Primary Schooling in Taiwan
The main focus of this chapter is to reveal the spirit of “cultivating the whole person” in primary schooling in Taiwan. In terms of research methods, case study, personal experiences, and documentary analysis have been employed. Two contrasting stories from pupils are presented at the beginning to give readers a brief picture of primary schooling in Taiwan. One pupil is from a well-off family and she attends a privileged private primary school. In contrast, another pupil is from a disadvantaged family and he goes to a public primary school. From the interpretation and analysis of these two contrasting cases, many similarities can be detected.
Based on the stories from pupils, two sets of issues are then discussed, drawn from the examples given. The first pair deals with academic achievement and character cultivation. The second one pays attention to teaching and nourishing. From the analysis, the concept of “cultivating the whole person” emerges and manifests itself from the pictures drawn. In a word, academic achievement and character cultivation appear to be almost equally emphasized. In addition, primary school teachers devote their time to teaching and nourishing daily. It has been felt that teaching and nourishing contribute to each other in an indirect way. In sum, the precious educational tradition from Chinese culture can still be discerned in the running of primary schools in Taiwan in the twenty-first century.
KeywordsCase studies Elementary education Virtue cultivation Role of teachers Primary school
Many thanks go to Dr. P. Rice who helped out to do the editing carefully.
Deep appreciation goes to Dr. P. Miller who reviewed the first draft of this article and gave many helpful suggestions.
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