Category Archives: Reforms in Education

Two Things that the Middle Schools Failed to Teach the Students

The downside of this reform in education, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

Recently after the results of the college entrance examinations, the related questions are once again, brought up, all of these problems, may be the issues of the systems, but, they are also a reflection of the blind spots of education, we failed to teach the younger generations the following:

Plans for One’s Futures: all the parents know, that entering into college is a very important decision.  But, other than preparing for the entrance exams day and night, what ELSE did we put in, for preparation’s sake?  We’d been led to believe, that so long as we scored high enough, we can attend ANY school we wanted to; but, the colleges are filled with an INFLUX of students who’d chosen the wrong majors, and has an even HIGHER rate of dropping out.  Aren’t the youths of eighteen years-of-age allowed their rights to explore their areas of interest?  Couldn’t they have the chances, to fail at the options they were choosing?  Shouldn’t they get to know the situation in those schools they’re applying to?  Are they really certain, of what they’re doing? 

The writer recalled, back when he’d applied for graduate school in the U.S., in order to make the best choice with limited funding, he’d conflicted between the choices of schools, or the majors, but, after going through that, I’d understood better, the purpose of me, studying abroad.  The whole purpose of the application process, is for the students to sort through their plans for themselves in the next four years, to choose the major that is mostly fitting to oneself.  But unfortunately, we’d educated the students by rushing them through the lessons, then, giving them endless reviews, examinations of the subjects, unwilling to let the students find their own separate piece of sky, no wonder, the college interviews, the entrance exams for the separate majors are almost exact, and, the schools had spent a TON of money, to publicize the academics, and not getting the desired results.

The Students Couldn’t Live Independently by Themselves: undeniable, the process of heading to interviews will take the students all over the map, but, the parents shouldn’t accompany the children to and from, and hover over them, wasting their money away.  An eighteen-year-old youth, in order to fulfill one’s own life, venturing out on one’s own, it’s the MOST meaningful thing in life.  In Europe or the U.S., a youth such as this may have already backpacked around the world, or worked odds and ends, to provide for one’s own tuitions, but, our beloved parents seemed to be more unwilling to let their babies head off to college, and would rather treat their grown children like babies, and had even hoped that the kids would choose schools closer to where the parents lived, so they could look after them better.

To tell the truth, if the parents are having troubles, letting the kids fly solo to school, how could they possible expect, these children will grow up, to be the pillars of the community?

Naturally, a lot of the schools could improve more on the processes of deciding on admissions, for instance, they should have separate offices for the applications, and personnel who handle the matters professionally.  And, the restrictions of the percentile markings from the examinations should also be more lenient, so more of those students from less fortunate backgrounds could get equal opportunities, so they could use the potentials to overcome their backgrounds, to give back to the community later on as they graduated.  But, all of these key determinants of success is based off of the real understanding of the purpose of education: grades are a minor part of life, we needed to help our young work hard to follow their paths, to become more practical in life.  But, all of these, more important values, we’re not, teaching them at all.

Because this application process had just been set up this past couple of years, whereas they’d used the exam grades, to determine WHICH major you are to study in in the past, and so, this, is all new to the students, as well as the parents, and so, the parents AND the students NEED to adapt themselves, quickly, to how this current system works, and that, would be one thing that those legislators failed to consider, before they’d implemented the new ideals.

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The Values are the Key Qualities of Education

From the Front Page Sections, translated…

An American friend forwarded a short film of how machines are used to chop off trees, he’d told me with this heartfelt manner, that way back when, when he’d gone to Alaska to work as a lumberjack to pay his own tuition, he’d worked from dawn ‘til dusk, and can only chop one tree down; now, the machines can chop off a ton of trees in a matter of few short minutes, after the trees were chopped, they’re immediately sawed up into normal lengths, and transported with a specialized truck down the mountainsides.  A machine can make up for five hundred men, and it’s easy to operate, it’s totally opposite of how much he’d sweated from when he worked back in the days.

He said, that even now, the sports broadcasters are changed to using robots, because humans are naturally biased, in the international competitions, one may get too patriotic and lose her/his neutrality; in the competitions of the teams in one’s own country, you’d rooted for the other team on your own, but, robots don’t have this sort of emotional issues, it could report the stories as they’d come to it, with precision and neutrality.  He’d asked, “if everything we do now, is replaced by the machines, then, what’s the use of humans?”

