Lecture: Holistic Education—Having Fun while learning

The General Education Center of University of Taipei held a seminar on the improvement of general education instructors on September 17, 2021. In addition to introducing the team of the center to instructors, the presenter also give a quick explanation of the regulations related to the period of distance learning. He mentioned that teachers must do an online roll call in each class due to the epidemic. After returning to the campus, students are not allowed to change their seats and teachers still need to do the roll call in their class. Professors can use the ee-class platform to interact with students, have discussions or assign homework and other teaching materials. Besides, the presenter mentioned that teachers who work in general education can participate in the general education curriculum improvement activities. Professors can give some feedback and reflections on the curriculum and show their studies which are related to the courses they teach. Moreover, it has been promoting that the curriculums must be adjusted appropriately. According to the development of the school, professors need to follow the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to design the curriculums. In addition, they have to follow the general guidelines of 12-Year Basic Education to adjust their courses. What’s more, EMI(English as a Medium of Instruction) courses will be promoted in the future. The lecture of general education was the key point of this seminar. Dr. Yang Peiling was invited to share her wonderful experience of general education. The topic of her lecture is about the multi-domain of the general education and how to create an interesting and attractive class for students to have fun while learning. At the beginning of the lecture, Dr. Yang used some illustrations to highlight the main point that general education is not like professional subjects which focus on the cultivation of skills or professional knowledge, but for learning the different fields of knowledge. Through the general education, students can have the ability of observation, critical thinking, and debate. She mentioned that general education should be student centered and focus on cultivating four main abilities. The first one is to engage all aspects of a learner, including mind, body, and spirit. The others are multiple intelligences, critical thinking, and personality cultivation. Therefore, students would not be restricted by the memorized and test-oriented education in Taiwan. Additionally, Dr. Yang mentioned that nowadays we focus on multi-domain and cross-domain in teaching. Professors can form a teacher community to design multi-domain courses and lead students into a cross-domain learning style. For instance, a course in English picture books can lead students to explore the topics in the books and do some discussions on various themes. It helps students to think diversely instead of being stuck by stereotypes. And what is having fun while learning? The speaker believes that while doing general education, knowledge can be presented with a variety of teaching materials. Take English teaching for example, instructors can combined a small game or an activity to make this target language integrate into our daily life. In addition, the speaker remarked that we can use some online learning materials or add some games such as “Kahoot” to make the curriculum become more interesting. For the evaluation part, we can use multiple evaluation methods to check the situation of learning instead of using traditional examinations. What’s more, professors can encourage students to take part in some competitions related to the course. As the result, the curriculum of general education will be varied. On the other hand, how to innovate the courses in general education? Dr. Yang believes that teachers can design a course that fits the attributes of students and make a connection between class and experience of daily life. When giving the points, professors can use various evaluations instead of traditional tests. Take her plan of the Ministry of Education as an example, the general education curriculum can achieve the following core competencies: logical speculation, communication, expression, problem solving, appreciation, creativity, and global mobility. The way to innovate general education courses, motivating, and increase the interactivity of the courses are all the key points that we need to focus on. Moreover, it is important to create different learning styles and reduce students' anxiety while learning through design the curriculum.

Implemented by General Education Center
Date: 2021/09/17

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