Beimen Community College Introduction

The Idea of ​​Running

The service region of Beimen Community College includes six districts: Beimen,  Jiangjun, Qigu, Xuejia, Jiali, and Xigang, these areas include about two-thirds of Tainan coastline. Hundred years ago, most of the land still belonged to Daofeng and Taijiang Inner Sea area, the significant changes in the natural environment have a profound historical impact to the residents living culture and local manufacturers. At the beginning of the college, these six districts were included in Beimen District on the administrative division, so made ‘Beimen Community College’ in the name. The area is taken as a remote area whether on location or resource. The principal engagements of residents are agriculture and fishery. Although the people here are simple and attached to the interaction among neighbors, however, the population is aging and is also weak to use social resources and information. And the global trend impact makes the local manufacturers and culture even worse. Therefore, at the beginning of the Beimen Community College, the direction has been identified as “to build a small but excellent community college which mainly supports the development of the rural fishing village”.

What is the “small but excellent community college”? “Small but excellent” is not only the cord idea of Beimen Community College but also the practical guidelines of the work team. This thesis is from Dr. E. F. Schumacher’s book: “Small is Beautiful” -“self-restriction, self-restraint, and limitation – is the power to give life and protect life. Such thinking is the best way for the great Beimen area to deal with weak, fragile environmental characteristics. At the same time, we recognize that:

Economic development can only be “to a certain extent”;

Life can only be complicated “to some extent”;

The pursuit of efficiency or productivity can only “to some extent”;

The use of non-reusable resources can only “to some extent”;

Complete humanity can only endure “to some extent” to the fine division of labor;

“Scientific methods” instead of general knowledge can only “to a certain extent.”

Therefore, when we considered the scale of the Beimen Community College, we limited to “small.” It’s not only because of the reality of sparse population of this area but also followed the guidelines of  Dr. E. F. Schumacher’s idea: “we can not count the real serious business of life in numbers, it should address the real needs of mankind.”. This approach strengthened our “small and beautiful” choice.

At the same time, this is the value of selection in the work site of Beimen Community College. For example,  the scale of hot courses do not over-expand, it would make people have the profound connection, so the teachers have more capacity to care about the state of students in the class. Discussing the future development of the community would always get the reminder from college, to make residents think the price of over-development is the expecting life of the community or not. Planning industry would consider making the ecological community as mainstay sustainable development, and it would be according to realistic goals of the community. Moreover, set the realistic targets according to the status of the community, rather than making a significant amount of replication promotion to meet the social performance in a rush. We believe that people should not be alienated from work, that social workers are not small screws within the organization, but a complete “person” to create value for the organization. So the division of work in Beimen Community College is a parallel split.

On the other hand, the main argument for “supporting the development of the community in the rural fishing village” is still based on the development of Dr. E. F. Schumacher’s exposition:

development does not begin with the material but starts with the education,

organization,and discipline of people.

In the causes of poverty, material factors – such as insufficient natural resources,

insufficient capital, inadequate infrastructure – are all secondary. The main

reasons are non-material, and they stem from certain deficiencies in education,

organization, and discipline.

Therefore, we are very conscious that the number of students and the unlimited expansion of the community is not our goal. We should use our limited resources for community and adult learning. We hope to learn how to activate the community, build mutual trust and share cooperation of the living environment.

The development spindle of Beimen Community College

Since Beimen Community College’s founding in 2005, the administrative team, NGO partners, and community friends continue to discuss and revise the vision through workshop or study groups, hoping to figure out the best way of operating the agricultural fishery community college. They currently plan out of the two primary development directions:

1.To support students’ self-learning and take an active interest in public affairs

2.To promote the sustainable development of ecological communities.

 

1.     To support students’ self-learning and take an active interest in public affairs

“Promoting self-regulated learning and taking an active interest in public affairs” is an important concept in the development of civil society in response to the development of community colleges in Taiwan. Therefore, the Beimen Community College expects students to develop the following abilities during study:

Motivation → Motivational Issues & Organizational Competence → Participation in Public Issues (Mature Citizens)

When the college starts course into the community, it is designed to tailor the community-based learning projects, and also to encourage the lecturers to develop lessons with the spirit of “responding to community needs and enhancing community development.” Hoping in this process, it can foster the ability for general public to participate in public affairs, arouse the social concern, through care, participation and learning to form the consciousness of the community.

