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歡迎來到我們分享支持多元學習與美國之旅收穫的平臺!歡迎在底下留言,讓我們互相交流,看看會擦出什麼樣的火花吧!

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Welcome to our wordpress! This is a platform for us to share the thoughts and what we have learnt from Project Support Diverse Learning, to the trip to Richmond, America. Feel free to share your thoughts with us by leave your comment! Enjoy yourself!

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From Diversity To Destination Called Unique

 

In the Announcement to K’ang, it is said, “Act as if you were watching over an infant." If a mother is really anxious about it, though she may not hit exactly the wants of her infant, she will not be far from doing so. There never has been a girl who learned to bring up a child that she might afterwards marry. For the past 10 weeks, we might not really get what Project Support Diverse Learner wants to teach us, as long as we learn it with our great attitude, we would not be far from doing so.  After Weeks by week’s discussions and lessons, we found out that we thought “diverse” in a narrow way. Then we kept self-examination ourselves: Am I really known myself as well as I think? How do I identifying myself? What self-determination have I made in my life so far? What is diverse in Taiwan? As a future teacher, what can we do to support every student trade out their own treasure with their own way? We always stay hunger, stay foolish. And that is before we open a window to look back ourselves, to see the world in different way in Richmond, America.

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The Diversity Make The Beauty

What’s My Name?

In addition, the differences of names also can be seen between the two parties. Americans’ middle name, usually, is given from father, grandparents or relatives. There, people do not think his son following his father’s name is taboo. Some people are even willing to give his own son the same name. On the contrary, the Chinese name usually contains the expectations and hopes toward children. We use the specific meaning of the word hoping children will become what kind of person. Like 「稚賢」”Zhi Xian”, parents expect children have a child heart, and become saints. In the past, when patriarchal system stand, the people deliberately avoid using the same name, the same words or the homophone as his father and the elders.

Good Article Is Like A Snake

We joined the ten-week online courses in the spring semester. We are five students from National Taipei University of Education were trying to understand the structure of the article American students have written. And we were trying to comprehend the way American talk. What impressed us the most was Jenny, another exchange students in VCU. At the beginning of her talk, she said, “My topic is……”, the topic come up in the beginning. After that, she will tell us his ideas and the way she thinks. Analyzing the architectural of the article help us to save time of reading. And here we got an interesting point. The logic of the mind caused different architectural of articles.

In Chinese, we separate into four paragraphs, “Introduction”, “thesis”, “supporting paragraphs”, “conclusion”. We put the conclusion at the end of the article. You may not see the key concept until you read to the end. There is a saying goes in Chinese “a good article is like a snake”. If you try to grasp the snake’s tail, the snake will turn over and bite. If you try to grasp the snake’s head, the snake’s tail will sweep to the front. A good article, the head and tail echoes. The endings of the last paragraph is corresponding with the beginning paragraphs, they are inseparable. In order to read the Chinese articles, you have to use your imagination. Great articles can make you stroll in a wonderful scenery, after you read you would feel memorable.

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Calligraphy of Snake Written by Yun-Ming Chu祝允明,

Ming Dynasty Calligrapher.

Raise Hands To Get The Chance

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We saw a quite different situation which is not common in Taiwan in the Laburnum Elementary School. When we asked a question to the students in our teaching progress, “Do you know what does Taiwanese do in Chinese New Year?” Many students wanted to answer the question, but when we choice one of the student to reply the question, he just scratched his head and said, “Well……It is difficult for me.” They raised their hands even they didn’t know how to reply to. They will raise hands before thinking carefully. Although they don’t know how to reply, they actually get the chances. Most students in Taiwan, they will think about the question first, if they are not sure the “correct answer”, they won’t raise their hands even there are some ideas their minds. Students in Taiwan are afraid of being fail due to many teachers in Taiwan punish the students when they don’t reply the “correct answer”. Therefore, students in Taiwan became quiet in the classroom. They do not want to raise their hands to speak, so give up the opportunity to express themselves at the same time. If you want to survive in U.S., you have to express your ideas bravely. In these years, we internship in some elementary schools, some of the teachers using enhanced system, students become much more enthusiastic than before. Students in Taiwan are changing. Don’t look down the negligible change, it can overturn the traditional mindset.

Thematic Courses—Learning Gets More Close To Students’ Experience

We went to the Laburnum Elementary School and shared the customs of Chinese New Year and Chinese Zodiac. Actually, they are in the thematic courses. They had been taught the Egypt culture, and the class on the day we visited is Chinese culture. They are going to learn the Indian culture after learning Chinese culture. Students will learn three different cultures at the same time and they can find some commons and differences. The design of the courses added Geography, History, Biology, Mathematics, Reading, etc. into the courses. We added Mathematics in our Chinese culture course. Students counted their birth year and searched for their own Chinese Zodiac. Students were very interested in our class, and totally engaged in the process. We think that learning in the thematic courses is more close to life. They will learn Geography, History, Biology, Mathematics, Reading, etc. due to they want to complete the mission. Students love challenges and they love to overcome challenges more and more. Therefore, they have more motivation to learn, only because they want to overcome challenges. In Taiwan, the design of the curriculum separate everything. First is Reading class, second is Mathematics, and third is Science, etc. It is hard to give rise to the motivation in the separate courses design. Students learn the knowledge without motivation in the separate courses design, though they learn fast, they forget it very fast too. I think it would cost us decades if we want to change the curriculum design in Taiwan.

 Art Is Life, Life Is Art.

