The Ministry of Education Holds the 2019 Convention of Supervisors in Teacher Education Universities and Education Practicum Best Performance Awards Ceremony
On October 25 to 26, 2019, the Ministry of Education held the 2019 Convention of Supervisors in Teacher Education Universities and Education Practicum Best Performance Awards Ceremony in the University of Taipei. There were about 170 participants, including principals in all teacher education universities, supervisors in teacher education centers, and prize winners. In his address, the Minister of the Ministry of Education, Pan, Wen-Chung, expressed that the 2019 curriculum is starting up this year. Faced with enormous future changes and challenges, we should educate children to be interdisciplinary and lifelong learners. Moreover, teachers play an essential role as pilot educators.
The Education Practicum Best Performance Awards were conferred by Minister Pan in person at the ceremony. 38 teacher education universities submitted their recommendation lists this year. Through a strict review, 129 outstanding teacher trainers, teacher mentors, and student teachers were selected. Among them, those who won the prizes and attended the ceremony included one prizewinner for Outstanding Teaching Practice Advisor, seven prizewinners for Outstanding Teacher Practice Mentor, twenty prizewinners for Outstanding Teaching Practice Student Teacher, and four groups of prizewinner for Outstanding Teaching Practice Cooperative Team Member (23 prizewinners in total). Minister Pan particularly expressed his gratitude to these prize winners for their devotion and contribution during the process of the practicum, and hoped that through mentorship and a passion for education, both experiences of the education practicum would be passed on, and teachers' professional quality would be enhanced, so as to establish models of teacher education.
Minister Pan indicated that, in accordance with the revision and declaration of the Teacher Education Act in 2017, the reports and reviews of teacher education courses have also been modified and will now be submitted to MOE for reference instead of reporting to MOE for approval. The procedures of teacher education were changed, with the teacher qualification approval exam to be at the first stage, and educational practices to be at the second stage, and not in reverse order. It is expected that each teacher education university can plan relevant courses of teachers' professional literacies in accordance with the spirit of professional autonomy. This is believed to be helpful in creating innovative and open images for student teachers, teacher education universities, and education practicum institutes.
In addition, regarding the promotion of bilingual education, the Executive Yuan has promoted bilingual education since 2018. The Ministry of Education has also actively promoted the Teacher Education of Teaching Subjects in English, and cultivated teachers for teaching subjects in English with organized plans. Minister Pan also emphasized that "our bilingual teaching cannot only rely on foreign teachers." Therefore, on November 2018, the Ministry of Education declared the Implementation Program of Teacher Education of Teaching Subjects in English. Currently, 9 teacher education universities have participated in the Teacher Education of Teaching Subjects in English. It is estimated that two advanced credit courses for in-service teachers and two second-expertise credit courses will be established in 2020. Further plans for increasing courses will be undertaken according to teachers' requirements for training.
Regarding relationships between teacher education universities, cities and counties, Minister Pan also expected that teacher education universities can demonstrate the spirit of University Social Responsibility (USR) to assist local places in educational developments. The Ministry of Education has continuously provided teacher education universities with subsidies to operate educational guidance work in local places. Through the establishment of guidance regions and the system of seed schools, teachers in cities and counties and teacher education universities have been invited by seed schools to jointly discuss the requirements of teachers' professional developments in local places so as to assist professional development of teachers in primary, junior and senior high schools. In 2019, 40 teacher education universities have received subsidies to promote educational guidance works in local places in order to attain the purposes of developing and assisting local places in their neighborhoods.
After the awards ceremony, Minister Pan took pictures with the principals of all teacher education universities, the directors of teacher education centers who attended the Convention of Supervisors in Teacher Education Universities, and the prize winners of the education practicum. The organizer, University of Taipei designed and prepared the Facebook check-in board of the Convention and tools for taking picture in an original way, which enabled participants to take pictures in turn with the Minister. The atmosphere at the scene was pleasant and genial.
In this Convention, the Director of the Department of Teacher and Art Education, Cheng, Yuan-chuan, presented a keynote speech on "Reform and Challenges of Teacher Education". Professor Hong, Ren-jin of National Taiwan Normal University presented the "Literacy-oriented Teacher Qualification Approval Exam". In addition, regarding the topic of "The 12-Year Basic Education Pre-service Teacher Professional Course Developments Cases", Professor Liu, Mei-hui of National Taiwan Normal University, and President Chang, Shih-jen of National Taipei University of Education respectively shared cases concerning junior and senior high school teachers and primary school teachers. Regarding the utilization of information technology in teacher education systems, the Director of the Department of Information and Technology Education, Kuo, Bor-chen talked about "Adaptive Teaching and Self-directed Learning with Assistive Technology"; Professor Huang, Jia-li of the National Taiwan Normal University presented on the subject of "Adaptive Testing for Student Teachers", and analyzed the related application of supportive systems in detail. Finally, a comprehensive conversation was held for participants and all representatives of each teacher education universities.
The Ministry of Education was pleased to reward the best performing prize winners in the education practicum, and hoped to promote reform and innovation of teacher education policy, as well as the beliefs and spirit of the education practicum. More educational and academic highlights are hoped to be stimulated under the new system, and will thereby be evolved into a brand-new vision of teacher education in Taiwan!