2019 Marine Career Exploration Teaching Development Tour and Onsite Education Services
Education development in Taiwan has long focused on terrestrial topics to the neglect of marine-related ones, resulting in a poor understanding of the ocean among citizens. Moreover, schools and parents, because of safety concerns, have taught children to stay away from the ocean. This has led students to become unfamiliar with the ocean and steered them away from a career in the marine industry. Therefore, between 2007 and 2017, the Ministry of Education revised its white paper on marine education policy and established three main objectives: to enhance mechanisms for promoting marine education, to improve marine literacy in citizens, and to enhance the competencies of talent in the marine industry. Through career-development teaching materials and resources, the ministry has promoted the importance of marine education in parental education seminars and implemented courses for career exploration in the marine industry. These measures have enabled students, parents, and teachers to perceive the marine industry favorably, encouraged students to embark on a career related to the marine industry; and enhanced the employability and competitiveness of students.
In response to the implementation of the Curriculum Guidelines for 12-Year Basic Education, fostering students’ talents according to their aptitude has become a primary objective of current education reform in marine education. Therefore, the Taiwan Marine Education Center (TMEC) has designated career exploration as the key mission for cultivating the diverse abilities of students. To implement career exploration education in schools, the TMEC focuses on training professional instructors, who embark on tours to give speeches; the TMEC also develops teaching materials for career exploration education according to the interests of students. Between July 26 and November 6, 2019, this center hosted 30 career exploration and onsite education service seminars, in which professionals from the marine industry were invited. These professionals included captains, maritime pilots, and chief engineers from the ocean freight industry; marine researchers; sea patrols, navy instructors, and marine conservation personnel from the marine management industry; and cruise tour designers from the tourism industry. In addition, the TMEC invited seed tour instructors to guide students to analyze their strengths, gain a further understanding of the marine industry, identify their career paths and explore the maritime work environment, and engage in self-growth through discovering their aptitudes. Accordingly, students can foster their core competences in career exploration and development, helping them gain a deeper insight into the marine industry.
In 2019, 5810 participants attended the seminars, including students from junior and senior high schools as well as teachers and parents. According to feedback from the participants, they deepened their understanding of how the ocean and our everyday life are related after the speakers shared their experience and environment at work. After gaining such knowledge, many students expressed their interest in experiencing the maritime work environment. The TMEC will continue to expand the roster of tour speakers, especially in inviting famous professionals from the marine industry. In doing so, the TMEC can help students engage in adaptive development, understand the multifaceted aspects of the marine industry, and select suitable career paths, thereby making students more interested in embarking on a career in the marine industry.