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In Richmond we will see the local art, culture, history, which are integrated in people’s life, we can see the mural on the wall everywhere. This is the works that government and people cooperate together, according to the local characteristics, cultural to design their mural. The shopkeepers are pleased to let their wall be paint, and so the overall design is more complete and more harmonious. Standing before murals, thinking what Richmond is trying to convey their culture, how to implement the thinking of art in which people’s lives. Meanwhile, we also think about how do Taiwan show its own culture through art, what Taiwan’s culture? And how do we bring art into in life.

One thing we were surprised, is the first Friday of every month they will set the “First Friday Festival." In this day, there will be a lot of artist to display their individual artist’s creation in the shop in the whole street, and the store will be ready to make music and snacks for the passengers. A shop in which I saw a small block of paintings, full of children’s drawings. I got to know they are the shopkeeper’s two daughters’ masterpiece. When I asked the little girl (about five years) which are her works, she pointed excitedly at this and that. We see how they cultivate the art from really young age, let the children express their own way to see the world by using crayon. Instead of giving a lot of skill above amendments, but let the simple beauty shown in front of others. It also demonstrates the respect to the children’ art from parents, leaving passers-by seeing the beauty of this style. Some parents may feel that their children may not probably paint well, rather than displaying her daughter’s paintings. Children need to be praised, it is rarely mentioned in the Chinese culture, we ask each other not to be proud but modest. But we have to learn the facts that it is important to praise and encourage children and each other.

Standing In The Torrent of History 

On the Monument Avenue, stand a row of statues, which commemorates the Civil War and the defeated southern generals. During the Civil War, Richmond was the core place of Confederate, and most of the people there supported the slavery. The war was ended with the confederate defeated. Why did the posterity set up a monument to commemorate them even we are against the perspective of slavery now? Aren’t they defeated? Don’t we oppose the slavery right? This is what I think when I saw the monument statues. Later, after the locals explain to us, we finally understand why. They respect their history and know it is just the part of their blood. Even if they are defeated, even if they adhere to the belief that they now do not agree, but they respect their history and what’s the general’s efforts and exploits. When I looked at a bridge next to the James River, the written records which people said during the Civil War. There were some people, Lincoln, defeated party generals, who witness his partner run into the fire of the town saying this with the sadness and pain filling the heart. Because of this travel, we start to identify our own culture. When we saw other people so attached to their history, we think of: Do we respect our own history? How to influence people around us to let them attach importance to the history and identify who they are?

Better than better

In the lesson about multicultural classes in our trip, although most of the time we are willing to share with our Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) students the story of the self-identity. But at the same time, our own definitions are cleaner, more for our own cultural identity. We are shaped by the education a lot, more or less on our mind is: All the things in the West are better than us. So in this cultural tours, the first impression of America is everything “are" better than Taiwan. After the reflection, we see both goodness more of each other. We can learn a lot from America and lead our future direction, but in the Chinese culture, Taiwanese culture, we also have many treasures witch are waiting to be excavated. This is what we can be very proud of doing when we come back and share with the people around or our future students about it.

The Courage Make Ours Extraordinary

Met The Culture

When we stepped into a totally a different environment,  we often felt that is a difference between two cultures. It could be a small differences and it could be a big one. United States is a country definitely have a very different culture for us. When we entered the airport lobby, a big hug welcomed you to United States. Those tired, scared and uncertain feeling during the flight had disappeared after this hug. The next few days, we also got many warm hug and sincere eyes from people. We felt that although we are in a foreign land, feeling the warmth of every encounter. Although the friendly way is different with the people from Taiwan, it is still the familiar feeling.

Proceeds to teach primary school, we found that all children are the same from all over the world. They are so curious and serious about the new things. In the classroom, when each pair of bright eyes staring at me, the stomach pain were cured, English spoken became affluence, on stage without nervous to share the things about Taiwan, New Year, Chinese zodiac story. After class, students asked all about Taiwan curiously. What do we eat? Do the students well behaved in Taiwan? Are you and your partner is relatives? Their desire and curiosity about knowing the different cultures is very strong and pure.

The last night before we left, we went to a theater that only broadcast at seven o’clock on Saturday night. Before 6 pm they had a long queues outside. Only two dollar fare for the movie Cinderella broadcast today. It is a very old movie theater. Before movie started. the band stage ascend. That is a well-known harpsichord on the stage. A gentleman played the various sounds of the harpsichord, just like when we listen symphony. So mesmerizing. Before he played the last song, the musicians turned around and told about this theater’s story. Then he said he was going to play a song that every time before American baseball game start, it will be sing and play. The song is called"Take Me Out to the Ballgame".

(Start from 00:37)

When everyone sang" 1, 2, 3 " Daniel began to cry. We all feel touched by the atmosphere. the music stage slowly descend while finishing playing the music. And then the movie screen lights up slowly. Suddenly we were covered in the American collective consciousness. This is not about the movies. What does the movie play is not important, The most important is the theater wants to give everyone “the experience while watching the movie,"  but not like that each bird love to hear himself sing. We watched, we laughed  and clapping together. When the movie finished playing, people gradually dispersed. We stood in the ancient and magnificent dome, felt so amazing and unbelievable, and how the power of culture can be that strong and specific.

