Taiwan post-doctoral fellows, professors coming April 26

national-sun-yat-senFourteen years after David Walker joined the NIU College of Education, the associate dean is about to see something new here.

Three post-doctoral fellows from National Sun Yat-sen University are expected to arrive this fall at NIU, bringing their research protocol and data with them as well as financial support from the National Ministry of Science and Technology.

Walker and Tom Smith, professor in the Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment, will serve as their mentors.

Hsin-Hui Wang, Hsiang-Ting Chen and Kuay-Keng Yang will make their DeKalb debut this month, however, when they and two of their professors visit campus Tuesday, April 26.

On the day’s busy agenda are meetings with administrators and faculty as well several all-college events, including a noon lunch reception, a 1 p.m. panel discussion, 1:30 p.m. research presentations by the post-docs and 4:30 p.m. presentations by their professors, Huann-Shyang Lin and Zuway-R Hong.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend the open events, all of which take place in the Learning Center of Gabel Hall.

NIU’s David Walker with (left) Miaoli County Magistrate Xu Yao-Chang and (right) Director of Education Wang Chengxia.
NIU’s David Walker with (left) Miaoli County Magistrate Xu Yao-Chang and (right) Director of Education Wang Chengxia.

For Walker, who recently returned from his second visit to Taiwan since the fall, the global initiatives reinforce the college’s priorities of Innovative Practice and Research Advancement.

And, he adds, hosting and mentoring post-doctoral fellows is something Carnegie Foundation-classified Research Universities should do. Walker should know: He’s a former post-doc who can attest to its career-boosting power.

“Post-docs learn how to be faculty members,” he says. “They’ll study under us. They’ll teach and advise. We’ll go to conferences with them. They’ll do a lot of research and – gold star here – maybe get published in U.S. journals.”

It was during last November’s trip to Taiwan that the post-doc opportunity first appeared, and turned from possibility to reality, under the leadership and facilitation of ETRA Chair Wei-Chen Hung.

Hung is eager to welcome the trio of post-docs this fall. “When they come here, they’ll not only continue to build their research agenda; they will expand their research scope by including more U.S. education systems and U.S. data,” Hung says. “They also will need to look for potential research opportunities.”

During their time in DeKalb, the women will enjoy opportunities to teach, collaborate with U.S. faculty and conduct research.

Wei-Chen Hung and Tom Smith
Wei-Chen Hung and Tom Smith

For NIU and its students, Walker says, the post-docs will offer additional benefits. The college values a diverse learning community of people, ideas and points of view; it also emphasizes curriculum and programs that provide hands-on, real-world experiences.

“It internationalizes the college experience for our faculty and students,” he says, “and could maybe lead to faculty- and student-exchanges.”

National Sun Yat-sen University is home to nearly 9,600 students, more than half of whom are graduate students. According to Academic Ranking of World Universities, NSYSU holds a three-way tie for seventh among the 41 institutions of higher education in China and Taiwan.

Presentation topics for the 1:30 p.m. event:

  • Hsiang-Ting Chen: “Effects of female role models-driven inquiry on students’ images of scientists and scientific career awareness.”
  • Hsin-Hui Wang: “The impact of an environment-driven socioscientific issue intervention on undergraduate students’ environmental consciousness.”
  • Kuay-Keng Yang: “Investigation of effective strategies for developing creative science thinking”

During the 4:30 p.m. event, Lin will discuss “How can student interest in learning science can be triggered and promoted?” while Hong will talk on “Affective aspects of science education in East Asia.”

Click on the photo for a larger view.
Five members of the NIU College of Education family visited Taiwan in March to attend the International Education Forum, which also included NIU’s partners from the Miaoli County Government Education Department and the Beijing Royal School. The event featured workshops and a global exchange of ideas on teaching, learning and pedagogy. The visit also provided opportunities to confirm details for this summer’s Educate Global program, to explore curricular initiatives and to visit several rural, urban and suburban schools in Taiwan.
On the trip were Associate Dean David Walker; Anne Gregory, chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction; Wei-Chen Hung, chair of the Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment; and Curriculum and Instruction faculty members Jodi Lampi and Michael Manderino.
Walker delivered an address on international trends in education. Walker and Hung spoke on “The NIU Experience of Promoting an International Dimension in Education.” Gregory, Lampi and Manderino presented on “1). Thinking and Learning Theory; 2). Learning Theory and English Language Learners; 3). Models for Supporting Reading, Writing, and Communication; 4). Integrated Reading and Writing; and 5). Implementing Reading, Writing, and Speaking Activities.”
Click on the photo for a larger view.
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