This, is a good question, and so, in my course, “Brain and Creativity”, I’d shown this video to my students, and asked them how they think.  I thought, that the students would raise their hands to participate, because no matter how good the machines are, they’re still, all created by man, just like how in those fighting novels, no matter how good the apprentices got, they can never beat the masters who’d trained them.  What makes humans better than machines is in that we have knowledgeable thoughts, and, although the machines can have the abilities for statistical learning, but it couldn’t measure up to the humans’ abilities.  I thought that the students would realize, that the 21st Century would not be a competition of physical power, but of brain power, like how in “The Lost Crusade”, when the Arab ran towards him with a gun, Harrison Ford has no other option, shrugged his shoulders, took out his pistol, and, although using a gun in a knife fight wasn’t at all fair, but under the circumstances, there’s just the way of using technology to beat the traditions, one bullet solved that crisis.

I couldn’t imagine, that the lecture hall fell silent, the students all watched to see how I reacted, (not like how we were, lowered our heads, not daring to look up at the teacher, they’re now, staring at me, without any reactions.)  I couldn’t help but recall the words that Cheng-Ning Yang stated, to criticize the students of Taiwan.  But, the Taiwanese students aren’t unintelligent, lazy, or not putting enough mind into what they do, just look at how they’d won the biggest of prizes at the international creative competitions.  They are NOT showing enough care or concern for anything that doesn’t involve them, plus now, we’re all focused on the minor blessings of life, the students were misled to believe, that so long as they have it made right now, they don’t care about their futures, they have a different value systems compared to us.

But, why is there this difference of values?  We were all raised, in Asian communities, it’s just that the stories we’d read, we’d heard are different compared to the younger generations’ now, we didn’t grow up being told stories of “Snow White”, “Cinderella”, or “Sleeping Beauty”, I’d heard the stories of history, of how the stories of how our parents carried us on their back, as the Japanese invaded into our towns.  Our parents taught us, there’s NO trials that are too awful to endure through, the most precious, the ugliest side of human nature will all show up.  A day after my older sister was born, the Japanese invaded our town, my mother took her into the mountains to hide out, my sister had a fever, the elderly man from next door walked eighty kilometers from the mountain to the herbal shops, to bring it back up the mountains, so my sister could be treated, saved my sister’s life.  My parents’ escape experiences made us realize, that, “as the nests got tipped over, there would be NO eggs that survived”, and we’d felt more responsible toward the wellbeing of our nation, other people’s assistances, our parents’ gratitude, all of these, helped shaped and formed our systems of values.

The most basic goal of education is logical thinking and the right kinds of values, the books we’d read when we were children, the things we’d come in contact with when we were younger, will help shape our views of country, of our own lives, of our goals too.  The elementary and middle school years are the time when the personalities are slowly forming, and, we shouldn’t sacrifice the basic qualities of education, because of the grades or the diplomas.

This just shows, how my stats instructor’s words, “Focus on getting an education, NOT just a degree” is still important, but, because in schools, they now long longer TEACH any values, like how we should treat one another, and, we don’t take the time, to observe, how people are treating each other, that, is why this world is having so many problems, because of this carelessness, and, the professor was right on how we NEED to focus on the values that we are teaching the younger generations, instead of focusing on the grades that our kids are making…

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Filed under Being Exposed, Cause & Effect, Child Development/Education of Children, Education, Education Reforms, Lessons, Moral Responsibilities, Reforms in Education, Values, Wake Up Calls

The Teachers Changed the Grades, Falsifying Remedial Teaching?

For the sake of looking good on the records, and, for real?  Have they even, THOUGHT about that at all?  Apparently N-O-T!!!  From the Newspapers, translated…

Last year, the Department of Education set up the rules, but, because there’s NOT enough time given, and the bars were set way too high, in order to let the middle schoolers graduate, the teachers gave curves.

The national education subdivision of the Department of Education recently sent the notices to education facilities, that in order to make sure that the last year middle schoolers can graduate without fail and not need to take the examinations to enter into high school, that the instructors must offer remedial teaching to the students who didn’t perform as well as they ought to in various subjects.  But because there’s only a short period of time being given to the instructors, and, the requirements for graduation was raised up, there were schools, with teachers who were suspected of changing the grades, in order to reduce the ratio of the students who graduate, and, this remedial teaching became falsified.

