Apparently this book does a comparison of US, Chinese Taiwanese and Japanese early childhood educational practices and argues that the general stereotypes that we have of Asian education do not apply at the early childhood educational level and that Asian systems are unstereotypically unstructured at the early childhood level and that this may account for some of the Asian educational success that follows in late childhood. I'm still waiting to get the book, but in the meantime, wanted to see if anyone had thoughts on this or experiences to share.
Teddoman wrote:You're teaching in an actual local school as an English teacher? I didn't realize local schools had English teachers on staff. I'm guessing it must be high school as I can't imagine they'd devote such resources to the lower grades.
914 wrote:I was the best parent before becoming one myself.
Yes, the communication books has always been a strength of the Taiwanese (and other Asian countries?) system. I wish the US had more of that tradition. The daycare we send our son to is pretty weak on that. They tell us what was on the lunch menu, and that's it. You don't even find out how much of it was eaten. And you don't find out anything else about their day. I have to make a point of almost dragging details out of the teachers when I go to pick him up, otherwise I would get nothing out of them. It's a bit ridiculous, how is one supposed to talk to a two year about their day if the teacher doesn't tell you?
Any chance you still have that paper? I would love a copy. I can pm you my email if you're willing to share it.
- The youngest kids I ever taught were first graders, my Hess didn't have a KG program so I don't have any personal experience with KG programs in TW. Is "cram school KG" in Taiwan essentially private KG (all day)? Or is it just after school prep in the evenings, during regular cram school hours (same as older kids)?
- Is there more focus on content prep in the private English KGs? Is it like Hess cram school at the elementary level with desks and lessons followed by reinforcement games? It doesn't sound like it is basically a relaxed public KG where it's just a regular KG only the teachers all speak English.
- Assuming you're in Taipei, do you sense that your kids' public KG is representative of public KGs in Taiwan? Were they following a national approach? Or are curriculums set by the individual schools. I wonder if what you described is a recent trend or if public KG has always been this way in Taiwan. Some of what you described sounded downright progressive (plays and storybooks, for example). I suspect people growing up in 1950s or 1970s Taiwan did not use such innovations.
- Were your public KG teachers educated in early childhood education, perhaps at a teaching college in Taiwan like Shi-Da (where they might actually be studying education by reading American textbooks)? Are teaching jobs at public KG highly sought after the way teaching jobs at elementary schools and above are highly sought after?
- I guess phonics and the zhuyin fuhao system is part of the grade one curriculum, so there is no need to teach it before that. It is much simpler for Mandarin native speakers to convert verbal sounds to the zhuyin system (which is effectively their form of an alphabet, in a way) than it is for English native speakers to convert verbal sounds to spelled English words, due to so many pronunciation idiosyncracies in English. So perhaps the earlier focus on phonics in English arises from the longer amount of time it takes to learn how to link pronunciation, phonics and spelling in English.
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