 Culture Barriers

In Richmond, the most impressive thing is that Chin-Chih had said “You can say no." Everything has their own room for negotiation. Your own considerations come first in everything. No one can require you, and you must have your own decision-making power. Also, remember to express clearly, or people do not understand what your needs. This is totally different from our culture background. We are accustomed to receiving ours elders’ requirements. The benefits of groups will always come first. We are not get used to say no, nor ask others for assistance. So when we started to communicate with the local people here, they think we are euphemism people and  we think they speak so directly. Both sides don’t know what to tune up. In order to survive in  Richmond, which is a new place for us, we began to try to speak the thoughts from our heart, try to say no, try to speak directly. Suddenly, everything becomes so much easier.

After A Beautiful Culture Crossing

Have you ever experienced the familiar scene in foreign place? Because we knew the excitement of the story behind, we deeply feeling appreciate, and more than moved by it. Remember that night we went to Mr. Hinterlong and Ms. Holton’s home. Last time when they came to Taiwan, we were theirs receptionist. Before we left, they said next time when we visit United States, please come and visit them and make hand-make pizza together. The first question before we enter their house is,  Do we need to take off the shoes or not? Mr. Hinterlong told us that it is Chinese’s culture to take off the shoes before enter somebody’s house. So we can just go inside with shoes on. Or you can choose to take it off. Those words made us felt that they understand our culture and explain it carefully for us and respect our choice. It the kitchen, we were greeting by a full table which all the ingredients were ready with a ingredients name card besides the plate. When I looked closer and asked, that was Mr. Hinterlong and Ms. Holton’s children, Daniel and Sarah’s handwriting in Chinese!

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It took their whole day to write them down. At that moment we would like to give Daniel and Sarah a big hug for thanks. It is very touched and moved when somebody respect your culture and care about you in foreign place. It is very caring and thoughtful! Thank you so much! Also we found out that I had grown accustomed to giving others a hug.

The Identification Make Ours Unique

English Name or Chinese Name?

In Taiwan we began to learn English since primary school. Everyone started had their English name, which was usually chose by a teacher or your own choice. However, the name is not much meaning, easy to use in English teaching. We used English name but we never think about the relevance  between English name and Chinese name. Years later, from Taiwan, we went to United States. Should we introduce ourselves in English name or the name on passport? Our VCU’s professor, Dr. Chen, comes from Taiwan. She called herself “Chin-Chih". Wherever  is she and whoever she met introduced she will introduce her name as “Chin-Chih". On the other hand we introduced that we were “Daniel, George, Jack, Yvonne and Rynn". When we saw the name tags that VCU prepared for us, which had our name written in Chinese and English alphabet, like 溫仁 and Wen-Jen. But there weren’t any English name on it. In that ten days, we had to introduce ourselves anytime. Sometimes if we have the name tag with us, we will introduce ourselves with Chinese name English alphabet, like Chih-Hsien but not George. And introduced ourselves in English name while we didn’t have the name tag with us. Then we began to ask ourselves what is my name? Who am I? Using English name made people remember you quickly in a short time, however, Chinese name was more difficult to pronounce for Americans, which couldn’t remember at once. But Chinese name was derived from our family. When we introduced our name, we got to know the Chinese name is beautiful and we understood why my parents gave us the name and the meaning behind. We knew whom we are, where we come from.

The Past of Taiwan with Our Self-Identification

Unlike Taiwan Politician, what they want is Taiwan independent from China or Taiwan is part of China, they feel deep about Taiwan, the country, but not for us. Instead, the Taiwan, the land makes us think about our self-identification. For example, America has a wide land, much bigger than Taiwan. Because of its huge land, instead start from understand everything in States, how about start understand from the land we grow.

Taiwan is a small, tiny place compare to nearest country. Like every country, politic always connect with Taiwan’s history and it made Taiwan unique. Like Daniel’s family background. Daniel was born in Hakka family. Hakka is his mother tongue. When he was born there was Martial Law or White Terror happening, and dialect couldn’t be spoken. You only can speak Mandarin, the language fitted by law way back time. Daniel was entered to high school when the government declared Martial Law ended. The Department of Education started implementing the dialect language contest. For benefit while apply university, Daniel’s high school teacher encourage Daniel to take part in Hakka language contest. Then, Daniel started practice his “mother tongue”. The incident happened that time had cut up the relationship between him and his mother tongue—Hakka. At the same time it also cut up Daniel’s self-identification on his culture. Political hegemony happened again and again in people from Taiwan.

Way back the era, it is really hard to find self-identification with Taiwan. At least for Daniel, he’s only been to America for ten days, it is really hard for him to feel am he is proud as people from Taiwan, or is he really a people from Taiwan. Jack and George just start realize their relationship with Taiwan the land. The kid used to be abandoned by country, now being found back again after a ten years. It is really hard for them to feel deep for the country. We all think that we need some time.

At The End of Diversity—Unique

In this journey, we were experiencing the concept of diverse learning. We are very diverse in living life, crisis management and so on. Everyone’s reactions are different. Because of diversity, we argued, but as a mature person, we need to solve the problem in the end. At the end, we passed all those obstacles and become extraordinary, by went through the ten weeks Project Support Diverse Learner, teaching in America elementary school, culture conflict, how to deal with the snake on the road, etc. On the other hand, we found out that each person in an individual person. We are irreplaceable. Without them become our partners, we won’t have this wordpress. As a future teacher, it is our responsibility and duty to support student from ordinary, through extraordinary, to unique.

Postscript

Do you remember the question Chin-Chih and Nicole always asks every time after the lesson is over? Let us answer it too!

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What you have learnt from America’s trip?

How would you apply them on your future teaching?

