Democratization and Citizenship Education: Changing Identity Politics and Shifting Paradigms of Teaching and Learning in Taiwan
30 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2013
Date Written: 2013
Taiwan has experienced sweeping social and political changes in the last three decades or so-from a Sino-centric, hard-core authoritarian state to a Taiwan-based, multicultural society on her way of consolidating the fruits of democracy. How might these sociopolitical changes impact the teaching and learning of national identity and citizenship in Taiwan? In this paper, I argue that the development of citizenship education in Taiwan follows changing identity politics. The notions of citizenship and civic/citizenship education in Taiwan as well as the pace and direction of her civic education reform have evolved over time in correspondence to several milestone changes in the social, political, and educational reform context. Scholarship on civic or citizenship education in Taiwan has reported paradigm shifts in curricula and pedagogies from a nationalistic education to one that emphasizes local and global connections, the importance of social science thinking and approaches, values of individualism, social diversity, and minority rights, and the distinctiveness of Taiwan as part of the tripartite framework of national identity education. To judge the extent to which students in democratized Taiwan believe in the basic values of democracy and democratic participation as well as those of diversity and equality for all - or concepts taught in the reformed curriculum, I employ recently released data from a major international survey of citizenship education conducted in 2009 to provide empirical evidence of student learning in Taiwan and in comparison to that in other East Asian countries and the total of 38 countries in the survey.
Keywords: Citizenship Education, Taiwan, Democratization, Identity Politics
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