Inheritance of Aboriginal Culture: Elementary School Establishment of Smangus Village in Taiwan

Conference: The Kyoto Conference on Arts, Media & Culture (KAMC2022)
Title: Inheritance of Aboriginal Culture: Elementary School Establishment of Smangus Village in Taiwan
Stream: Education / Pedagogy
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Chia-Huey Wang, University of Taipei, Taiwan
Tian-Ming Sheu, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan
Ya-Wen Shang, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan


Due to the effects of economic decline and the resulting external migration, the number of children in the remote aboriginal village of Smangus declined such that the village was unable to maintain a local elementary school. Children leaving home to live in the school miles away not only suffer from the pain of being separated from families, but also makes it difficult for them to gain an understanding of and sense of connection with the culture of their native village. To prevent the ongoing decline of local culture, the village adopted a co-operating-systems, social-enterprise approach to establish an elementary school that was not encumbered by red tape. This kept students in the village and making it possible to implement a curriculum in line with the needs local revitalization. In this study we interviewed four residents of Smangus and the four teachers at the village school, focusing on their views and expectations of children's education issues as well as explored how they met their expectations through the Co-operating System. We found that the co-operating systems approach was effective in building consensus concerning the educational goals, and in mobilizing the village’s limited resources to establish and operate an independent school emphasizing aboriginal culture: The school building fits in well with the village culture, and that the village elders have provided valuable assistance in conducting classes on aboriginal culture and language. In light of these findings, we provide suggestions for transmitting aboriginal culture and for improving the village’s educational program.

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