Modern Issues in Education
How does the culture and society we live in affect our education system? Questions such as this are ongoing in the debate on education, especially as the world continues to develop in an era defined by unprecedented rates of economic growth and innovation. In Taiwan, many critics argue their education system has a penchant for overemphasizing exam scores, impractical subject curricula, and rote memorization, making it too rigid to effectively assist new generations of students today. One consequence is that students who are too concerned with having a high academic performance often wind up struggling to develop their interests outside the classroom; with the increased pressures of competition and time spent studying for exams, many of them are kept from exploring their values, creativities and interests as unique and skilled individuals.
While Taiwan is struggling in the transition to provide its students greater flexibility in how they learn and approach problems, much of America’s youth are likewise trapped in an education system that appears to lack in terms of employee training and salaries; teacher efficacy; student retention rates; and health and learning resources. Furthermore, there is consistent research to support claims regarding the extent to which socioeconomic and racial inequalities are inherent within the U.S. public school system, and that administrators generally lack the funding or qualifications necessary to correct them.
At this year’s conference, the Contemporary Issues in Education round table will be analyzing and comparing differences between the American and Taiwanese education systems in order to understand their distinct advantages or disadvantages—in addition to identifying any social or structural issues that may be preventing improvements to the overall quality of education in both countries. By doing so, delegates will aim to create practical, yet innovative solutions or plans targeting a particular area of focus relating to modern education.
Roundtable Leaders: Judy Chu, Kevin Barbour