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Lan, "The national development and civic education in Taiwan," 2003
Fang-Ying Lan, Ph.D.
Preparing young people to be responsible citizens of tomorrow has long been a primary goal of education and national development in Taiwan. Thus, elementary schools have readied students for citizenship by teaching knowledge and skills about democracy. The goal of this study is to interpret and examine civic education at the elementary level. The methodology of this study is qualitative in nature. This study is based on three methods: document analysis, interview and observation. First, primary documents were analyzed for elementary civic education. Secondly, primary policy makers and social study teachers were interviewed. Third, classroom observation was the necessary strategy for understanding the condition of curriculum implementation.
The findings of the study are in two sections: educational policy and curriculum implementation. Because of the needs for national development, Taiwan's present educational policy has four significant alterations: (1) educational indigenization, (2) educational democratization and decentralization, (3) educational internationalization, and (4) curriculum combination. The purposes of these education alterations are teaching children to identify their culture and land, to provide teachers more power and freedom in their teaching, to draw attention to the issues of Taiwan's future and security, and to improve the educational quality. Furthermore, based on these educational alterations, the blueprint of educational policy is to achieve four goals: (1) democratize Taiwan's educational system, (2) build the perception of cultural and national identity, (3) develop extensive and sufficient teacher retraining programs, and (4) increase awareness of environmental protection.
To achieve the goals of educational alterations teachers have to overcome different tasks. Traditional teachers are not only trying to free their teaching from the demands of the national curriculum but are also struggling with changing their ingrained values and attitudes as well as their concepts of authority and empowerment. The new teachers are facing the task of forcing the new curriculum into the traditional school administrative environment. Teachers hope that Taiwanese government should not only provide various types of support but also provide a complete set of sufficient policies for educational development.
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