But, the man in charge of the 12-years’-of-education of the Department of Education, Huang said, that he was shocked, to hear about what had been done by the individual instructors, and that there was no way he could know what the truth of it all was, that he will visit the schools in the various regions, to get to the bottom of this mater.

So, we still have instructors, falsifying grades, so, it’d look better on the records, and, guess, if this was done, who are the ones getting SCREWED over?  The students, because this had occurred on the middle school level, and, IF you can even pass those basic level education standardized tests on that level, how, even IF you were to get into an All-Star high school, will you ensure, that the students won’t SINK?  But, because the Department of Education just wanted to use the American ways, without realizing, that hey, maybe what works over there, may NOT work well here, and besides, these policy implementations still won’t run smoothly overnight, it takes a long time, to change, to get settled, but they’re expecting immediate results, which, was what drove the schools to falsify the grades.  And, you DO see, how all of it, is interconnected, right?

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Filed under Awareness, Choices, Cost of Living, Early Exposures, Education, Expectations, Legislature, Moral Responsibilities, Observations, Perspectives, Reforms in Education

In Order to Save Up on the Funding, the Public Kindergartens Don’t Plan on Adding the Classes, Instead, They’d Called in Substitute Teachers to Watch the Classes

The quality of education IS being sacrificed here, from the Newspapers, translated…

The mayor, Ke, a while ago, on the council meetings pointed out how the Department of Education “had taken close considerations” of how they needed to increase the number of classes in the public kindergartens, that if there’s a need of teacher there, they will be hiring the substitutes first; the Department of Education had planned to add the number of classes of the public kindergarten systems to forty, and that this new law might halt the original plans.

The head of the Department of Education, Tang said the public to private kindergarten ratio is at close to 3:7, but Ke’s bigger goal was to change the ratio of the public to private kindergartens to 7:3, pointed towards the developments of the not-for-profit kindergartens co-owned and co-operated by the public and the private systems, and had asked for the assessments from the Department of Education, in the limited assets of the government, and the limited spaces, to continue put forth the increase in the number of public kindergarten classes.

The Department of Education pointed out, that in order to lessen the strains on the adults, the four-year public kindergarten system is planning on getting more classes, in 2012, the classes were increased by 30, in 2013, to 33, 2014, to 42, in just three short years, the total cost of this had amounted to over 179 million dollars N.T., and the original plan for this year’s increasing the classes to forty may have been halted.

The Department of Education disclosed, that for every new class in the public kindergarten system, they’d needed one million dollars N.T. to set up the classrooms, that if there needed to be an increase of forty classes, then, it would cost the local governments forty million dollars N.T.

And, the two instructors per class will cost $80,000N.T.s, per month, and, if there are forty classes, times the twelve months of wages, the first year of personnel costs would be up to $38.4 million N.T., but this still had yet to include the retirement pensions of these teachers.

Based off of understanding, the Department of Education recently asked along the experts, to set up a plan, to “save on the expenses”, first, they’d set up that the two-year-old classes has two caretakers, the 3 to 5 group, with two teachers, and now, they’d changed the 3-year-old classes, to have two childcare workers, it would save up on the wages, and they need not worry about the retirement pensions.

And so, apparently, this PLAN of setting up publicly owned kindergarten is still NOT at all, well-thought out, first, there’s the issues of teacher to student ratio, then, there’s the amount of money they should pay the teachers or the caretakers, and, this, is just not at all, well-thought-out enough, and so, the quality of education still gets SACRIFICED!!!

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Filed under Awareness, Child Development/Education of Children, Cost of Living, Education, Education Reforms, Expectations, Legislature, Life, News Stories, Reforms in Education

Setting Up the Half Government-Sponsored Schools, the Little Children Became Piggies Waiting to be Slaughtered

On standardized testing for the younger kids, from the Newspapers, translated…

“The first item, seeing my child get pushed into the testing place for English qualifications is like pushing him into the slaughterhouse.”  This was, from two years ago, when a parent took her own third-grade child to taking the English qualification exams, and afterwards, the child came out, with this beaten look on her face, it’d made her regretted her actions to date.

