Taiwanese indigenous children’s emotions in preschool

The indgenous people are a minority in Taiwan. The unique characters of their versatile culture is in danger and the families tend to suffer of segregation. The children’s education needs to be enhanced. Professor Elaine Shih and professor Hui-Chun Lee have studied the activities and emotions of the indigenous children by using Progressive Feedback observation. The results show that integrating learning with physical activity and outdoors produces the most positive emotional experiences for these children. The traditional teaching with work at the desk is not enough for these children, they need more versatile ways of learning. The article will be published by Tzu-Chi University publications. The article is in Chinese, but you can easily translate it! Read the article here.

Practice of Reading Activities in Taiwanese preschools

Professor Hui-Hua Chen and professor Jyrki Reunamo presented the results of the Taiwan observation in Frankfurt (International Conference on Early Childhood Education and Teaching Systems). Children spend more time in different, mostly adult-led reading moments than in Finland (half an hour a day), so reading is an important part of children’s everyday life, just because of the quantity. However, the quality needs enhancements. Reading situations are used sparingly from the point of view of children’s emotions, sociality, and learning. The pedagogical possibilities of reading situations are used to little advantage. Unfortunately, children often remain passive recipients in reading situations, and the images evoked by the book are not evoked in group processes.

Chen, Hui-Hua & Reunamo, J. (2024). Comprehension and Practice of Reading Activities in Taiwanese preschools​. International conference on early childhood education and teaching systems (ICECETS-24). 8. tammikuuta 2024. Frankfurt, Germany.

Taiwanese aboriginal children

About three percent of Taiwan’s natives are Taiwanese aboriginals, who have inhabited Taiwan at least 6,500 years before the arrival of other nationalities, primarily Chinese. The official number of tribes is 16. The indigenous peoples have suffered for centuries from economic and social discrimination. The segregation is still visible in today’s early childhood education in Taiwan. Dong Hwa University held a conference on 4.11.23 2023 Quality early childhood education conference: Embracing diversity, multidisciplinarity and compassion for the underprivileged. In the keynote presentation, Jyrki Reunamo described the results acquired by using Progressive Feedback observation. The data consisted of 2189 observations of the indigenous peoples of the Hualien region. The results clearly showed the difficulties in learning, rarer than usual experiences of happiness, few participating and less influential activities in the learning environment. Furthermore, teachers paid less personal attention to the aboriginal children. In addition, relationships with other children remained looser. The results describe the marginalized position of children with indigenous backgrounds and a looser shared interest. These children need more co-developing content in early childhood education.

The research team in Taiwan included Hui-Chun Lee (Tzu-Chi University), Li-Chen Wang (Chang Gung University), Hui-Hua Chen (Dong Hwa University) and Shu-Shuan Shih (Taitung University).

Dimensions of Art Education

The International Conference of Aesthetics Education for Young Children was held in Shih Chien University, Taipei. In his keynote presentation, Jyrki Reunamo reviewed three wonderful art education videos about visual artsmusic, and drama. The videos show wonderful ways for teachers to introduce the world of arts to children. Reunamo also presented his model of art education (click the picture to enlarge it). In the model, there are four functions for art in education. The first is to express and enjoy the world of art and its heritage. The second are the created personal orientations for different art. The third function is the mastering of art (doing it right). The fourth function is a community-enriching shared creation of art. The presentation can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mo8kDineJLs

Practicum studies for Taiwanese students in Finnish early education

Taiwanese students from Taitung University did their practicum studies in Heikkilän päiväkoti, Kerava. The students showed remarkable sensitivity and consideration to support children and pedagogy. A big thank you to director Johanna Nevala for making it all possible. Special thank you to the staff introducing Finnish early education to the students!

Fruitful cooperation between Finland & Taiwan

Professor Mei-Chun Lin visited Finland for a week to get to know Finnish early childhood education, especially from the perspective of art education and even more specifically drama education. Furthermore, professor Hui-Hua Chen started as a visiting professor to study children’s reading situations in particular. Professor Chen’s visit lasts until February 2024. The data has been collected both in Taiwan and Finland, with the same instruments and measures. In the photo, from the left, Reunamo Education CEO Leena Lahtinen, Professor Hui-Hua Chen from Dong Hwa University, Dean of the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki Johanna Mäkelä and Dean of College of Arts at National University of Tainan Mei-Chun Lin. We have had a fruitful collaboration for 15 years with our Taiwanese colleagues and new possibilities are opening!

Aesthetic Education cooperation

Professor Mei-Chun Lin is visiting University of Helsinki and Reunamo Education 31st July – August 7th. She is the Dean of College of Arts at the National University of Tainan in Taiwan. She is also the founding Chair and professor in the Department of Drama Creation and Application at the National University of Tainan. This is the first department in Asia focusing on the development of research and practice of drama education and applied drama. Pr. Lin is now the president of the Taiwan Drama Education Association (TADEA) and the chief editor of Journal of Drama Education and Performing Arts. We hope to be working together, especially in Aesthetics Education for preschool.

Professor Chen granted to study children’s reading processes

Professor Hui-Hua Chen from the Taiwanese Dong Hwa University Department of Early Childhood Education has been granted to join our team in Finland July-November 2023. The Taiwan ministry of science and technology has given professor Chen a grant to study children’s processes of learning to read. The pedagogical choices connected with learning to read will also be explored. Finnish and Taiwanese practices will be compared based on a large random sample conducted in Taiwan and Finland.

We have observed children’s reading sessions when the adult reads for the children and when children read books themselves. We have thousands of random observations of children’s reading processes. A comparison between two cultures gives perspective to understand the learning process not just as a personal learning task, but also as a culturally mediated production of shared understanding.

Children’s social orientations in Taiwan

Professor Hui-Chun lee from Tzu-Chi University and Li-Chen Wang from Chung Gung University in Taiwan have written an article about children’s social orientations in Taiwan based on the Progressive Feedback data. The participants were 366 Taiwanese three- to six-year-old children in day care centers. The children were interviewed to collect their perspectives. The results indicated that the adaptive-accommodative
orientation is the most frequent in the teacher situations. The second most frequent response was the agentive-accommodative orientation. Responses in the agentive-accommodative orientation increased with age while the adaptive-assimilative and agentive-assimilative orientations decreased with age. The most frequent response to peer situations was agentive-accommodative, and this orientation increased
steadily with age; children were more and more likely to express themselves with peers. The young children actively tried to control and change their environment. They displayed their emergent agency. The Table shows the social orientation among peers (同儕情境) and with teachers (師長情境).


Indigenous children’s early education in Taiwan

Indigenous peoples in Taiwan are widespread in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, although today they are a small minority, mainly in the mountainous areas of eastern Taiwan. Pictured is a children’s teacher with a map depicting areas where Taiwan’s indigenous genetic heritage still lives strong. The impact extends as far as Hawaii. The heritage and culture of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples are thus still strong in an area that covers more than 10% of the world’s surface! A wonderful teacher, aware of her and children’s roots, who guides children to face the challenges of the future.

Professor Elaine Shih and her team at Taitung University have just completed an observation on early childhood education for Indigenous peoples in Taiwan using Developing Feedback Observation. The material provides a unique picture of the current situation and upbringing of Indigenous children in Taiwan. Direct, random observations provide information about the daily life of these children and the factors that affect their well-being. This knowledge is important for these children, who are threatened in many ways and at risk of exclusion. The results include a wealth of clear development opportunities for children growing up in a vulnerable situation. A total of 1556 observations were made this time.