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Preparing Children for the Future Today

By Alice Ho, founder of BEducation

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Published on Crossroads on 2018/08/05 630 views


Preparing Children for the Future Today


Translated by Wordcorp


“I don’t know what I want.”  Unfortunately, this is an all too common sentiment shared by the majority of students in Taiwan.  Under the mainstream education system, students consistently find themselves overwhelmed by an intense level of study and examinations, while bereft of the opportunity to explore their own pursuits, dreams, and personal lives.  The harms caused by such a system of examination are readily apparent: frustrations with learning, low abilities of expression, inability to apply what they have learned, and more. However, before any proper reform is implemented, Taiwanese parents can only continue to follow these outdated methods, while bearing the hope that children under this system can manage to thrive in the society of the future.  To offer an alternative, BEducation is planning an entirely new system to allow students to discover their personal interests and goals through the exploration of diverse curriculum. Instead of focusing their entire efforts on test taking, students are able to cultivate a love for learning and personal development through lively and interactive courses.


What is BEducation?


The objective of BEducation is to establish an alternative, experimental system of out-of-school education that focuses on sparking children’s interests, equipping them with abilities necessary for the future, encouraging personal development, and covering other shortcomings of the existing school system.  BEducation not only employs an unique and independent organizational structure, but also offers comprehensive semester programs and course outlines that cover eight major subjects along with a variety of elective courses. In recent years, project-based learning has become a very important topic in education reform.  With a complete theme and structure, this approach enables children to discover new goals and execute ideas through problem-solving techniques. By analyzing various possibilities and solutions, they undergo a process of learning new knowledge, understanding teamwork, elevating judgment, and more.


Plan for the semester 


With subjects planned according to the different stages of each child, each semester of BEducation concludes with a project exhibition involving any combination of eight subjects that serve as tools to teach children how to achieve their goals.  Through themed and game-based teaching, children conduct “hands-on” learning in which they freely and actively participate in each course instead of undergo the routine of “I must memorize because it will be on a test”.


In addition to planning themes, BEducation has also been implementing reforms to solve problems in the current education system through three aspects: system, instruction, and community.


System


The use of examinations as the sole standard for assessing student performance is the main reason for systemic and instructional stagnation as well as reduced levels in the willingness to learn and the inability to apply knowledge.  By establishing a comprehensive organizational structure, BEducation hopes to assess in even greater depth the learning results of students, while avoiding any negative impact that comes with such evaluations. By recording and reviewing learning patterns to paint a picture of each student’s performance, participation, emotional reactions, and subject preferences in class, individual guidance can be effectively provided to help students understand their own interest in learning.  Then, teachers can help students formulate a plan in which they may learn how to achieve their goals one step at a time. By exploring the learning styles of each student, teachers are able to gain an in-depth understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and improve instructional quality in a more systematic manner. As a result, this improves on the inability of the traditional examination and assessment system to take into account the needs of individual students.




Science with English - Ice Cream Making 

Five innovations in teaching

Teachers at BEducation are given the freedom to implement new instructional techniques by adding five innovative elements into the classroom.




Five Teaching Concepts 

Variety of Courses Offered 

More than 20 themed-courses help children explore different disciplines to expand their horizons. No longer limited to to textbooks, children now have greater opportunity to discover their own interests and talents.


Scenario-based Learning 

Learning becomes fun and engaging through interactive scenario-based teaching. Children will enjoy acting in situations as if playing a game, making them more willing to actively participate and immerse in their own learning.


Dialogue-based Teaching 

Children should not be afraid to speak up and engage in open dialogue during class.   They should be discouraged from simply sitting back and listening to a teacher present information that goes in one ear and out the other. A student-centered classroom encourages children to express their own ideas and opinions. It also creates a community of active listeners and learners.

Learning by Doing 

Children must learn by doing. Rather than just reading about something in a book, classes are designed with “hands-on” activities that give children time to innovate, create, and explore concepts and ideas. These experiences will give them a deeper understanding of their learning and strengthen their ability to solve problems on their own.


Real-Life Applications 

Learning should be relevant to real-life and applicable to real-world experiences, like using math when buying or selling something, or using English to order food at a restaurant. Children will be able to understand why they are learning something and how it can help them in their everyday life.


Five community innovations 

The interaction amongst students, teachers, and parents helps parents see the benefits of the new system, change their concepts, and prompt reform of the old system.



Five community innovation

On-the-level communication 

Through direct communication, teacher and student no longer share a distant “up-down” relation.  With this relation, children become more willing to share their learning situation with teachers, and engage in more in-depth interaction and discussion.


Comprehensive focus 

Safety, health, personal development, and the ability to get along with their peers are extremely important issues. We do not set good grades as the objectives of learning. Instead, we focus on the balanced overall development of children.


Careful guidance 

We pay attention to the different needs of each child. One-on-one guidance offers an in-depth analysis of each child’s learning situation.  Only by understanding the conditions of each child can effective assistance be provided.


Attention to detail 

We set daily tasks to children by mail; book walls, magnet walls, and material walls serve as spaces for exploring, finding answers, and showing creativity. Each environment features details that allow children to enjoy the act of learning even more.


Progress updates

Children usually cannot communicate clearly what they are studying at school. With the monitoring of learning patterns shared on online platforms, parents are able to establish a connection with teachers from which they can use to clearly understand their children’s learning patterns. Learning outcomes can also encourage more interaction between parents and students.





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About the Organization
BEducation
BEducation

Alternative education for 4 to 12 year olds with a focus on science, experimentation, and learning through games.

Email: be@groupbe.com.tw Phone: 02-2773-7272