Ocean Taiwan: National Taiwan Ocean University Certified 16 Elementary and Junior High Schools as Marine Education Bases This Year
The K-12 Education Administration of the Ministry of Education (MOE) has tasked the Taiwan Marine Education Center (TMEC) of National Taiwan Ocean University (NTOU) with establishing bases for innovative marine curriculum as well as educational research centers (referred to hereafter as “marine education bases”) in various counties and cities across Taiwan since 2020. This year (2022), 16 schools have been selected as marine education bases. Some of these schools achieved favorable implementation outcomes last year. For example, students at Changbin Junior High School in Taitung County learned about the hull structure and functions of Greenland kayaks by constructing kayak models and learned basic canoeing skills through real-life practice. Daxi Elementary School in Yilan County developed an experiential curriculum module for students at Yuying Elementary School; the students familiarized themselves with the sea by observing the waves and learning basic surfing skills.
Chang Chen-Chieh, director of the TMEC, reported that on the premise of improving marine literacy, the MOE’s K-12 Education Administration has developed a more holistic, forward-looking, innovative marine curriculum. In response to the emphasis on experiential marine education in the Executive Yuan’s Ocean Taiwan policy and on the basis of the two main functions of marine education bases established last year (namely “development and promotion of curriculum modules” and “provision of experiential marine education”), one marine topic will be selected for the marine education curriculum modules to be developed by the marine education bases. The modules also integrate content related to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations. The curriculum modules will be reviewed by experts and uploaded to the TMEC website for schools across Taiwan to use, thereby facilitating the provision of marine education nationwide.
Each year, experts and scholars are invited to select marine education bases on the basis of curriculum concepts, design ideas, and relevant experience. Consensus meetings involving both the advisory committee and teachers and administrators from marine education bases are also held regularly. This year, the following 11 elementary schools and 5 middle schools, spanning the north, central, south, and east as well as outlying islands of Taiwan, were selected and certified as marine education bases: Gangxi Elementary School in Keelung City; Zhonggang Elementary School, Yehliu Elementary School, Shimen Elementary School, and Shimen Experimental Junior High School in New Taipei City; Long Men Junior High School in Taipei City; Zhubei Elementary School in Hsinchu County; Guangwu Elementary School in Hsinchu City; Hanbao Elementary School in Changhua County; Yizai Elementary School’s Yuguang branch campus in Tainan City; Keliao Elementary School in Kaohsiung City; Daxi Elementary School, Yuying Elementary School, and Nan-An Elementary School in Yilan County; Changbin Junior High School in Taitung County; and Jinhu Elementary School in Kinmen County. The courses taught in these schools will be designed with themes related to local characteristics, integrating performing arts and coastal terrain surveys as well as education on seafood consumption;plastic reduction initiatives; culture and customs related to mackerel and mullet fishing; canoeing, surfing and standup paddleboarding (SUP); community walking tours; lessons on breeding practices; other marine issues; and beach cleaning activities, thus achieving the goals of marine education: helping students familiarize themselves with, learn about, and understand the importance of the sea. Some schools also plan to continue promoting marine education on the basis of the curricula they employed in 2021.