Agora (2020/Issue 3) – Asian Histories

Agora is a journal of curated professional reading for history teachers. This digital download of the latest issue covers a broad range of curriculum-related content about Asian histories including Australian engagement with Asia; exploration of China, Japan and South-East Asian histories as well articles on classroom differentiation and an analysis of enrolment trends for history.

Please note that full-colour, print copies of Agora are available by annual subscription.


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Reflection | Bianca Crawford
Editorial | Guy Nolch


Aboriginal Trade with Macassan Seafarers | Lyndon Ormond-Parker
Indonesian fishermen established a trading relationship with Aboriginal people in northern Australia, harvesting sea cucumbers before processing them for markets
as far away as China.

The Values of Confucius and the Eastern Zhou Aristocracy in Early China | Hyun Jin Kim and Karen Kai-Nung Hsu
While Confucian values encourage everyone to practise a moral and virtuous life, the reality was that the Confucian junzi was almost always someone from the highest echelons of society.

Archaeologists Uncover the Roots of Buddhism | Keir Strickland
The discovery of a simple tree shrine at the birthplace of the historic Buddha has helped pinpoint the date of the Buddha’s life, and shone new light on a period when Buddhism was still an emergent religion.

Climate Change in the Fourteenth Century: The Decline of Angkor | Robert Cribb
The Angkor empire was built on a system of canals and reservoirs that could not cope with the challenges of extreme climate when the Medieval Warm Period gave way to the Little Ace Age.

The Alternate Attendance System in Tokugawa Japan | Sandra Wilson
Not only did alternate attendance enable shoguns to exert their authority over regional lords, it had a profound political, social, economic and cultural impact on Tokugawa Japan.

The Fears and Other Factors that Led Australia to War in Asia | Adrian Threlfall
Australia’s sometimes fraught relationship with Asia can be traced from the Gold Rush and the White Australia policy to four wars it has fought in Asia since World War II.

Refugee Journeys: The Stories of Vietnamese Women | Nathalie Huynh Chau Nguyen
Within four years of the fall of Saigon, more than 700,000 people had fled Vietnam. The migration stories of Vietnamese women who survived the long and perilous journey to refugee camps in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong by boat, before their eventual resettlement in Australia, make harrowing reading.


Australia’s Connection with Asian History and Culture in the Primary Years | Maree Whiteley
Beyond the explicit references to Asian History in the primary curriculum there are many underlying cultural references for teachers and students to explore.

Differentiating in a Senior History Classroom | Maddison Schmidt
Despite the dot points specifying what is examinable, there is flexibility in the way that the Senior History curriculum can be presented. It all comes back to knowing your students and how they learn.

Migration Stories from the Many Lands of Asia | Jan Molloy
Artefacts displayed as part of the Immigration Museum’s Migration and Cultural Diversity Collection tell many stories about immigration from Asia since the nineteenth century.

Explore Asia Through ‘Tea Heaven’ | Melina Mallos
The Chinese Museum has developed an excursion and online exhibition that reveals the history of tea and the cultural practices that have become deeply embedded in Chinese culture.

Challenging Student Perspectives when Teaching Asian History | Ian Keese
While students who have migrated from Asia can be confronted by the Western historical perspectives they are taught here, it also provides an opportunity for local students to reconsider their own history and culture.

The Future Is Asian: Linking Historical and Contemporary Narratives | Hamish Curry
Our geography, relationships and communities are all deeply intertwined with Asia. Increasingly our education content, context and pedagogies should be too.


Flatlining? National Enrolment Trends in Senior Secondary History | Rebecca Cairns and Kerri Anne Garrard
An analysis of national enrolment trends raises some important questions about the perceived value of studying History, and points to other issues that shape these trends.