Wen-Jen(Compliment/ Praise)

DSC09864Compliment to other people is a way to show their courtesy in American Culture. In Taiwan, we do not usually to praise other people. Also, when we get compliment from other people, we will feel embarrassed. In America, no matter in the class or our performance in elementary school, the compliments to us which had given by homeroom teachers has become our positive reinforcement. In Taiwan, for parent, no news from school represents a good thing. The reason is that the school teacher only call parent for what the bad thing that children have done in school instead of their good performances. That it is why in future teaching, I would praise my student with letting their parent know how excellent their children are and please be proud of him. Not because he got perfect grades but something outstanding he has done. Even though it is a small step in society, it is a big step for the kids in his life.

Chih-Hsien(Respect: Just do what I want to do.)

I really enjoy the culture I saw in this ten-day trip in Richmond, because I can sit any where I want, and no one see you with strange eyes, so I don’t care how others think about me, I just be myself. The day we visited DC, I sit on the ground beside the Reflecting Pool, and stare at Lincoln Memorial. I love the moment I sit there, do nothing but stare at the scenery and take a rest. Perhaps, I need more courages to sit in the Taipei main train station, and just observation of distant people’s every move. I still have not enough courages to be the first one, instead all, some changed. I feel no longer surprised when I saw people sit in front of the a crowded place do he want to do, no longer feel weird. No more strange eyes to kill the courages of the guy who want to be himself just like me. Besides, I am going to treat every students who express in unique ways with the same eyes. I am ready.

Yi-Fang (Self-Determination

During the ten weeks Project Support Diverse Learner, we kept mentioning about the self-determination of student, teacher, and parent. When I have arrived Richmond, this concept kept pounding me from everywhere. In my growth background, we do not need to make choices by ourselves. Everything had been well planned by our parent. All we can do is following the path they chose. But this is totally different in Western parenting. Children are the master of themselves. They need to make choice and being responsible for the choice they made. Teacher and parent is supporter for them, not their decision maker. We can feel the difference when we taught in elementary school. The mission we gave student was drawing their Chinese Zodiac on red envelope. Most of the students finished them quickly. Unlike elementary student from Taiwan, they would write down the auspicious words which had prepared on learning sheet as supplementary information without teacher asking. Their learning passion has surprised me. I think this is the result of American Education to teach student they need to think of way to solve problem, which means they need to decide themselves and take the responsible, make them become a spontaneous, good attitude students. I hope I can think outside of the box of education in the future to let student learn how to make decision for themselves instead of me choose for them. They sail their own ship.

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I found out I was not understand the duty of social worker at the very beginning of Support Project Diverse Learner and I never thought from their perspectives about what they could do to help student for better learning. It made me think that who else can become my partner on student learning no matter what their background is. When I visited elementary school in Richmond, I could see they support each other, from principle of elementary school to a helper in school cafeteria. If teacher wants to improve themselves, the school has prepared resources rooms only for teacher. Teachers could find any teaching material or books to improve their teaching. Also teachers can exchange their experiences with other teachers in that room. They are partner to each other. During the IEP meeting, homeroom teacher, therapist, parents and people who involved in student learning will attend. Right now student do not have a chance to attend but teacher will make sure his part in the profile, such as the things he likes to do or hates to do. They are on the way of let student can attend IEP meeting in the future. Besides the support from school, the university in community will give teacher, student and parent support in student learning. They are holding a partnership. While we are teaching, we are learning too.

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He-Huai(Integration)

The subject, such as Mathematics and Science that we have learned in school had been separated since we were young. Only a few teacher or curriculum will do interdisciplinary learning. In America elementary school, student learns by different topic or cross disciplinary subject design to let student learn in comprehensive way. This is what I want to do in my future teaching. Not just a reminder, it is a self-demanding. It is a really difficult thing to do in Taiwan elementary school. Although they still have their own timetable through the whole year with separate subject learning, but it is more flexible in gifted-talented class. The curriculum needs to be design for student better learning, let student know the world, the knowledge, and the skills in different way. Besides, we could see how they connect the art, history, and school motto into their living life. In my future teaching, I would like to spend more time on design curriculum and classroom decoration to make student to be influenced by environment.

蛻變之旅——從差異到獨特


《大學》康誥曰:「如保赤子,心誠求之。」雖不中、不雖矣,未有學養子,而後嫁者也。在十周的"Project Support Diverse Learning"課程裡,我們心誠求之,我們用積極的態度去學習。經過一周一周的課程與討論,我們才發現對於"diverse"的定義有多麼的狹隘,眼界完全的被鎖在了台灣。對於大學四年來所接收的知識,我們只做到了接收,但從沒有認真地咀嚼與消化。因此我們不斷反思自己:「我真的認識我自己嗎?」「我自己是否有認同自己?」「我在我的人生當中做了什麼樣的自我決策?」身為一名老師,我們可以怎麼做,讓每個學生、每個孩子用自己的方式找到自己的寶藏? 在這個過程中,求知若飢,虛心若愚的態度是非常重要的。我們就帶著這樣的背景,來到美國Richmond,打開我們看世界、看自己的另一扇窗戶。

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我們的差異–多元的美麗

我的名字是?


