Education and the politics of multiculturalism in Asia

Edward Vickers, Professor
Department of Education, Faculty of Human-Environment Studies

Academics at Kyushu University, La Trobe University and National Taiwan Normal University are collaborating in comparative research on the politics of identity in societies across the Asia-Pacific. Related projects include a co-edited education-focused topical section of the International Journal of Taiwan Studies, contributions to a major UNESCO review of global education systems (coordinated by UNESCO-MGIEP) and a study (by Edward Vickers of Kyushu University) of the official use, in the People’s Republic of China, of history in curricula and propaganda relating to societies on China’s periphery.

Team Member

Kaori Okano, Professor, La Trobe University
Lin Tzu-bin, Professor, National Taiwan Normal University
Bec Strating, Senior Lecturer, La Trobe University

Research Collaborations

La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan, ROC

Related Publications

  • Krishna Kumar, Yoko Mochizuki and Edward Vickers (coordinating lead authors) (2017). Rethinking Schooling for the 21st Century: the State of Education for Peace, Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship in Asia. New Delhi: UNESCO-MGIEP.
  • Edward Vickers and Zeng Xiaodong (2017). Education and Society in Post-Mao China. New York and London: Routledge.
  • Edward Vickers (ed.) (2018). ‘Internationalising Japanese Education,’ special issue of Educational Studies in Japan: International Yearbook. Tokyo: Japanese Educational Research Association.
  • Liu, M., & Lin, T. B. (2011). The development of multicultural education in taiwan: Overview and reflection. In Intercultural and Multicultural Education: Enhancing Global Interconnectedness (pp. 157-176). Taylor and Francis AS.
  • Tsuneyoshi, R. (Ed.), Okano, K. (Ed.), Boocock, S. (Ed.). (2011). Minorities and Education in Multicultural Japan. London: Routledge,


[Contact] Edward Vickers
[Telephone] 090-2857-5157
[E-mail] edvickers08★
Please change the ★ in your email address to @.


Education and the politics of identity in East Asia today NEW

*The Program is subject to change due to circumstances.

Date & Time Sept. 9th 16:00-17:00 (Japan time)
Venue Online (Zoom Webinar)

Description of event

Despite their diverse histories and cultures, common tensions characterize debates about identity and nationhood across the Asia-Pacific. Homogenous visions of identity and nationhood sit uneasily alongside notions of citizenship that embrace cultural and ethnic diversity. In many societies, rising inequality feeds fear and resentment of immigrants, and legacies or memories of empire and colonialism have also fuelled resentment of foreign interference or ‘hegemony’. In stories of nationhood, what is forgotten or avoided is just as important as what is remembered.
What role, then, does education play in shaping ideas of identity and nationhood across the contemporary Asia-Pacific? To what extent are citizens taught to see political identity as something diverse and complex, and what are the implications of different approaches to citizenship education? And, should we see education as a potential tool for promoting national reconciliation, or as a dangerous weapon for inciting hatred and division?

Speakers on the panel

Tzu-Bin Lin
Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs at National Taiwan Normal University
Professor Tzu-Bin Lin works in the Department of Education and serves as Associate Vice-President for Academic Affairs at National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU). Previously, he worked in the UK and Singapore. His research interest includes education policy, bilingual/multilingual education, comparative education and media literacy. In the past decade, Prof. Lin published more than 50 papers and book chapters and conducted more than thirty research projects in the UK, Singapore and Taiwan. His recent works are on the development of bilingual/multilingual education policy in Taiwanese public schools.

Edward Vickers
Professor of Comparative Education @Kyushu University, Japan
Edward Vickers is Professor of Comparative Education at Kyushu University, Japan, where he directs the university’s inter-disciplinary Taiwan Studies Program. He spent many years working in Hong Kong and Beijing, first as a schoolteacher and later as a textbook author and researcher. He has published widely on education and identity politics in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, as well as the politics of heritage and public culture across East Asia. His recent works include the monograph Education and Society in Post-Mao China (2017), co-authored with Zeng Xiaodong, and (with Mark Frost and Daniel Schumacher) the volume, Remembering Asia’s World War Two
(2019). He is currently working on a project investigating the use of history in Chinese propaganda (e.g. school curricula and museums) relating to certain ‘minority’ regions in the far west (Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia) and to ‘Han’ societies on China’s eastern periphery (Hong Kong and Taiwan). The shifting politics of identity in Chinese societies is thus a central focus of his current work.

Kaori Okano
Professor of Japanese Studies/Asian Studies, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, @La Trobe University
Kaori Okano is Professor of Japanese Studies/Asian Studies, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, La Trobe University. While hailing from Hiroshima, she has spent many years of her life in Australia and New Zealand, as secondary school teacher and academic. She has widely published on sociological analysis of minorities, multiculturalism and social inequality in education. Her current research is on diversity and social justice in education, in terms of participation and politics of difference, which will be published in a monograph Education and Social Justice in Japan(early 2021). Her recent works include an edited book Nonformal education and civil society in Japan (2016), and co-edited volumes, Rethinking Japanese Studies : Eurocentrism in Asia-Pacific regions (with Y. Sugimoto) and Discourse, Gender and Shifting Identities in Japan (2018, with C. Maree).


Dr Rebecca Strating (La Trobe University)


Link to the ZOOM
Ask your questions during the event on Slido –
Event code: # J774


Link to the event (Latrobe Asia)
Asia Studies at Kyushu University
Kyushu University Taiwan Studies

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