CyberFair Project ID: 4507

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Angels Facing Evil Spirits
Category: 1. Local Leaders

School: Elementary School
    taitung, taiwan, taiwan

10 students, ages 11-12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 15, 2006. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2005

Classes and Teachers: Mr. Guang-hui Chiou

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Lanyu is a pearl on the Pacific Ocean. The Yami people that live on the island still follow tradition and culture, they plant taro in the fields with wooden or metal rods plow sweet-potato fields with their hands. They also catch flying-fishes under the summer moon and peddle boats to fish for dolphin fish. The tribe’s cultural characteristics is not only shown in the men’s T-bandages and the women’s hair-dance, but also in their respect for nature when they only take what’s needed but not what’s desired. They are just as adorable as the other Taiwanese Aborigines, and their lifestyle was passed down from the ancestors through stories and legends, though with a social changes the village and community is facing a verdict: everything still seems like the way it was, but change is about to occur!

2. Summary of Our Project

Different groups shown different ways of expression when faced with the subject of “Death”. In Han culture, when an elderly person passes the family face it with content as they feel that the elder can finally enjoy the deserved after-life. In Taiwan the majority of aborigines will, when faced with a relative that died from natural aging, almost always go by tradition and simply bury the deceased in a hole dug under their house as the dead can then protect their families. This is also a tradition1 unique to the Taiwanese Aborigines, except for the Yami people on Lanyu Island who are afraid of “Death”, as they believe after people die they become anito (evil spirit) who are the cause of disasters and disease2. This Good and Bad belief concerning Life and Death is the reason why the Yami people face “Death” by avoiding it, thus many elderly living alone feel lonely and hopeless when they approach dying, which is unbearable situation! Yet the volunteers of the “Lanyu Homecare Association” has, in this tabooed and feared area, chosen to care and comfort these elderly while they face that unknown world! There you do not feel that tradition is being challenged and questioned, but rather that a powerful and spontaneous breeze is warming this island.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:less than 20

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:none

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

The students are limited by their family environment and only 3 students had computers in their homes, but they were not linked to the internet and could only be used for basic data collection and compilation. Therefore most of the time the students had to use the school to access the computers and internet resources. It is however adequate for this project’s requirements, except that since the students could only use the computer and resources while at school their time for learning was limited.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

Problems We Had to Overcome: “Death” has, from the past till now, been a subject felt to be surrounded by mystery, though here we also felt the fear towards the unknown world as the students still needed time to accept the profoundness of this subject. However, “Profoundness” is not in only feeling of the fear for “Anito forms when people die”, but contrastingly it was to be able to care for those living and still able. Though we believe that for culture to be passed down there must be reasons and we do not wish to overthrow it, but do allow us to think and discuss it!

5. Our Project Sound Bite

“I feel that these elderly people are deprived, so when we grow up we will help them!” “We can start by helping our own akey and agers!” “Is there no way for the government to help these elderly people?” These were messages expressed by the children when they visited the elderly people being cared for. The words are blunt but it expressed direct feelings! Is this not what we wish for our children to deeply experience with this research topic?

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

The members of this research consisted of Grade 5’s and 6’s, and although everyone worked during their spare-time the research covered by this topic was closely related to last term’s syllabus.

Concerning the integrated curriculum at school, by that learnt in “Language” the students carried an appropriate attitude and used the diagrammatic and statistical concepts, learnt from “Mathematics”, to plot the elderly population distribution in the different villages and compare the data with the number of volunteers in the Lanyu Homecare Association, to determine their workload. The group relationship explored in “Sociology” and the care and respect that needed strengthening in “Combined Activities” were also the major concepts for this research, while learning during “Arts and Humanitarianism” when the webpage’s layout was outlined, emphasis placed on proper living environment, maintenance and disease prevention during “Health and Sports”, utilization of information tools in “Information Education”, thoughts on relationship between the two sexes during “Sexual Equality Education” and the protection of a person’s most basic respect and rights during “Human Rights Education”, had all intersected to weave out this research. Multiple learning goals are the basics of a good curriculum, and students can receive understanding during the process of learning while they comprehended the goals of the curriculum.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

