services providers …. access to the Japanese market' (Business Insider Australia 2014). The Australian Chinese free trade agreement could provide a '$20 billion boost to the economy' and 'promises to open up lucrative opportunities in financial services, legal affairs, education and telecommunications' (The Australian 2014).

Engagement with Asia will improve Australian education services. It is imperative that knowledge of Asian culture and access to Asian Language courseware is a key component of the Department's eLearning service. The eLearning ecosystem must have the capacities to seamlessly connect with Asian schools and cultural institutions.

Communities of Global Inclusivity

Melbourne City Council International Student Strategy 2013-2017 describes the economic value international students bring to Victoria. In 2011 international students 'contributed in the vicinity of $4 billion to the Victorian economy and created employment of 38,063 full time employees' and 'almost 55 per cent of students living and studying in the city are international students' (City of Melbourne 2013 p 10). Whilst benefiting the Australian economy many Asian international students experience extreme levels of racism. Whilst Australia engages a global knowledge industry in Asia, and outwardly prides itself on a being liberal and fair minded, a religious tolerant and harmonious multicultural country our socio-cultural heritage describes a nation willing to enact protectionism and racism. Australia in the past has not provisioned Asian knowledge and cultural understanding through education. The Australian Curriculum cross-curriculum priority Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia is a significant step to addressing inherited cultural expressions.

Since 1957 Australia has battled with a protectionist mindset in endeavors to build trading partnerships within South East and North East Asia. The university global knowledge industry illustrates the depths and difficulties managing high levels of international students within communities prone to aggressively react. Despite India being one of our top four export markets and Indians our second largest body of international students India international students have experienced significant levels of racist attacks. With the promise of accessing permanent-residency status many Indian students completed fee-paying courses to gain access to professions in 'accounting, cookery and hair-dressing' (Yale Global Online 2010). 'The bashing of Indian …. students in metropolitan Melbourne and Sydney during 2008-2009' (Kell and Volg location 2012 761 of 5233) demonstrates deeply ingrained racist based job and  culture protectionist mindsets. 'University of Melbourne’s Professor Simon Marginson said interviews he and colleagues conducted for their 2010 book, International Student Safety, showed 99 of 200 students had experienced discrimination or abuse – and 198 of those students had been non-Caucasian.“To say racism is not the ‘primary’ driver of crimes against Indians is avoiding the point,” Marginson said' (Campus Review). Melbourne Council also notes that international students 'have expressed their dissatisfaction with their ability to meet Australian students and make Australian friends …. a lack of opportunities ... to interact with the local community' (City of Melbourne 2013 p 10). Whilst not as extreme as the White Australian Policy contemporary community violence influenced a decline in the numbers of International student enrolments. With opportunities to study elsewhere the Australian quality product has diminished in value. The education product can be diminished by community fuelled racism.

To provision an inclusive and profitable global education service Northern Territory Department of Education needs to engage the community, community leaders and organisations, provision Asian cultural awareness learning programs, enable connecting global classrooms and increase student enrolment levels in Asian language courses. Programs similar to the New South Wales Parents Learning Asian Languages would greatly assist in the development of a international student friendly Northern Territory. An eLearning ecosystem which formally and informally creates community learning, connects international students and local students, connects international students with home, connects international global classrooms across Asia and Australia, and delivers open access to rich online language and culturally informed courseware is required.  Systems must enable inclusivity, remove isolation, develop friendships, working relationships and partnerships and promote cultural awareness and empathy. It is not just about instructional content.

eLearning Recommendations

  1. A quality provisioned, global focused and education driven eLearning ecosystem which interpolates between government and private schools to fast-track a multi-sector learning provision into the competitive 21st century global economy. The eLearning provision must be world class. It is imperative that the interface is user friendly for english as a second language users.
  2. Territorian youth face a future of online lifelong learning. Students need to gain the 21st century technological skills and digital literacies to participate within the fast changing global business world, and obtain the dexterity to employ eLearning courseware throughout their working life.
  3. Professional Development eLearning platforms which incorporates just-in-time learning, performance support, mobile and informal learning and places the user as the controller and manager of their professional learning. Sychronise quality teaching professional learning programs to leading 21st century global education provision.
  4. Engagement with Asia will improve Australian education services. It is imperative that knowledge of Asian culture and access to Asian Language courseware is a key component of the Department's eLearning service. The eLearning ecosystem must have the capacities to seamlessly connect with Asian schools and cultural institutions.
  5. An eLearning ecosystem which formally and informally creates community learning, connects international students and local students, connects international students with home, connects international global classrooms across Asia and Australia, and delivers open access to rich online language and culturally informed courseware.  Systems must enable inclusivity, remove isolation, develop friendships, working relationships and partnerships and promote cultural awareness and empathy. It is not just about instructional content.
This discussion/research paper is based on personal points of view. Opinions and recommendations do not represent any government, institution or organization directions, policies, strategies or provisioning.


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The Challenge of Global Learning Australia by John Bennett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://jjfb-bennett.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/the-challenge-of-global-learning.html.