Traditional Education of Taiwan

Essay by jeyy06 October 2009

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After reading "The idea of a university" written by John Henry Cardinal Newman, I think that the educational system and policies of the Victorian time is similar to our education nowadays.

In Taiwan, the education of "sausage casing" style is prevailing. Most of the students have the experiences of being inserted information and knowledge in the process of pursuing their studies. The reason why we are used to applying this way of education is that, the people in Taiwan place importance on the academic background and the diploma of a college. Just like the people of the Victorian time, they considered lawyers, engineers, doctors, and politicians better careers in the society and thought that people should make efforts to become one of them. Therefore, the students have to make efforts to pass the entrance exams of elite schools, and be trained like a machine. What is worse, the only thing teachers do in the school is to keep stuffing illiberal and narrow knowledge into students.

Because they think that it is the most efficient way to help their students to make progresses.

The teachers used exams to discipline students, and forced them to absorb the information in a short time. If we students didn't get high scores on the test, the teacher would punish us by taking a test again in lunch hour, or copy the right answers for ten times. The goal of schools is helping their students to pass the entrance exams, not helping them to learn and to discover the talent or interest inside themselves. Not to mention the liberal knowledge or free education which Newman mentioned in his work.

However, the educational system changes in a big way when these struggled students get into the famous college. In college, there are no strict teachers, and the frequency of exams is twice at most in a semester. The principles of college education are to help student to learn independent and active in study. Teacher will not care the scores and the attendance of each student anymore. If we students didn't achieve the request of professors, we will not be punished or scolded. We will be flunked instead. Therefore, college students have to discipline themselves. This kind of education help students to realize that there is no need to study for their parents or teachers, they only have to be responsible for themselves and their future. However, in university, students still cannot learn the useful knowledge which can help student to think deeply and to possess the ability of all-round learning.

Many people have the question that, why the education in college and before college are so different. In my opinion, Taiwan people considered that the habit of study and learning should be cultivated before college, and the students under college are too young to understand the importance of active learning. What is more, the pressure of getting into the elite schools is increasing in the process of pursuing study. So the parents and teachers have to use severe ways to discipline them. I think the educational system can be changed easily, but the social values of people cannot. If we want to transform the situation of present education, we must change people's mind first. Make everybody knows that the purpose of study is not just for getting high grades or entering famous schools, but learn something really useful and discover the inside intelligence of students themselves.

Bibliography"The idea of a university", John Henry Cardinal Newman