Digital Camera:Photographing the pictures required and our progress Card-reader:Transferring the photographed images Pen recorder:An important tool when interviewing the volunteers and local people webcam:An important equipment for interviewing the main informant Computer:Searching for associated data, design questionnaire, making the webpage and reports Printer Printing the planned questions’ outline Telephone:Communication and coordination during this event Library:Searching for associated information Face-to-face Interview:Homecare Association Office, Lanyu Website, Homes of the cared elderly

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

The data collection involved in this topic was grouped into internet resources, literature, interview data, visits and personnel feelings. During arrangement of the interviews the interviewees’ response to the research team were mostly surprise and encouragement! “Surprise” as in, how would children complete such an enormous project topic? But unlimited encouragements were also offered! Perhaps by leaving aside the concerns for traditional views they hoped that the children will be more able to face this world with caring hearts! During the interview, observation, recording and compilation processes the children had bit-by-bit completed the various parts of this research, and during interactions had also allowed the main informant and community member to re-feel all the feeling obtained from the process! Whether it was the digital exchange when utilizing the information tools, the face-to-face interviews or pre and post- discussions, although the completion of this research was achieving the learning goals determined beforehand, but all the feelings produced during the learning process was the main power that had affected the students and community to care for the elderly people.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Although perhaps this research topic had been a shocker for the community parents and members, however, with the help from the good long-term relationship that was established between the school and community, many parents were willing to provide support through “unorthodox” methods for the school’s research, including homecare staff Mrs. Bao-gui Chiang, volunteer Mrs. Cai-lan Shi, former volunteer Mrs. Bai-chi Chiang and Mrs. Chi-yu Hsieh we well as the Head of Parent’s Committee, Mr. Yung-chuan Hsieh, especially. Thinking back to the beginning when we asked Mr. Yung-chuan Hsieh to share his published article with the students, his initial hesitation was due to the eclecticism and thoughts concerning “traditional culture” and “education”, but the decision ultimately impacted him greatly. While our students were learning, the village also grew and culture continued to change. The village residents’ traditional thinking concerning the concept of “death” was also gradually transforming, it was a change that responded to being stimulated by all the factors in living, and due to this, we believe that we may provide even more caring for the elderly people in future. I think that this is not a rebellion against traditional culture, but rather an extension and growth of culture.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

When this research topic was chosen in the beginning, in fact it was not the first choice of the students and since this topic was overly profound and deep, as the guidance teacher I was also afraid that I would not be able to effectively instruct these children to complete a topic such as this! Truly, all the anticipated problems had occurred one by one, but the support and assistance that was expected from the school, community and teachers had not only timely appeared but also far exceeded its predicted power! I then realized that in fact some things are not impossible, they just needed more and better preparation. The students are not without abilities, they just needed a structured assistance and guidance, the community did not stubbornly followed tradition, they just needed stimulation and some thinking, and the parents did not have poor parenting abilities, but you just have to involve them into the school at appropriate times! In addition, the investment and concern expressed by the students during the process was not only towards the research itself, but also to the people, objects and matters involved. The students could break free from indifference and intolerance and was willing to feel with their hearts, which evolved into actions and implementation. Perhaps what the students can achieve now is little, but this seed filled with caring love was planted into their hearts, and perhaps one day it will become a tree soaring into the clouds to shelter their home, or into forests to protect the whole tribe. This was not simply discovery and surprise, but a most sincere expectation for these research students.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

(A)Students:(40%) 1. Interview the subject or related persons 2. Handle photographs and imagery 3. Recording and compilation of interview content 4. Discuss and formulate interview outline 5. Fill in progress report 6. Collecting on-line data (B)Advisors:(30%) 1. Holding team meetings 2. Analysis and categorization of research data 3. Webpage guidance and inspection 4. Formulate title and project 5. Assistance with computer technology 6. Making the webpage (C)Volunteers, students from Department of Art Education, National Taitung University:(15%) 1. Assist in sorting the interview data 2. Assist in instructing students with webpage-making skills 3. Making the webpage (D)Parents, community residents who provided information and encouragement:(15%)


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4507)

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