從早期的姓名來看也可以看出中西方的差異。通常美國人的中間名,通常是父親或是親戚把自己或是祖父母的名字直接給孩子。在美國不認為兒子沿用父親的名字是犯忌,反之,某些人還十分樂意兒子沿用自己相同的名字。想較之下,華人取名通常含有對孩子的期望和期許,會用字的意思來期許孩子將來成為什麼樣的人。舉例像是「稚賢」,父母期許孩子擁有一顆孩子心,並且能成為聖賢。在以前還有宗法制度的時候,還會刻意避諱名字不能與父親以上的長輩有同字或是同音的字。

常山之蛇


過去十週在台灣的線上的課程中,國立台北教育大學(簡稱NTUE)的五名學生,和美國維吉尼亞聯邦大學 (簡稱VCU) 十名的學生一起在網頁社群的平台上,寫文章來表述自己的論點,並回答別人的論點,試著在其中找到Positive、Minus、Interesting(簡稱PMI)的地方。英文文獻的閱讀,陌生的語言文字,確實耗費了很多的時間和精力。經過大量的閱讀,逐漸地抓住了這些文章以及美國同學的文章的架構。在文章的一開頭,都會直接先說明我的Topic是什麼,後面再來順他自己的邏輯,告訴我們他為什麼是這樣想。 印象最深的是我們去Globe Educational Office的時候,有一個國際學生很熱情地來幫助我們熟悉當地的環境文化,我們坐在桌子前面,繞了一圈大家自我介紹後並說明自己對這一趟學習旅程的意義。其中一名女生介紹完自己的名字之後,就開宗明義地說"My Topic is…",當英文能力不強時,後面有些東西聽不太懂,只要抓住了她的第一句,就可以知道她的邏輯是什麼了。於是我們抓住了訣竅,閱讀起這些英文的文章時就輕鬆許多。我們嘗試著模仿開宗明義的寫作方式,讓VCU的同學能夠看我們的文章看得更順。 華人的思考邏輯和文章就有很大的不同。我們的文章架構,「起」、「承」、「轉」、「合」,我們的結論通常會放在最後一部分「合」,如果外國人來讀我們的文章,讀到最後一段才會讀到文章的論點。中國有句俗話說:「一篇好的文章猶如常山之蛇。擊首則尾應,擊尾則首應,擊腹首尾俱應。」如果你抓了蛇的頭,牠的尾巴就會轉過來掃你 ; 如果你抓了蛇的尾巴,牠的頭就會馬上轉過來咬你。你不管從哪個部分切入文章,各個段落之間互相緊扣。閱讀華人的文章,需要運用想像力。好的文章能讓讀者像是賞中國畫一樣,將自身投入畫中,游畫想像、悠遊其間、回味無窮。 20100116114541894_3675

祝允明的書法——蛇

 舉手搶答佔先機


Laburnum 小學 這二年級的四個班級裡面的孩子,在我們問問題的時候,我們常常見到一個在台灣見不到的情形。我們問學生:「有沒有人知道,台灣的人都怎麼過新年的?」馬上有六七個學生舉手,非常踴躍,但這其實在台灣有一些低年級還比較活潑的時候也可以見到。隨便點了一個學生先回答,他邊抓頭邊回答我們"Well……this is difficult for me."。儘管他不會,他也會先舉手,舉了手再來想答案。雖然他不會,但是他卻佔得先機,他舉手的舉動讓老師聽見他聲音的機會,讓別人聽聽他的想法的機會。 台灣的學生會先想一想,儘管心裡有答案,卻不願意舉手。台灣的孩子被訓練要有標準答案才會舉手,也反應了台灣教育,家長過於的高度期望,導致孩子不敢「犯錯」,相對的也不敢舉手。相較於美國的孩子,沒有舉手的學生,就等於自己放棄了機會。在美國如果不表達自己的意見,就不會有人知道你的想法。錦織學姊說:「要在美國生存,一定要讓勇敢表達自己的想法,不然永遠不會有人注意到你。」 近幾年在台灣實習的經驗,在運用增強制度班級裡,學生會很踴躍的舉手發言,非常喜愛搶答,很多時候也會先舉手再想答案。學生雖然會為了分數,同時他們也很享受發言與分享的過程。台灣的學生也正在歷經一個改變,不要小看這一個微小的舉動,這個小小的改變,可以持續的發燒醞釀,可以顛覆傳統。

課程主題式,學習更貼近生活


我們這一趟去了Laburnum 小學 二年級的四個班級,和他們分享中華文化中的「新年習俗」以及「生肖、文字」。其實對孩子而言,他們正在參與的是一個主題包裝的課程。前一週已經上過古埃及的文字文化,這一週輪到來自台灣的我們來分享中華文化,接下來他們要上的是美國印第安的文化。為期約一個月個主題,讓學生學習三種文化,在課程設計的過程中,要求加入其他學科,我們教的是十二生肖,我們可以連結數學,讓學生計算一下自己出生的生肖是什麼動物,學生非常的有興趣。不僅如此還融合了地理、地理、自然與閱讀,結合學習經驗與生活。我們觀察到孩子在這樣的一個主題式的課程設計架構下,為了完成任務(包含數學、地理、自然和閱讀的技能)是很自然的。因為學生想要參與課程,而需要用到的知識,而產生想要去學習的動機。 在台灣的小學課表,第一節是國語,第二節是數學,第三節是自然……。舉一個很常見的例子,很多孩子數學不好,問題其實出在看不懂應用題的題目,不了解題意,但計算能力是沒有問題的。數學老師想要提升學生數學能力的時侯,同時必須先提升他的閱讀能力,教師在數學課加強學生閱讀理解能力,帶著學生讀題找到關鍵字,再來逐步解題。我們把科目分開來教學,希望學生可以在各個領域學得更深更多,但學生若缺乏想學的動機,給再多的東西,如果生活用不到,就算學會了,很快就會忘記了。

藝術即是生活,生活即是藝術

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在Richmond我們看到當地的人將藝術、文化、歷史融入在生活當中,處處在牆壁上都可以看到壁畫。這是政府、人民一起合作,根據當地的特色、文化設計之後的作品。店家跟住戶更是欣然的讓自己的牆被拿來作畫,而讓整體設計更完整且和諧。站在壁畫之前,想著Richmond想傳達的文化是什麼,想著藝術如何落實在人民的生活當中。同時,也在思考台灣的藝術要如何展現出自己的文化。台灣的文化是什麼?而我們又該如何將藝術融入在生活當中?



