Chuan Lee, Ph.D
The Problem. Through historical review, an analysis was made of teaching certification within the Republic of China (Taiwan). This involved both a review of the role of government authority throughout history, in addition to the seemingly contradictory veneration of scholars in Chinese society. This review then generated future policy and research agendas.
Procedure. A history of education as related to the higher learning in China was conducted. Records were reviewed back to 2852 B.C., tracing the emergence and development of the teaching certification process. Of particular importance was the role of Confucius in establishing an egalitarian approach to certification practices and in admission of scholars. These ancient methods have been maintained as an element of modern Chinese society. The analysis concluded with a review of modern practices (since 1912).
Findings. Three certification tracks were identified for entry into Chinese higher education. Track A (the Modern System) requires a B.A. or B.S. degree from an established and/or recognized institution, with promotion to higher ranks based entirely upon the earning of subsequent degrees in the same manner. Track B (the Ancient System) allows for candidates to secure a credential by submitting books and articles for advancement and a degree is not required. Track C (established in 1955) includes an evaluation of appropriate publications by the National Academic Council (NAC), which provides two anonymous referees to review these works. These tracks, frequently in conflict with each other, have created a series of issues in meeting the Republic's advanced educational needs for the 21st Century.
Recommendations for Policy Considerations. (1) A better means of determining the eligibility requirements for the NAC is needed. The system, as it now exists, provides too many opportunities for varying standards of quality. Further, NAC examiners in the Track C process need to fully describe and delimit qualifications and standards that are to be expected; (2) a greater stress should be placed on modern approaches, which allows for a greater number of degree-based faculty, supplemented with a gradual increase in salary support; (3) means of allowing for attrition and eventual elimination of Track B and Track C credentials should be sought.