This child had been placed in dual-language institution since she was in the kindergarten years, in order to get into a private middle school, every year, she’d taken endless number of examinations, gave up on the gaming, exercising times that elementary age children had.  And this sort of a scene is, all too familiar to parents of the metropolitan regions.  For many years, how many points above the passing grade of the English examination meant how high one’s English abilities were, this, had always been a myth for the students, as well as the parents too; but, after so many examinations, did the level of skill in English really improve for the students of Taiwan?

Sixteen years ago, there only a little over ten thousand children who took the examinations, and now, it’d become the activity for ALL the citizens across this nation, there had been, six and a half million students who’d taken the test.

There are one million kids in elementary school right now, and when scoring a high grade on the English exams became their goals of learning, it will surely, destroy the love for learning, and distort the purpose of education.  As this had become the trend today, the Department of Education should think about why they’d allowed this standardized test to extend so far, ten years ago, they’d voted on the inappropriateness of the examinations, and now, are the reasons for the testing convincing?

And so, now, you have kids, sitting at their desks, cramming their books, during off hours, instead of seeing kids, running wild AND free, doing what kids are suppose to be doing, at break time, and that, is all due to this need to make them excel, need for them to better than we are, hello, hello, hello???  You, stupid PARENTS and you god DAMN systems ARE murdering the love of learning for your young, do you not realize that already???

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Filed under Awareness, Being Exposed, Cost of Living, Education, Education Reforms, Reforms in Education, Standardized Testing, Wake Up Calls

There’s More to Life Than Making the Perfect Scores

More important than making the grades here, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

Every year after the college entrance exams, “making the perfect score” became the sorrows and beauties for every test taker and their parents.  There were last year high schoolers, who, other than sleeping, just hit the books nonstop, and they didn’t even have the time, for their favorite workouts.  And, there are doctors who’d hired private coaches at the price of $60,000~$70,000N.T., in hopes, that their child will make the perfect scores in every subject.

This tightening curse of making the perfect score had caused the parents to waste a ton of money, as well as the youthfulness of the children too.

After the grades were received, whether if the kids were sent off to school happily or unhappily, but, the truth before our eyes is this: the fact that we’re having less children had caused the operations of colleges and universities to suffer, and, there’s an imbalance of supply and demand for higher ed by the year.

The trend of having less children had hit Japan earlier than it’d hit Taiwan, and there’s the way of “If the students and the colleges agreed, then, admissions shall be given”, as the standard for entering into college.  In actually, in the future not too far off, as long as the students know how to fill out the application forms, then, they would be, admitted into public universities without troubles at all.

Then, let’s move a few year ahead from college, even if you were able to get into the schools of your choice and managed to graduate without delay, then what?  The workforce in Taiwan had been low wages and long hours for a very long time, and, the more you put into work, doesn’t give you the equal amounts of rewards; the college graduates, earning $22K by the month had become the norm.  Is this, the life of someone who’d made perfect testing scores?

More importantly, there’s a endless pursuit of the small things that made people happy in recent years, and, nobody dares venture outside of one’s comfort zones, comparing ourselves to the rest of Asia, even internationally, where, is the competitive edge?

And so, the pursuit of making perfect scores is still???  Diddily SQUAT, because you’re making these test takers who have ABSOLUTELY NO sense of what the reality of thing is today, and, that is just, not going to end well here at all.

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Filed under Abandonment of Children, Cost of Living, Education, News Stories, Observations, Perspectives, Professional Opinions, Reforms in Education

Ten-Percent of All Middle School Students in Changhwa May Not Graduate

Shocking statistic, isn’t it???  From the Newspaper, translated…

From the last year middle school students right now, a new implemented rule had been set up: in the seven areas of studies, each and every student must pass at least FOUR, in order to get their diplomas, and, in Changhwa, there is now, an estimated over ten percent of all registered students who won’t be able to reach this marker, the local government suggested lowering the bar, the Department of Education said to “boost the retesting policies”, and all the middle schools all stated, that it was “mission impossible”.

The person in charge of overseeing the middle school education of the Department of Education, Hsu pointed out, that the bars for the students to successfully graduate from middle school being raised to four subjects wasn’t at all strict, that it wouldn’t make it too difficult, for the students to reach, but the local governments and schools, are they implementing the reinstructing on time?  She believed, that the key point lies in whether or not the schools are taking notices of students’ progresses, and whether or not they can offer the academic assistance the students needed in time, instead of waiting until the last minute, at the examinations.