有一點讓我們很驚奇,就是他們會將每個月的第一個禮拜五訂為「First Friday節慶」。當天會有一整條街的店家,將會在店內擺設各個畫家的創作。同時化為藝廊的店家也會準備音樂及小點心,讓來的人身心靈都能夠得以飽足。在其中一間藝廊看到了有小一區塊的畫作,全是孩子們的畫作。尋問探究之下,才知道是他們兩個女兒的創作。當問小女兒(大約五歲)她的作品是哪一個,她興奮地指著這個指著她的作品。從中看到他們對於藝術的培養真的是從小開始,讓孩子展現自己看這個世界的方式,用蠟筆表現出孩子的藝術之美。不是給予很多技巧上面的修正,而是讓這個年紀純樸的美,展現在別人面前。此刻也展現了父母對於孩子藝術的尊重,更讓每個經過的人能夠看到此風格的美。有些家長多半會覺得自己孩子畫得不好,而不是像這位媽媽將女兒的畫展示出來。在華人文化是被要求不要驕傲要更加謙虛,其實孩子需要被稱讚,我們也要學習適時的讚美鼓勵彼此。

當我們站在歷史的洪流中



在Richmond一整條街上,有著一排的紀念雕像,它紀念的是南北戰爭時南方的戰敗將領。南北戰爭時,Richmond是南方邦聯的核心地方,也是支持蓄黑奴的一方。而戰爭結束了,南方大敗,甚至人權的思潮更是抨擊了南方的邦聯。但,為何要立他們的紀念碑?他們不是戰敗了嗎?他們堅持蓄黑奴不是現在人人抨擊的嗎?這是我看到紀念碑時候的直覺反應。後來經過當地人的解釋後,才能夠明白,他們尊重他們的歷史,知道這是他們的血液裡一部分。即便是戰敗,他們堅持的信念是他們現在所不認同的,但他們尊重他們的歷史,他們尊敬這些將領的努力及戰功。 當站在James River旁看著一座橋上,一排又一排的文字記錄著當時南北戰爭時期人所說的話時。上面的文字,一部分是林肯所說的,一部分是當時戰敗方將領、人民的看著火燒的城鎮,心裡的難過跟痛。這趟旅遊燃起我們對於自己文化的認同,看著別人如此的重視他們的歷史,那我們對於我們自己的歷史態度呢?那又如何去影響身旁的人對於歷史的重視呢?

 好,還要更好


在美國上了一堂多元文化的課,雖然大部分時間都是台灣學生跟VCU的學生分享我們對於自我認同的故事。在分享的同時,我們又對於自己的定義又更加清晰,對於自己的文化更加認同。從小到大教育的影響,或多或少存在於內心的是:「西方的東西都比較好」。在這趟文化之旅時,往往第一印象就是美國什麼「都」比台灣好。經過反思之後,我們看到的更多是彼此的好。美國好的地方是我們未來可以努力學習的方向,而中華文化、台灣文化卻也是充滿著許多寶藏等著我們去挖掘。這也是從美國回來之後,可以很驕傲的跟身旁的人或是以後的學生分享的事情。

我們的卓越–跨越的勇氣

文化的相遇


當踏進一個完全不同的環境,很常感受到的就是兩個文化的差異。這些文化所造就的不同,可能很小、可能很大,而美國絕對是文化差異非常大的地區。一進入大廳,迎面而來的是一個大大的擁抱,熱情歡迎你來到美國,那些疲累、害怕與不確定,似乎在這個擁抱後,全都消失無蹤……。接下來的幾天,都在一個一個熱情的擁抱與誠摯的眼神中被照顧著。人在異鄉,能感受到每一位遇到的溫暖。雖與台灣人的友善相差甚遠,卻是那麼的熟悉的感覺。 進到小學教課,才發現全世界所有的孩子都是一樣的。對於新鮮的事物,特別的好奇與認真,教室裡每雙明亮的眼睛注視著我。原本緊張引起胃痛的我們,精神全都來了,講英文也不卡了,滔滔不絕地在台上分享著台灣、新年、生肖故事。下課後,學生好奇地問著台灣的種種,我們吃什麼?那邊的學生乖嗎?你們是親戚嗎?如同一百萬個為什麼般,那是一種渴望知道不同文化的求知慾,很強烈、很純真。 離開前的最後一夜,我們去鎮上的一間只固定開禮拜六晚上七點的二輪片。不到六點外面已經大排長龍,門口寫著今日播映「仙度瑞拉」,票價兩美金。這是間非常古老的電影院,開場前專屬樂隊的舞台升起,台上正是那赫赫有名的大鍵琴,一位紳士正彈奏著,大鍵琴的各種聲音變化,彷彿我們就在聽交響樂般,如癡如醉,在演奏最後一首歌前,樂手轉過身來說著大鍵琴與電影院的故事,接著說他要演奏一首美國看棒球前一定會唱的歌曲「Take Me Out to the Ballgame」。

(Start from 00:37)

當大家一和合唱「123」,溫仁開始哭了,音樂隨著舞台慢慢下降結束,電影螢幕緩緩亮起。頓時我們被美國的集體意識包覆住,此刻不是來看電影的,電影演什麼一切都不重要。重要的是這間二輪電影院要給大家「一起看電影的經驗」,不是自己孤芳自賞,而是我們一起看、一起笑、一起鼓掌。結束後,人們逐漸散去,我們站在那古老又華麗的穹頂下,久久不能自己。文化的力量怎麼可以能那強大及具體?

