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Second “Ocean Poem” National Touring Exhibition and Sharing Forum, 2021

To promote marine education, the Taiwan Marine Education Center (TMEC) hosted the “Second Ocean” event series in 2021. The event series included a national touring exhibition and sharing forum exhibiting winning ocean poems.

In 2019, the Ministry of Education commissioned the TMEC to host the Second Ocean Poem Competition. The competition featured the theme “ocean culture,” which is one of the five major topics in marine education. In 2020, a review and final selection of the winning poems were made, in which a total of 67 winning poems (submitted by elementary schools, junior high schools, senior high and vocational schools, colleges, and universities) were selected. The poems encompassed the themes of marine history, literature, art, folk religion, and rituals. Thus, the rich marine culture literacy of these Taiwanese students was manifested as art, illustrating the humanistic achievements of Taiwanese marine education.

In response to the literacy-oriented goal of integrating marine issues into curricula in the Outlines of the 12-Year Basic Education Curricula promulgated by the Ministry of Education in 2019, the TMEC hosted the Ocean Poem Sharing Forum together with the national touring exhibition. With a focus on the winning poems of the Second Ocean Poem Competition, winners and/or their mentors were invited to explain the poems and discuss in depth the promotion of marine education in schools, emphasizing how marine education topics are incorporating in curricula. Reflections and suggestions were proposed regarding the current status and future development of marine education in schools.

On April 22, 2021, the first Ocean Poem Sharing Forum was hosted, together with the national touring exhibition, at the National Museum of Marine Science & Technology. Director Hsieh Yu-ling of the General Education Center, National Taiwan Ocean University was invited to host the forum. Chen Wei-an, a third-year student of the Keelung Municipal Anle Senior High School and winner of the High Distinction Award (in the “Senior High and Vocational School” group), was invited to speak along with her mentor Li Yu-Ru.

At the forum, Li, who has a wealth of teaching experience and a passion for marine culture, talked about incorporating marine education in teaching. Chen then sang the Song of Dolphin Fish and spoke candidly about the fun and pride she experienced participating in the Windsurfing Project of Anle Senior High School. The integration of rich marine education in life experience and poetry enriched the knowledge of the students at the forum.

The Second Ocean Poem Sharing Forum was originally scheduled to be hosted during the national touring exhibition at National Penghu Marine & Fishery Vocational High School on June 16, 2021. However, in response to the extension of the national Level 3 COVID-19 Alert to June 14th by the Central Epidemic Command Center on May 25th, the forum was instead conducted via video conference with the date unchanged.

At this forum, Principal Lin Yan-ling of the Fenggui Elementary School in Penghu County was invited as the host. Speakers invited were Dong Hsin-yi, a teacher at the Hua-Yu Elementary School and mentor to Wang Sheng-wen, recipient of the Honorable Mention (in the “Elementary School” group) for the poem Catching Squids, and Chiu Po-yu, a teacher at the Houliao Elementary School and mentor to Chen You-chang, also a recipient of Honorable Mention (in the “Elementary School” group) for the poem Basalt.

Dong described how she advised Wang in writing the poem Catching Squids and shared the humanistic landscape, environmental conservation efforts, and life experiences of the Hua-Yu Elementary School. Chiu expounded her use of diverse reading strategies in guiding students to incorporate the unique terroir of Penghu in their poems, reinforcing their reading skills and inspiring their creative potential. Through the passionate experience sharing of the speakers, the unique sea landscape of Penghu was presented to students on their computer screens.

We hope the forums have inspired teachers in marine education and will serve as a key medium for promoting marine literature. We also hope that teachers and the public will develop a variety of promotional events and create opportunities for people to learn about marine culture and participate in marine experience and art creation, thereby promoting love for and knowledge of marine culture in marine education.

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