The View from Taiwan

Commentary from Taichung - Taiwan

Entries for the ‘Education in Taiwan’ Category


My daughter plays as two teachers sing to the students.
Saturday was my daughter’s graduation from sixth grade. As I chronicled last week, petty politics had broken out, creating bad feelings in the community, so when I went to the ceremony on Saturday night I was dreading what might happen.

Picking up my daughter’s diploma.
Couldn’t have been [...]

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The Politics of Sixth Grade: Endgame — UPDATED–

Paul M. Fussell, the social critic and author of several excellent books on war and society, once observed that Americans live out their adult lives in a quest to get revenge for what happened to them in high school. Here in small town Taiwan, by contrast, the enmities that began in elementary school have been [...]

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Commonwealth on the Educational System here

Commonwealth Magazine has a hard-hitting article on the educational system here. It’s long and well worth a look:
Not only does this unending practice destroy a student’s appetite for learning, but exam scores in various subjects also isolate students from one another. Among classmates, a fierce competition exists, but a spirit of mutual aid is lacking. [...]

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Why Educational Reform Is A Failure

The latest story making the rounds concerns a large “bilingual” private school in the Taichung area and how it allegedly took advantage of the regulations to lever the children of the rich into college, without real work.
A wise friend of mine once pointed out that the reason colleges do not move to a competitive entrance [...]

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The Politics of 6th Grade: Contested English

Yesterday was all Elementary English day. First, I got invited out to one of the better local elementary schools near my house. It was the leading elementary school in its part of the world, but last year a horrible thing had happened: none of their kids had finished in the upper tier of the English [...]

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Chaoyang Foreigners in the News Again

The China Times had another piece on another foreigner at my university today. Again, it isn’t me.
The foreign teacher, 王馬克 (I’m 麥哲恩) was the subject of an investigation over the summer for the sexual harassment charges, as the paper correctly reports. The investigation process (which I had no part in, or contact with) was, from [...]

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Judging Another Storytelling Contest

Enjoying a moment in a local tea shop with friends Malv and Jean.
Saturday morning I headed out to Tsao Hu Elementary in Dali to act as a judge in an English storytelling contest. Stories were offered in English, Chinese, and Minnan (Taiwanese). The contestants were all elementary school students with ages ranging from 9-12, I [...]

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Confucius Says: Pinkeye is YOUR fault

You might notice that this post alone among the avalanche of posts on this blog, has no picture. Why? Because I FORGOT MY CAMERA this week when I went off to school. I LEFT IT AT HOME. It’s been a living hell these three days, walking around without a camera, missing all those shots, and [...]

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The NT$325 Vacation

Stressed? Tired? I recommend a healthy dose of 136 out of Taiping to Puli and Sun Moon Lake. Take scooter, $100 bill for gas to Sun Moon Lake, $100 for gas to return, $100 for lunch, and $25 for a bottle of soda. Drive for 45 minutes on 136. Result: Relaxation and enjoyment. Side [...]

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What is the educational system in Taiwan

Mark over at Doubting to Shuo muses on the educational system here:
One final thought I’d like to share is that I see the school system in Taiwan as one of the biggest reasons to stay here long enough to have my own kids. Despite the complaints I hear from parents about the public schools here, [...]

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Vignettes from the New School Year

Practicing fan dancing in the morning at NCKU.
The Old OneEntering the elevator, I found myself among a bevy of young women wearing t-shirts from a university department I hadn’t seen before.“So,” I essayed, “What department are you all from?”“We’re from the Department of Senior Citizen Welfare,” explained one. There was a pause, and then another, [...]

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King Car English Village

The BBC reports on the King Car English Village:
The “village” is actually attached to one of the county’s elementary schools.
Ordinary classrooms have been transformed to look like an airport waiting room and customs area - complete with the fuselage of a real plane donated by a Taiwanese airline company.
There [...]

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The Politics of Sixth Grade: Political Indoctrination

A free field trip! The school sent around circular for the upcoming free field trip, an overnight to Taipei for visits to historic sites for my daughter’s sixth grade class. My wife looked at the description, and nearly threw up.
The trip was sponsored by the Tai Ji Mei Foundation, which appears to be a non-profit [...]

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East Asia forges ahead as US science output plateaus

Changing Higher Education blog has an interesting review of the changing face of publication:

The NSF just released two interesting reports. Changing US Output of Scientific Articles:1988-2003 is a detailed analysis of publications in refereed journals over that time period. The companion publication, Changing Research and Publication Environment in American Research Universities, is based on [...]

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High School Students Bomb English, Chinese Exams

The China Post reports on the 150,000 students taking the college entrance exam:
More than 13,000 senior students at senior high schools got a zero score for the English-language composition in the scholastic ability test while over 2,100 of them failed to get any score for Chinese composition.
A total of over 150,000 senior high school [...]

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