July 5, 2012—Students in the ten member states of ASEAN will soon be learning about the organization on a regular basis as teachers begin using the ASEAN Curriculum Sourcebook to integrate ASEAN “themes” into primary and secondary school classes. The sourcebook was officially released on July 5 during the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting.
In announcing release of the book, H.E. Prof. Dr. Ir. KH. Mohammad Nuh, Indonesia’s Minister of Education and Culture, noted its purpose in advancing ASEAN an “outward-looking, stable, peaceful and prosperous” community. U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN David L. Carden presented the sourcebook on behalf of the United States. “As the region moves closer to integration, it is essential that ASEAN’s origin, history, objectives, and evolving role within Southeast Asia are present as part of every student’s education,” he said.
Four years in the making, the sourcebook organizes the current ASEAN-related curricula of member states as well new resources into five chapters: Knowing ASEAN, Valuing Identity and Diversity, Connecting Global and Local, Promoting Equity and Justice, and Working Together for a Sustainable Future. Each chapter has sample lesson plans that cover objectives, suggested grade levels, topics and time required to cover each topic, desired results, and lists of required materials and resources. Subjects range from holidays to biodiversity to the United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights.
Namji Steinemann, Director of the Asia Pacific Education Program at the East-West Center and the lead author of the sourcebook, says that “the materials are learner-centered and inquiry-based, with crucial 21st century skills—such as critical thinking, media and information literacy, cross-cultural communication, collaboration, perspective consciousness, and respect for diversity —articulated from lesson to lesson, so teachers may help students acquire, practice, and master skills they will need for personal success and responsible citizenship in today's fast changing interconnected world.”
The book will be distributed to schools throughout the region immediately, and materials will also be posted on education websites for free downloading (in late August check www.seameo-innotech.org/SEAtoolkit ).
The sourcebook was developed by the Senior Officials Meeting on Education (SOM-ED) and the Southeast Asian Ministries of Education Organization (SEAMEO), with support from the ASEAN-U.S. Technical Assistance and Training Facility, managed by Nathan Associates Inc.