Ever since I’ve got a little insight into Taiwanese schools, I was wondering, if I would ever send my kids there. How about you guys? Where do your kids go to school? If they go to Taiwanese schools, what would you do, if your kids get beaten by their teacher and do you send them to cram schools or have private tutors as most of the Taiwanese kids? Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences here…
whilst i don’t have kids, yet… i have given it much thought and i think i would be very nervous to let my kids go throught the taiwanese “education” system… perhaps until elementary school, but the emphasis on massive work load and unquestioning parrot learning, whilst discouraging original analytical thought that is the bedrock of the taiwan junior and senior high school system is not something i would want to submit my kids to… my fiancee turned out really well though, but she’s definitely the exception to the rule…
My two sons both go to a public elementary school here and I am very pleased with the quality of education they are getting. Check out the Nine Year Education Plan that is being implemented.
High school is another story however…
I would have to become a Columbian Drug Czar in order to afford to send my kids to the American School.
Yeah, and here in Kaohsiung the American school expects you to “religiously correct”.
My boy goes to the “experimental” elementary school run by the Department of Education and Shida. Its an OK school.
But he will attend Bethany for middle school and I’m sending him home to my folks’ place for high school.
I have no problem (well, OK, a few) with Taiwan’s schools, as I consider the family and home far more important than school. School is, IMO, basically for socialization. Yes, he learns some things at school… but I like to think that he learns much more on his own, whether by reading, watching the Discovery Channel or conversing about ideas and events with me and others.
Yes, he has lots of homework and exams, just like the Taiwanese kids… but the primary pressure on kids comes from the parents, IMO. We don’t demand perfection… we only demand that he do his best. He doesn’t attend any bushiban, but for a while a friend from England would come over and they would discuss history in English… it was funny… he developed a slight accent and learned about the American Revolution from the English perspective .
He’ll finish elementary school and then I’ll have him repeat the 6th grade at Bethany. I’m sending him to Bethany and then to the States because I expect him to go to college/university in the US, and for that I think he needs to have the English language proficiency and acculturization that he can get from Bethany and my old high school.
I think he’ll do fine.
What Tigerman said is spot on.
The most important learning a child will do is outside the classroom. And the most important teacher a child will ever have is a parent. These two so extremely important facts are often overlooked by our Taiwanese friends.
I guess it really doesn’t matter what kind of school a child goes to. What is important is what he/she does outside of it.
What is Bethany?
(I Googled and the first hit is
I don’t think you’re sending him to them)
Understand that! Between the ages of 8 and 14, I acquired a string of regional accents - Welsh, Scottish, Londoner, West Country, Midlands - as my parents saw fit to up sticks every year.
Now I am quite accentless.
Yup, the Bethany in Taipei is a Christian School, but I have heard the school here is pretty good. Pretty good education and not quite as high as TAS. But, if you are staunchly anti religious schools it probably would not work.
Not that I expect to be here when my little ones go to school, stranger things have happened ( like being here for 4 years) and I will consider Bethany, TAS and perhaps a local school for the first few years.
Ok, you got a point there, but how about teachers who beat up your kid if it only got 90 points and not 95?
I don’t know how I would reacted if i found out that my kids teachers beat him. Did that happen to any of your kids?
I’m struggeling with the Taiwanese school system as plasmatron describes it…[quote]emphasis on massive work load and unquestioning parrot learning, whilst discouraging original analytical thought [/quote], but as many of you, I don’t think we will be making enough to send it to a foreign school. Maybe we will end up going back to my home country to send our kid to school…
Do Taiwanese teachers beat up kids? That sounds really old school, not sure the younger teachers would do that.
Yes, I would send my children - if I had any - to Taiwanese schools because TAS and the European schools are only for elitist types with chauffeur-driven limousines, villas in Yangmingshan and top jobs, not for ordinary people.
I guess it really doesn’t matter what kind of school a child goes to. What is important is what he/she does outside of it.[/quote]
At high school level it seems that kids don’t have a lot of time outside of school, and they spend it doing homework. If that is what ‘ordinary people’ accept in lieu of education, enzo, then I don’t want to be ordinary.
My experiences in Taiwan public high schools have not been all that bad. The kids seem pretty bright, motivated, curious etc., although my own memories of high school are distant enough that I can’t make a fair comparison. But most of the private schools seem to be pretty depressing soul-less places and sending your kid there would be a crime.
Has anyone considered home schooling? A teacher who is critical of the system should surely be able to do better? Split the load with several others - ie run small classes co-operatively - and the drop in income might be no more than the cost of paying for school.
Just a thought
To answer the original poster’s question, if I have kids here in TW, I would have them go through the education here till elementary school and then back to the US for middle school and high school. The purpose for this will be to go to colleges/universities in the US. (like what Tigerman said earlier) and I would want my kids to learn/read/write Mandarin and get an good idea about their own cultures. I like the way they teach their kids to explorer different kind of interests and take varities of classes, join clubs, to figure out what you want to study in college. On top of all these, you get to have fun while learning…isn’t it great???
Do taiwanese teachers hit kids? You bet. In Taipei, not often, but the further south you go…five years ago I taught four second year classes at an elem school in Kao/hsiung and I witnessed hitting in three of four. From the flinching I suspect #4 was also hit.
In Tai/chung where we live, my daughter had the choice of two schools locally. The locals all urged us to send her to the Big School with 4,000 kids. That one pushes kids properly. In other words, the kids are smacked and loaded down with homework. We sent her to the Little School of 300. Many parents like her teacher, but others have switched because she does not hit the kids. Taiwanese often say that school must be brutal to prepare kids for the brutality of local culture, but they never really think that local culture might not be brutal if school were fixed. In any case, a substitute teacher hit my daughter, so me and several other parents handled it quietly and got her removed. I think it was great the way the school responded to us.
Upshot is, pick a small school. As a foreigner, your child will be bullied less and worshipped more (my daughter is well-liked and the biggest kid in her class, built like a linebacker). You will, as a foreigner, have a disproportionate influence over the school, which you can use to work with the place and enhance your kids’ educational opportunities.
So yes, hitting still goes on everywhere, except Taipei. The moral of the story is, if you only know Taipei, you don’t know Taiwan.
As for the system itself, the quality of the education is poor to mediocre. Students do not have enough interactive outside activities such as field trips. They do not do enough reading, and pleasure reading and play are de-emphasized, as is creativity, problem-solving, and negotiating activities. The system depends on parents pushing kids like mad to do the homework. We don’t pressure our daughter, and she does the homework quickly. She was third in her class, but I suspect that those rankings are entirely up to the teacher’s whim rather than real achievement.
There is no hitting at my kids’ elementary school. I haven’t heard anybody getting hit at an elementary school in years, and the parents I deal with would be very angry if their child’s teacher hit the child.
Not such a good idea to paint everything with the same brush.
My wife and I are about to have our first child. We have talked about letting her do her elementary and middle school work here (through 8th grade), though we have mused the idea of sending her to my mother’s home in New Hampshire for her high school education.
Start saving now. Five years from now you should be able to go home. Think of your kid first.
We’re in Taipei, and I’ve never heard of any teachers at my kid’s school hitting the students.