Hsu spoke bluntly, that the learning processes is not clarified until the students’ last year of middle school, the teachers and parents must use an ordinary perspective to examine how the students are performing in class.

She was shocked to find out the conditions in Changhwa, and will get in depth, about how the local governments are implementing the reteaching, the remedial assistance given to the students.

Some of the middle schools would give out hints to the question on the examinations, and when the students still failed to pass, the schools would write the correct answers on the examinations for the students to copy down.

But there are still students who failed, and had stated so bluntly, “I just don’t feel like copying down the right answers!”, making the instructors and school officials who are working so hard, to reduce the number of kids who are flunking down angry.

And so, you can see, that the LOW quality of students that this systems is currently reproducing, can’t you?  Because students are not passing the classes, the schools are lowering the standards, and, guess what that’ll amount to?  This next generation of kids who are out of school, who can’t even do a thing right, and that would do what to the society?  Oh yeah, it’d, ruin this world, but hey, that, is how they make sure that the “performance” of the school looks okay on sheet.

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Filed under Awareness, Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Education Reforms, Reforms in Education, Social Awareness

Don’t Let the Kids Grow Up on the Edge of the Society, Start Helping Them From Education

Written by the honorary lecturer of Chinghwa University, Lee, translated…

After the six inmates took hostages in the penitentiary of Kaohsiung, they’d killed themselves.  We all felt relieved, because no harm came to the hostages, but, to all who still had a heart of mercy, the six suicides are considered as tragedies too, after all, they are, the citizens of this country, born and grown up here, and, became the borderline people, and ended up so tragically.

We all hoped, that there are no people on the edge of the society, and, a lot of people believed, that this should be instilled in the minds of students in schools, and so, we’d written out so many texts, encouraging the kids to be better.  But to tell the truth, this, is of NO use to those children who came from poverty stricken family backgrounds.

If we go to the prisons to visit once, then, we’d come to realize, that a most of the inmates are poorly educated, with many that came from lower income households.  For instance, most children who performed well in school can understand in class, and are usually more self-confident about their futures, and even though, they came from poverty stricken backgrounds, the children knew that they can continue their education, and will have a certain level of competitiveness, therefore, they will have no problems in life.  But if a child can’t even catch up to the rest of the class, and in class, s/he can’t understand what the teachers are saying, and did poorly on the examinations, even if this child continues on toward a higher path of education, it would prove to be of no use.   At this time, if s/he got involved with the wrong crowds, and s/he can easily be taken, and fall to the borderline of the society easily.  And, no matter how we’d assigned moral values, give them talks on moral responsibilities, it won’t be of any help to them.

What we should all pay attention to is, the children’s homework problems.  So long as they can catch up to the rest of the class, even though, they’re not the top scorers, they’d know, that at least, they can find a decent job later on in life, with a sizable income to suffice her/his own livelihood.  And, whether or not this child is from a poverty stricken family, s/he would have a lesser chance, of becoming one of those who lived on the borderlines.  I’d met a lot of instructors, whom, upon discovery, that there are kids in the classes who not only didn’t study hard, but started disrupting the rest of the class, these good teachers usually didn’t give the kids talk of moral responsibilities, but instead, the teachers helped the kids to improve their skills, so they could better understand in class.  Once the kids start to get the lessons, they no longer disrupted the classes.  And so, allowing the kids to have a fundamental basis of knowledge, knowing where s/he is academically speaking, and which direction s/he could go, the kids would naturally find a goal, and work toward that.  Once the kids have confidence about the future, a lot of the bad things, they no longer wanted to do, and would stay away from the bad peer influences too.

We’d often seen on the news that the mafia is infiltrating the schools, but, those attracted to the mobsters are those kids who lacked care and concerns, and, most of them didn’t do well academically.  If those kids, on the way to learning, had someone with them, accompanying them, instructing them how to do their homework assignments, so they can feel the expectations from their adult counterparts, naturally, when the mafia tries to reach out to them, they wouldn’t get attracted.