文化的障礙


在Richmond印象最深刻的就是錦織學姊一直說的”You can say no.”任何事情都有商量的餘地,所有事情都以你本身的考量為優先,沒有人可以要求你,你必須要有自己的決策權。並且,切記要直接了當地表明,別人才懂你的需求。這與我們的成長背景是截然不同的,我們習慣接受長輩的要求,以群體的利益為優先,不太會拒絕他人的請求,更不會去要求他人協助。使得我們一開始在與當地人溝通時,他們覺得我們好委婉,我們覺得他們好直接,兩邊都不知該怎麼調整了。為了好好在這人生地不熟的Richmond生存下去,我們開始試著說出自己內心的想法,試著"say No",試著直接了當的說話。突然,一切變得輕鬆許多。

跨越後的美好


你有經歷過那種在異鄉突然看到熟悉景物的感動嗎?我們深刻體會了,不只是看到的感動,還有是知道背後的歷程的激動。這天我們來到社科院長夫婦的家,自從他們上次來台灣由我們接待後,就約定著下次要到他們家做手工披薩。 一進門遇到的第一個問題就是,進別人家要不要脫鞋子?院長跟我們說那是中國的文化,我們都不用脫直接穿進門就好,不過你也可以脫掉。這讓我感受到的是他們瞭解我們的文化,認真地解釋給我們聽,並尊重我們的選擇。到了廚房,映入眼簾的是滿桌已經準備好,並製作了桌牌寫上名稱,當我們走近一看,上面是Daniel和Sarah精心寫上的中文翻譯!

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這樣尊重你的文化,並且為你著想的舉動,很貼心、很感動。當下內心很想給Daniel和Sarah一個大大的擁抱。回過神來才發現,我們也已經習慣用擁抱來與他人相處了。 兩個文化所產生的撞擊效應正在我們體內發酵,如同酒一樣,越沉越香。

我們的獨特 – 從認同開始

English Name or Chinese Name?



在台灣從小學階段開始學習英文,每一個人都被取英文名字,然而這英文名字通常都是老師或是自己取的,並沒有太多的意義,方便在英語教學上的使用。從小的英文名字也伴隨著我們長大,很少去思考英文名字和中文名字的相關性。這回來自台灣的我們到了美國,到底要用英文名字還是護照上的中文英譯呢?來自臺灣的VCU指導教授她叫”Chin-Chih”,不論到哪她都介紹她的名字是”Chin-Chih”,反觀我們都介紹我們是”Daniel, George, Jack, Yvonne, Rynn”。看到VCU替幫我們準備的名牌時,上面也只有寫著中文名字和英文拼音,並沒有英文名字。十天以來無時無刻都在自我介紹,有時拿著名牌介紹自己時用著是中文名字英文拼音,沒名牌時介紹自己就用英文名字。這過程當中,開始會問自己「我叫什麼名字?」、「我到底是誰?」。用英文名字確實讓人在短時間內很好記住你,中文姓名的發音對於美國人是很困難甚至無法立刻記住,但中文名字才是源自於家族和源生家庭給予。十天的旅程,不斷在介紹自己名字的過程中,慢慢了解中文名字的美,更清楚父母給予我們名字背後的意義,知道我們究竟是誰,來自哪裡。

台灣本土歷史對自身的自我認同


這一趟出去發現我們對「國家」一詞的概念認同並沒有那麼強烈,不像台灣政治人物要台灣獨立或是認為台灣是大陸的一部份。反而是「土地」的概念迫使我們去思考著自我認同。舉例而言,對美國人來說,美國的土地太大,與其要了解美國的一切,倒不如了解自己生長的地方。 回應到我們身上,台灣比起來是一個很小的地方。台灣之所以獨特是來自於政治牽聯著本土歷史,大部分的國家的歷史也都關連著政治因素。 以溫仁為例,溫仁是的原生家庭是客家人,家裡說著客家話,他出生那年並沒有解嚴還有著所謂的白色恐怖,相對的「方言」也不能說,在家慢慢的不說客家話,因為當時政府規定只能說國民政府的「國語」。直到解嚴,溫仁唸到了高中,教育部開始推行本土語文競賽。老師知道溫仁是客家人,希望他去參加比賽對升大學有利,溫仁才開始「練習」他的母語。台灣的歷史在溫仁出生的年代,分割了他與「客家話」的關係,像對了也分割了溫仁對自我文化上的認同。政治的霸權,反反覆覆的台灣本土人民的中心。當時的年代,要找到台灣歷史對本身的自我認同是一件很困難的事,至少對溫仁而言。出去一趟後,再回應自己,目前暫時很難精準的抓緊台灣本土歷史對自身的自我認同。其他同學們也正在察覺自己與台灣這塊土地的關係。 曾經被遺棄的孩子,再十幾年後又被找回來,要立刻有深刻的關係,那是很難的,我們認為需要一點時間。

差異的最後


從這段旅程裡,其實我們正在深深體驗Diverse Learning的歷程,因為我們五個的差異性非常大。無論是生活、危機處理、處於陌生環境之時等,大家的反應都不同。我們因此而吵架,不過吵完架之後把事情解決,才是成熟的做法。不過,我們大家都很卓越。我們從腦力激盪的十周課程,經美國一個又一個關卡,小學的試教、文化的衝突、遇見蛇的處理方式,我們都過關了。過程中,我們發現,彼此都是獨一無二,不可替代的夥伴。沒有對方,我們不會坐在這裡。同樣的,身為未來老師,讓學生從平凡,經過磨練成為卓越,到最後學生成為最獨特的那一個,是我們的責任,也是我們的義務。

後記


還記得錦織學姐和Nicole每一次課程結束最常問的問題嗎?在這裡我們也不忘回答吧!

