Promoting ASEAN Awareness at the Higher Education Chalkface
- Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 39, Number 1, April 2017
- pp. 127-148
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This research note outlines a project-in-progress, in the hope of soliciting broader participation and discussion. It describes and evaluates a joint initiative between two regional universities to promote inter-class contact and active learning on the subject of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and supplements the experience gained in this endeavour through interviews with practising lecturers. Based on these twin research thrusts, the note argues that the higher education chalkface is a vital arena for ASEAN community-building, and pleads for a more concerted effort to link politics and pedagogy. To this end, recommendations include: cooperating to generalize and extend the kinds of small-scale projects discussed in this article; establishing an inclusive, interactive, teaching-oriented website where ideas and material can be shared; setting up a platform where the results of student-driven research and initiatives can be made available; and organizing practitioner-oriented workshops where lecturers can access the combined expertise of ASEAN officials, national diplomats and pedagogical specialists to construct practical, active, and cooperative teaching programmes. If we are to fulfil the tasks of promoting ASEAN awareness, nurturing regional identity, and encouraging public ownership of the regional project among this highly significant sector of Southeast Asia’s population, then facilitating the task of “teaching ASEAN” is an indispensable component.