Of course, we’d hoped that the 12-years’ of continued education can force ALL the kids to go to high school or technical high school to continue learning, that they couldn’t drop out, but, what’s more important, is still teaching the kids the most basic of skills, and work hard, to show cares and concerns toward them, to help them out.

In order to ensure that the level of understanding is not too low, naturally, the entire nation MUST put into the hard work, this, is not a hard-to-accomplish task, but a very good investment.

This, is very idealistic, because kids in the middle and high school levels are prone to get affected by peer pressures, after all, that, is a time when friends are way MORE important than the adults in the kids’ lives, and, education is needed, indeed, but, you can’t just rely on education to help steer these kids that are slowly going off the grid into the right directions, the help must come from all the realms, in order for kids to be prepared for life…

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Filed under Education, Issues of the Society, Lending a Helping Hand, Reforms in Education, Social Awareness, Social Issues, Socialization, Teaching by Example

The Students from China are Very Fluent and Verbally Expressive, the Students from Taiwan Also Need to be Able to Express Themselves Articulately, the After Effects of Cramming, Our Students’ Verbal Expressive Abilities Not Measuring Up to the Students’ from China

On changes needed in education, translated…

In recent years, there are more and more students who came from China as foreign exchange students or to study, and, they spoke up in class, and talked very slowly and with reasons, and it’d stimulated the instructors’ thoughts on their methods of teaching the students in Taiwan, they’re now, training the students’ verbal abilities, and there are those professors who asked the pupils to use film footages in place of the written version of the final examinations, and you must be able to explain things clearly verbally, then, you’d be able to make the grades.

The Students from China Spoke So Well, the Students from Taiwan Felt that They Couldn’t Measure Up

The Chinese instructor from Chungshan All-Girl’s High School, Chang had been pushing the reforms in education in recent years, recently, in a lecture, he’d pointed out, that there was a student from a top-notch high school in Beijing, who came to visit, and joined in the class sessions with Taiwanese students, the instructor asked the students to give an impromptu speech in the expressions that Taipei and Taiwan has given him, without the preparations, the student from China was able to talk well on the subject.

Chang thought to himself, the Chungshan All-Girls’ High School is one of the most elitist high schools in the country, that they should not get beaten by the students from China, and he’d asked his class, who had gone to Beijing?  Two of his students raised their hands, but, when he’d asked them to talk about their impressions on stage, the two students kept their heads lowered, without a single word.

“It’s all my fault!”, Chang sighed, twenty-years in to the education reforms, the middle schools’ way of instructions are still staying at the multiple-choice, with a standard and right answers kind of cramming, and, the instructors’ lectures became one-sided, with the students, at their desks, taking down notes, and, having not trained them on verbal expressions, wanted them to come on the podium to give impromptus is “like sending untrained soldiers to the battlefield, to watch them get slaughtered, how can we blame them?”

Chang later made up the “Learn, Though, and Express” methods of teaching, turned over the way that education is done, before every class period, he’d asked his students to read an enormous amount of materials, and, in class, he’d separated his students into groups, to have them draw questions, then, compete with one another’s teams, to train them to think, to educate themselves on the subjects, to express themselves more freely, after three months worth of trainings, the students were able to talk about any and everything freely.

With the Focus on Writing, Forgetting About Verbal Expressions

The Chinese Professor from Changhwa Teacher’s University, Wang analyzed, that the students from Taiwan on average, couldn’t express themselves as well as the students from China could verbally, because in the Chinese courses, the focus is on reading and writing, the more literary approaches, and not focused enough on verbal expressions; and the way that they’d educated in China focuses on all three areas, the “language class” the students take has four separate areas of focus: the literatures, the readings, the words, and the cultures, and, they’d listed verbal trainings as a part of their education curricula too.

The younger generation’s novelist, Chu analyzed, that during the Cultural Revolution Era, China encouraged the people to “talk”, and, public speaking became a part of their regular lives; and the Taiwanese population spoke very mildly, without the differentiations of areas, because we’re suppressed, to not speak the dialects, the language lacked that life to it, and that we must train ourselves in the varied dialects such as Hakka, Taiwanese, and English.

The Hua-Fan University’s lecturer from the Department of Philosophy, Chu believed, that the students who came from China are the elites, and, it wouldn’t be objective enough, comparing the students from Taiwan with the students from China like this.

