2016 International Conference on the Education of Disadvantaged Students:
On October 14, 2016 International Conference on the Education of Disadvantaged Students: Reflections and Prospects, organized by National Center for Educational Research and Assessment, National Taiwan Normal University, was held at NTNU.
Education reforms are aimed at schools and hope that teachers and schools could be more effective. Outsiders often questioned why school education cannot effectively assist the disadvantaged students? Should we find a new way that can better educate students? Distinguished guest of 2016 International Conference on the Education of Disadvantaged Students, Douglas Downey, who is a professor and American educational sociologist of Ohio State University pointed out that we may be wrong.
Take the United States, for example, most of the learning gap comes from off-campus rather than on-campus. Professor Downey's study found that many schools were defined by the US government as failing, but those school have been very successful in preventing the expansion of learning gap. Without these schools, disadvantaged students would have been even worse.
The Education Department and the local government have taken considerable efforts on educational support of the underprivileged. Ms. Hsu Li Cuan, Deputy Director of the Department of Education, pointed out that the Government has handled a considerable number of policies and a large amount of funds for the assistance of the disadvantaged. Also thanks to a considerable number of social resources. The mayors of Taitung, Pingtung and Nantou think that the environment and teachers are the key, and poor environment cannot attract great teachers with enthusiasm.
Heiki Solga, a professor at the Free University of Berlin, is particularly concerned about the unemployment rate among young people aged 18-24 in Taiwan. Compared with adults (25-54), Taiwanese youths are five times more likely to be unemployed than adults and twice as many others. The unemployment rate for young Taiwanese people is high, compared to other countries. Professor Solga also pointed out that young people in Germany have low unemployment rates, thanks to the apprenticeship system. Heiki Solga's presentation provided the participants with a more comprehensive understanding of the merits and problems of technical and vocational education in Germany.