The SPARK | 初衷
Four years ago in 2015, my eldest daughter, age 6, was interested in the architectural model that I was building for a residential development project.
She was curious and excited to find out about the design model I was working on. Her attitude towards the design model left a strong impression on me. Working on the design model was a stressful task for me. However, in the eyes of my daughter, the daunting work was viewed as a fun and a pure joy. Just like her favourite dollhouse! Then, she took a few tools that I was using and started building her own version of the design model.
Soon after, our fourth child was born. The responsibility and pressure of being parents also brought us to face the fact of the 12-year basic education (K-12) for all our children. Therefore, the idea of developing our own children's architectural education began in 2017.
The future of the globalization is full of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA). In Taiwan, children also face the problem of sub-replacement fertility, employment, competitiveness, educational reform and many other challenges.
Many local education units are eager to break away from the concept of traditional education in Asia and keep up with the trend of the world. In order to reform and develop the original educational, various educational methods called “experimental education” and “flipped classroom” have sprung up like mushrooms. Even if you are not a professional educator, you can feel the negative responses of the educational environment.
As a novice parent, making a decision for your child’s future is like a gamble. We are afraid to miss any opportunities that would improve our child’s competitiveness. We are afraid of losing at the starting point and thus we allow enrichment courses to fill up the children childhood. However, I also bear in mind that the differences in urban and rural resources and the difference of family background have brought a great challenge to Taiwan's basic education.
In May 2017, we were fortunate to meet partners such as BEEP Lab ( Singapore) with the same conviction. We were also very grateful to the owner of the old farm house adjacent to Wanfu elementary school. With the studio space they have kindly provided us with, we now possess the opportunity to start our experiential teaching work with children by developing our own version of an architectural design studio for children . After several discussions with the children, I decided to move them from the Public school in downtown to the Wanfu elementary school that is located in the remote area of Yilan San Xin Township. My wife and I also decided to start up an educational organization known as "FunMeiker" ( inspired by Fun X Maker ) with the partners in Wanfu elementary school.
Core Belief | 理念
Over the last 2 years as FunMeiker experiment with diverse ways to develop lesson plans and workshops, we constantly ask ourselves if we are able to be lean and boots stripe our way to work with existing educational framework. Positioning ourselves as facilitators to assist professional teachers to enhance their options to integrate play and hands on learning methods that are suitable to different types of disciplines such as science, art, technology and national education.
With this goal in mind, we employ the concept of gamification to incorporate core learning goals that teachers are required to impart to their learners, and we work through a collaborative teaching mode to create content, connection and communications that is able to benefit the teachers through design forums and dialogue discussions to foster sharing of educational resources.
As part of Taiwan's major educational reform to the K-12 education framework for all public schools, three key directives have been established:
1) Adaptability for future
2) Problem solving ability
3) Lifelong Learning
In our attempt to research and study our predecessors in the field of architecture education for children, we discovered that there are many common denominators in Europan and American's approaches to promote architecture in the K-12 schools. Architecture education for children is no longer about imparting skills or techniques of doing things Its about the ability to approach design thinking, participate in design, develop critical thinking, environmental awareness, problem solving abilities and hand-eye coordinations. And Architecture is considered as a catalyst to consolidate and integrate the essence of diverse discipline.
Playing is learning is FunMeiker’s core value that aims to inspire children to develop the curiosity and sense of discovery as they learn through playing with mission centric activities that is able to draw out their sense of adventure to discover.
FunMeiker’s root word is when Fun meets Maker, which represent the spirit of making and creating things ourselves and in the process of learning we nurture the appreciation for aesthetics, competency and character.
In order for us to live out our core values, we established the following framework that enables us to stay true to our cause. Also Known As “ Triple 6 Mission-Based” Learning process.
6 Core Curriculum | 六生活主題
食 Fun-Diet 【玩美飲食】
衣 Eco-Fashion 【生態時尚】
住 ArKIDecture 【兒童建築】
行 Mobility 【移動科技】
育 Nurture 【自然素養】
樂 FunErgy 【玩樂能量】
6 Core Competencies | 六核心能力
觀察辨識 | Observation
創意思考 | Design Thinking
手眼協調 | Dexterity
團隊合作 | Collaboration
環境感知 | Spatial Awareness
生態意識 | Environmental Stewardship
6 Phases of approach to design | 六學習階段
定義問題 Define problem
資料收集 Data collection
解決方案 Ideate Solution
Fun手自造 Prototype design
表達反饋 Show & Tell
Through the mission based approach we want to train our children to be able to think independently , learning how to learn and develop their own approach to collaborate to solve problems.
「玩美客」以讓學童從玩樂的心(Fun)出發為核心精神，透過設定任務遊戲的方式，誘發出自主學習的熱誠。美客(Meiker)音同「Maker」，包含有相同涵義的自製手造精神，但Mei(美)不同於Ma, 是要強調在學習過程中，需培養美感素養的重要性。因此我們以可綜合：觀察辨識/創意思考/手眼協調/團隊合作環/境感知/生態意識六項能力的「建築教育」方法為發展核心，以與日常生活最相關的食(玩美飲食)、衣(生態時尚)、住（兒童建築）、行（移動科技）、育（自然素養）、樂（玩樂能量）六項主題為課程分類，學習過程則分成定義問題、資料收集、集體討論、解決方案、Fun手自造、表達反饋六個階段，並給學童設定任務目標，鼓勵克服問題、自主學習、團隊合作找尋最好答案，稱為玩美客「666任務式教學法(Triple six mission-based learning approach)」。