Two Taiwan elementary schools achieve synergy via collaborative learning

Through school campus visits and online reading, urban and indigenous students learned and grew together

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(K -12 Education Administration, Ministry of Education photo)

(K -12 Education Administration, Ministry of Education photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Donghe Elementary School (東河國小) in Nanzhuang Township, Miaoli County, preserves much of the area’s indigenous Saisiyat (賽夏族) and Atayal (泰雅族) culture – it is also a frequent winner at national baseball competitions.

The school has formed a distinctive collaborative learning curriculum based on the Saisiyat tribe’s pasta'ay festival (矮靈祭), as well as tribal environmentalism. The curriculum took 22 intermediate and higher grade students from Yuanlin Elementary School (員林國小) in Changhua County into the mountains and forests to experience indigenous culture.

Yuanlin and Donghe became partner schools thanks to the Urban-Rural Collaborative Learning Program. Through mutual visits and online reading, urban and indigenous students learned and grew together.

In mid-January, Donghe arranged some courses for their student guests to experience, including a hip bell dance, ballad singing, and traditional handicrafts such as bow and arrow production. Donghe’s principal Kao Chin-chu (高清菊) led the team on a field trip, teaching urban students about traditional indigenous culture.

Returning home from Nanzhuang with loads of memories, the Yuanlin school children vowed their Donghe counterparts would have an equally wonderful visit to the city. As such they planned a “reciprocal visit journey” in May with their teachers.

Their aim was to prepare a variety of unique courses that would enable the Donghe school children to experience metropolitan life. They arranged for their guests to visit attractions in Changhua such as Baiguo Mountain Explore Paradise, SunnyHills, and Wang Gong natural park, so they would return home with lots of knowledge and sweet memories.

(K -12 Education Administration, Ministry of Education video)

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(K -12 Education Administration, Ministry of Education photos)