Launching the Reflection on Life and Caring from On-the-Spot Education

Topic: Launching the Reflection on Life and Caring from On-the-Spot Education

Time: 2010/11/12

Location: Xiaogang High School, Kaohsiung

Guidance: Aries Gu

Participants: Life Education Teachers of the Life Education Resource Center from the South District

Reporter: Huang Shih Ting

The Life Education Resource Center of the Ministry of Education and the Life Education Center of the School of Life and Living at Dharma Drum University joined efforts in organizing three sessions of advanced life education program “Philosopher’s Cafe” for the high school life education seed teachers in the north, south and central districts. Continuing the hearty discussions and sharing of opinions of teachers from the north and central districts, the teachers from the south also engaged in a splendid dialogue under the host, Professor Gu at the School of Life and Living of Dharma Drum University. This was held at Xiaogang High School, Kaohsiung, in the afternoon of November 12.

Before the dialogue, Professor Gu first explained the cause and operation of Philosopher’s Cafe to let everyone have an initial understanding. In the same spirit, the Professor guided everyone to build a safe, comfortable, and free atmosphere and space for every participant to share their experiences of the issues they care for and wish to discuss. Participants were supposed to apply an accepting and tolerating attitude, through rational philosophical thinking and dialogue, learn to listen to other people’s story and experience, and engage in dialogue with other participants.

The teachers participating in the discussion reflected on the current situation of teaching life education: “Why do I engage in life education?” this most focused and unique course in the present educational system.  The discussion was followed by the main theme “The situation and difficulties encountered on-the-spot of teaching life education”.

In the discussion, the teachers talked about their observation and concern in the classroom, other than the transmission of knowledge, the teachers discovered the students’ difficulties in life and studies. For example, many night program students of vocational high schools had more difficult life conditions than ordinary students. In order to earn a living and pay for their tuition, some students even took several jobs fully utilizing the time outside classes, and they were unable to take care of themselves. Therefore, the teachers pondered on how to discuss with them about initiating their life education. After all, it takes time and patience to engage the class. Through establishing a trust relationship, gaining familiarity with each other, people will gradually put down the mind of defense, and only then could the exchange of life gradually come to flow.  

The second topic of focus was the teachers thought about “What should the life education teacher be like to meet the student’s expectations?” It appeared that the common understanding and experience was the kind of teacher who could provide positive energy to the children. The reason is because life education is an education based on human relationship, and it is also a course where the teacher and student can learn from each other. In order to transform the curricular knowledge of life education into nutrients of life for the students, the teachers, after reviewing their own life experience, adopted the caring method to transmit the education of life to the students through interaction and exchange. Everyone shared on how to understand young people by using their daily life language to interact with them through various approaches. Examples given in the sharing included reading the students’ Internet blogs and participating in Facebook discussions to know their life situations and current conditions. Also consider how to design the course for the classroom that corresponds with the student’s life, such as setting up the communication review to improve the Internet culture, and establishing the modes of self-protection, etc.

In addition, the connection between the curriculum of life education and on the spot of education was the issue that the teachers would certainly encounter in actual teaching. Therefore, how to actualize the life issues through the guidance of course curriculums appeared to meet with the mode of actually caring for the students.

Although there may be many torment and suffering in the students life, but that could not prevent them from yearning for joy and happiness. As a teacher of life education, one needs to observe and respond to the students’ needs at the moment, letting them know someone is willing to understand, listen and care for them.  Through exchanging with each other their life stories of and other people’s examples, explore a new perspective to re-interpret life and to lead them to discover their own powers from their current problems.

Through the communication activities of this event, the teachers have reexamined the doubts and difficulties that occurred on the spot of teaching life education, and they also deeply affirmed that the students were the main part of education. After three hours of discussion, everyone encouraged and reminded one another about the different aspects of thinking in guiding the students through the course of education and exploring more possibilities for the children in finding their own bright spot in life. To developing the reflection and care for one’s life through on-the-spot education was the common focus that has arisen among different sub-topics discussed by the participating teachers in this workshop.