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請問你會從美國之旅帶走什麽?怎麼運用在你未來的教學上?

溫仁(讚美\稱讚)

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美國文化對於別人的稱讚是一種禮貌,在台灣的文化比較不習慣去稱讚對方。相對的如果被別人稱讚也會感到不好意思。在美國不論在課堂或是到小學的表現,都被當地的老師讚美我們台灣學生的好,當下也被稱讚給予了正增強。在台灣對家長而言「沒有消息,就好消息」,只要老師打電話給家長多半都不會是好事情。經過美國文化的禮貌文化,我想未來在教學上,我一定會稱讚我的學生,而且要告訴學生的家長,你的孩子有麼優秀,可以他為榮。絕對不是考好成績,而是他做了卓越的事情,即便在大家眼中微不足道,但在他生命中是重要的。

稚賢(Respect: Just do what I want to do.)

我們五個人在美國Richmond的十天,我很享受並沈浸在我所見到的文化裡,因為我可以坐在我想要做的地方,沒有人會用異樣的眼光看你,我便不會在意別人怎麼看我,真正的做我自己。在DC的那天,我坐在Reflecting Pool旁邊,看著Lincoln Memorial,我很喜歡坐在那裏,就這樣看著宏偉的建築,然後放空,休息。或許我回到台灣,我還是沒有勇氣一個人坐在台北火車站大廳,抬頭靜靜地觀察遠處人的舉動,這的確需要很大的勇氣對我來說。但我能夠做的是,不再感到訝異,不再感到意外,不再去盯著和我一樣想坐在這裡的人,不再讓我有多餘的眼神,殺死這些想要做自己的人。我也會學習用一樣的態度,去看待一個用不同方式表現自己所學,想要做自己的學生。

翌芳(自我決策)



在十周的課程中,我們一直反覆提到學生的自我決策,老師的自我決策,家長的自我決策,而在我到達Richmond後,這些東西,更是無所不在的衝擊著我。在我的成長背景中,許多的事情是不需要我們自己做選擇的,早就有人幫我們規劃好,我們只需要乖乖地做就對了。但是在西方的教育中不是如此的,他們希望孩子自己去做選擇,並且為自己的選擇負責任,老師、家長都只是輔助的角色。而這在我們到小學教書時,也從中感覺得很明顯的差異。一開始我們給予學生的任務是創作你生肖的字,並畫在紅包上,許多孩子很快就完成了,但不同於台灣的學生的部分,就在於他們完成後並不是坐在位置上發呆,而是在任務單上發現了我補充的中文吉祥話,便自動自發地開始自己抄寫上紅包袋。在這我看到學生主動學習的態度,很是讓我驚訝,我想這就是他們一直以來都教育著學生要為自己找方法、自己決定以及自己負責,養成了學生自動自發的好態度。我希望我的教育也能跳脫原本的傳統思維,不幫學生鋪好路,而是教學生如何鋪路,自己決定自己的未來。

穎盈(夥伴關係)

從一開始上Project Diverse Learner, 發現自己對於社工這一塊的了解最少,也從未從他們的角度去思考他們可以給予學生什麼樣的服務與資源。這幫助我在思考除了自己,是否還有其它的夥伴,不管其背景,一起來教學相長。來到美國的小學, 看見由上而下, 由下而上互相支持。他們有教師資源室。
如果需要在教學上精進, 可以來到這間教室尋找資源, 也可以跟其他老師在那裡商量。 大家(指普通班老師和特教班老師)都是彼此的夥伴。 不一樣的是, 他們的資優學生是去其它學校上課而不是在社區的學校。 IEP的時候, 老師、治療師、家長都會出席。雖然學生還沒有機會出席IEP,老師會想辦法將他的喜歡和討厭的事情等寫到IEP裡,未來朝讓學生參與IEP的方向前進。 除了學校給予的支持,社區資源如大學、 圖書館等也成為老師們的夥伴,大家一起教學相長。

SONY DSC

鶴懷(融合)



從小接受的教育就是各科切得乾乾淨淨的,只有少數的老師、少數的課程會跨領域結合。在美國的小學,他們是分各種主題,跨科目的設計,讓學生有更全面的學習。這是我未來想在教學上實踐出來的,不僅是給未來的自己一個提醒,更是一個期許。雖然現行的小學還是依然按表抄課,也是比較難推動的,但是在資優班裡卻有更多的彈性空間。為了學生更好的學習,課程是要設計過的,讓學生以各種方式去認識這個世界、學習到新知識、學到各種技能。另外,這趟美國之旅也看到他們如何把藝術、歷史、甚至是校訓融入在生活當中。對於未來我在規劃課程及活動、教室布置上面,要花更多時間跟精力去設計,讓學生在教室、課程的過程當中,耳濡目染的學習各種技能。