The Assistant Principal at Taiwan University of Technology, Jiang said, that he’d taught numerous students from China, and they are, more organized in their speeches, and outspoken in class, while the students from Taiwan is “a lot of words inside them, but unused to speaking up in classes’; the students from the U.S. and from China are all very brave in speaking up and out in class, and are able to challenge the thoughts of others.

The Instructors Came Up with Innovative Ways, and the Students Showed Their Creativity

The person in charge of student affairs of Taiwan University of Technology, Wang said, a lot of the professors are now, realizing that the students here are bad at verbal expressions, and so, they’d started turning over education as well, taking from his general chemistry course for freshmen, there are four written exams per semester, but students can use film footages, to replace a grade they’d made on a written exam; the students can find the topics from the Periodic Table of Elements, the Batteries, a total of eighteen topics, and find five, and shoot a film of 100 to 120 seconds, then, upload them onto YouTube.

Wang said, if the students shot their footages like they’re reciting from the texts, then, they can’t even get a fifty for grade; but if the students showed an understanding in depth of the subjects, is precise in their expressions, that those who are not chemistry majors can understand, then, they’d made better grades.  A lot of the students used their creativities to make the footage project more interesting, like using the expressions from a Taiwanese comedian, or talking like Adolf Hitler, it’s very hilarious, and, they can be just as creative as the students from China too.

But because, there’s NOT that big a stage for the students to flash their creativities, as this way of teaching is only a recent thing, that, is why, the students who are trained the Taiwanese ways are not as creative, on the surfaces, as the students from China, but, allow them to, and, they will surprise you!

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We are Taking Up Education as a Whole, the Sato Scholars Gave Us Kudos

On education, translated…

The learning methods put forth by the Japanese college professor, Sato, “Education as a Whole”, broke the traditions of “instructors, lecturing on the podium, students listening”, there are many school in Taiwan that modeled after it too.  The Sato Scholars recently published their new book, “The Wishes of the Education Revolution”, awhile ago, the professor was interviewed by the papers, he’d stated that Taiwan had taken its time, following through with the methods that he proposed, “a slow start, but catching up really quickly”.

This “Education as a Whole” is with the students, getting separated into groups to discuss, instead of the traditional professor on podium, lecturing, allowing the students to take a more active role in their own education process, and the seating arrangements of the class is no longer in rows, but in smaller groups, the students divide themselves into groups of two to six, to discuss.  Thirty years ago, Japan had started using this method, and, three years ago, Taiwan had followed suit, of the 335 elementary and middle schools in Hsinbei City, there are already eighty-four schools who are using this method, about 25 percent of the schools.

“There are less and less instances where the instructors are using a microphone to lecture to the students now”.  The Sato Scholars came to Taiwan often, to observe how their program is working in the schools, he’d pointed out, that of the world, there are only school teachers in Taiwan, Korea, and China who are using microphones to lecture, but this time he’d come here, he’d found, that the students are more engaged in class discussions, and the instructors became the supporting roles, and, walked into the group, to discuss the topics with them.

The Sato Scholars stated, that Japan, Europe and the U.S. had long pushed forth this way of education, but, in the thirty years that the program had been set up in Japan, only in the last fifteen years, did they start seeing progress, and it only took Taiwan three years, to see the results.

But, the Sato Scholars also reminded us, that the “Education as a Whole”, is a reform, a never-ending “revolution in education,” and that it would take up to a decade, to build up all the basis, and, that Taiwan is still in the beginning stages, that the process should be taken, step-by-step, and not hurried.

He’d suggested Taiwan, that as we’re moving forward, we must root further down, that we couldn’t just examine how many schools, or how many classes are using the methods, instead, we must examine, if this style of education is fitting, to the children’s learning needs.

The Sato Scholars said, that from the observations made on Taiwanese education, in the past, we’d believed that there was only one way, the traditional lecturing of lessons, but, this trend is slowly, changing, the students are becoming the initiators of the discussions, instead of just listeners from the seats.  But, other than the instructors realizing a change in teaching methods is needed, they must fight for the principals’ and the parents’ approvals of the method, and it needed to be back up by the government, in order for the program to work well.

And so, you see, the ways of education is slowly changing, and, now, with this method, taken from Japan, the kids at school are more engaged in the classrooms, which means that they’re taking the initiative in their own processes of learning.

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