Taipei City Department of Education Delegation visits Early Childhood Education Institutions in Berlin
Mr. Hung Che-Yi, deputy commissioner of the Taipei City Department of Education and nine educators from Taipei visited Berlin from August 10 to August 16. The educators accompanying the deputy commissioner were Taipei City Department of Education colleagues, university professors, and leading educators working in preschools in Taipei. The focus of the study visit was to learn about approaches to providing quality education and care to children aged up to six years old in Berlin.
Ms. Weng Chin-Ying, the Director of the Education Division at the Taipei Representative Office in Germany put the delegation in contact with Professor Hartmut Wedekind, a professor of early childhood education, and the Scientific Director of Helleum, an innovative Learning and Research Center for Children and Youth. This center has a “Do it yourselves” experiential approach to learning which the delegation saw in action. The visiting educators all expressed a desire to import the methods they had observed at Helleum into Taiwan for children there, and Prof. Wedekind told them he hoped that Taiwan would create its own version of Helleum to provide state-of-the-art education for its children.
Prof. Wedekind also told the visitors about the approaches adopted by six other institutions providing early childhood education in Berlin, including: Kindergarten Wuehlmaeusen Berlin, Curioso - das Kinderlabor in Kreuzberg, Kindergarten Torgauerstrasse, Kinderforscherzentrum Helleum, and GreenCampus.
As well as learning about the actual education and care, the educators from Taiwan had a valuable opportunity to engage in discussions with Ms. Carola Tauber, the person in charge of the Kinder- und Jugendbeteiligungsbüro [Children and Youth Participation Office] in Berlin’s Marzahn-Hellersdorf district about administrative aspects. They asked many questions about the budgets and the organization of public and private kindergartens and preschools in Berlin, and Ms. Tauber was just as interested to learn about the funding and administration of preschools in Taiwan.
All in all, this was a very successful study visit, both informative and inspiring.