Lucia Lin is the Head of Global Network, Global Highlight for the Future of Education Hub, Taiwan. She is currently researching and teaching at the Fu Jen Catholic University in Graduate School of School Leadership and Management. Her areas of research interest are Educational Leadership, Human Resource Management in Education, Instructional Design and Teacher Education. She was interviewed at the HundrED Innovation Summit 2018 in Helsinki.
Why is it important for students to receive an innovative education?
Because the kids are our future. Right now, they are here! Personally, I think it is really important for them to learn how to make their future work better for themselves. And for this part, education does critical half of the job!
Why is it important to recognize the teachers who are doing amazing things?
Because they are also human beings. This psychological need of human beings needs to be recognized (for our teachers). (In Taiwan), if someone wants to change their school and do nice things for it, culturally sometimes they were being attacked. For example, especially in Chinese or Asian culture, you are not supposed to be too unique. But as long as they are doing a good job, it is good to recognize while getting support from the school - all this makes it easier (for the teacher). With the support, resources, relationships, and recognition of the idea, the innovation can be faster realized.
Why is it important for education to be child-centric?
Because it is their education, their learning experience. Human beings learn by learning from their experiences. In my generation, teachers were the only apparatus of knowledge, with the technology. Unless they told us, we had a lack of approaches to gain knowledge. But right now, it is the time to emphasize on being kids-centered. All the knowledge that we have that we deliver (today), they can get it all from technology, from computers but how to use the information, think or criticize - critically thinking about all the knowledge, must be helped by the teacher. The teachers' position has changed from being the instructor or delivering (the content) to be a facilitator of learning.
What are the key challenges facing education in Taiwan currently?
Many people say that there are challenges because of technology, globalization, urbanization and specifically in Asian countries, low birth rates have changed school scales and environment, but in terms of innovational effort, I personally believe that biggest educational challenge comes from the parents. Some of the teachers want to make the change. They try to be student-centered, look at the students' personalities and help the children find themselves in a classroom or during a classroom activity. However, at the first stage, the parents agree and believe that this is a good thing. But after some weeks, they ask about the students academic achievement. And with it will bring all the challenges and discussions (reducing the importance) of the innovation.
Why is it important to support innovative educators and how to do it?
It is very important because all the teachers are trying to change and dream about innovations. If they are doing it alone, it is quite lonely. For any kind of change to happen at school, it involves many complex factors and often challenges. We must try to support them as much as we can.
It is really important and helpful for the teachers to accelerate success for their innovations. At Global Highlight for Future, there are four tasks we try to tackle every year. The first one is that we try to launch our Educational Fellowship in Taiwan where we invite recommendations and applications of innovational stories and products. Through a serious and careful selection process, we give the award. The second task is Educational Entrepreneur Incubator. Here, we contact experts and lead several workshops for the future educational entrepreneur. It is very important not to focus just on the current innovators but also prepare and develop future innovators. The third task, which we launched this year, is Innovation Explore. Here, we invite masters and Ph.D. students from around the world who go out of Taiwan, with the help of a fellowship, and discover innovational stories, practices and publicly share on our website. The fourth task involves contacting E-Forum for Innovation in Taiwan and the Global Innovation Collaboration Network, which is also why we are here at the HundrED Summit in Helsinki. We want to start it by coordinating with innovational stories to co-create future innovations (in education).
How are educational practices improved and innovated in Taiwan?
It happens naturally for the teachers on the field, in the school. Teachers face challenges with different student needs, with disadvantaged students, and many others. But as long as someone on the team, especially the teachers feel that they need to solve the problem and have a spirit to improve the performance or quality of education, they will come up with ideas. In Taiwan, several stories of innovations come from smaller schools in rural areas. There are definitely different kinds of innovations and educational change now happening everywhere!
What does HundrED’s work mean to you?
From my observation, it is fantastic! To me, it also feels familiar because we are doing the same thing in Taiwan! Of course, these two years, we only worked with Taiwan as our environment. Here, we are gathering inspiration from your work and it is really encouraging us to know that we can work faster in collaboration with you (HundrED) or with global innovators. It has been a wonderful experience and unlike Taiwan, there is a spirit of entrepreneurship in your work which is appreciated!
Learn more about the HundrED Innovation Summit here!