Of course, it is an important challenging for Beimen Community College to embody the core public value in planning courses to the general curriculum. Therefore, the college tries to put the concept of open learning through three modes: (1) class entering the community, (2) issue entering the course, (3) courses interflow. So in every semester, those participants in the course can also at least have a chance to meet the core concept of the college in the course, trigger the possibility of concerning public affairs.

On the other hand, after years of accumulation of school experience, discussion, experiment and reflection, Beimen Community College divided the current curriculum structure into six categories: satoumi course, community course, physical and mental healing course, artistic expression course, language and culture course, and self-living course.  However, because of the population of the considering area is difficult to support developing the massive scale of Beimen Community College, so there are not enough students to support the complete developing course. Therefore, we will not consider the planning of the course; we will only plan the category as the curriculum structure. The course classification is as follows:

A.     Satoumi Course:

To highlight the development prospect of the community from Beimen Community College, we actively promote the construction of “Great Beimen ecological sustainable community” based on the Satoumi spirits, so we named this category as “Satoumi.” Course content is mainly for the human ecological environment features and demands of Beimen environment. The program will be developed in partnership with community and local non-profit organizations to plan curricula that meet the needs of local communities, and encourage teachers to go to the community and develop curriculum plans to “respond to community needs and strengthen community development.”

Therefore, both of the critical issues of the Beimen coastal areas facing dramatic changes, or leave a record for the rich agricultural and fishing villages in the local knowledge and cultural landscape, are still the curriculum planning great direction.

B.     Community courses:

To develop curricula to make the association independent and the public is the ultimate expectation of Beimen Community College. Potential community curriculum refers to that the participants of the course have not yet reached a consensus of the community, but have formed a good group and actively participated in the class operation. The course teachers are also conscious of the development of the curriculum towards community process. The self-governing community curriculum is that the participants of the course have a common understanding of the elaboration of the community and have set up a community. They can also work independently and with high autonomy.

At present, for the potential or homogeneous class, we encourage to transform to an independent self-learning community, to make members show their autonomy on planning courses, recruiting new members, being each other’s teachers, and share the knowledge together. The school is positioned as the role of companions, to assist the development of the community, not to participate in the leadership, but training students self-learning.

 C.    Physical and mental healing courses:

Leisure Fitness is an essential solution for modern people to release stress. At the adult learning work site of the college, you can see the huge demand for such courses from the public mass; the courses have significance for ordinary people; community college should not take it recklessly.

 D.    Artistic Expression Course:

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), a Russian writer who once set up a peasant school at home and tried to live a simple life in his later life, thought that the techniques of literature, music, sculpture, and painting were only the medium of artistic creations. Art creators should be able to clearly express the inner feelings that have been touched by the personal experience and can make people feel the emotional expression of artists and experience the same emotion is the basis of artistic activities. Through art make people’s minds and other people’s souls together, make people’s thoughts and feelings together, which is the pursuit of Tolstoy’s ideal of social life. However, much art-related learning focuses more on how to present the beauty of work skills but ignoring the meaning behind works which supposed to convey. Therefore, the focus of teaching is not in the beauty of the work itself, but also make ordinary people can clearly express the feelings of personal experience and self-awareness, moreover, heal the mind, and further the ability to present social groups of collective experience to promote social transformation.

 E.     Language Courses:

Language is the most basic communication tool, and also an important medium to understand other cultures. In the trend of globalization, the interaction between different ethnic groups is becoming more and more frequent. Only use language to communicate without knowing the thinking and the impact of choice from other cultural backgrounds, can not make good relationships among different ethnic cultures, and no achievements to resolve the racial stereotypes and conflicts as well.

Therefore, through learning language, not only make students learn the tools of communication, but also can understand and respect the differences between different ethnic groups, and cultivate interpersonal ability to live in harmony with other ethnic groups to construct a more open world outlook.

F.     Self-Living Course:

This category is designed to reflect the value of “small but beautiful” of Beimen Community College. Today the society is under the capital system of large-scale quantitative production; people are increasingly dependent on the goods provided by the consumer market, unknowingly has lost the autonomy of life. Seems to have many choices, but the reality is only the goods which have interests of capital, would be sold on the shelf. In the operation of the consumer market, the individual uniqueness gradually fades away, people’s lives and values ​​closer to the consistency.

Through the planning of such courses, the public will be guided in the process of “doing it by themselves” to realize that a variety of choices in life can be created on their own. People should move towards reducing consumption patterns of rapid mass reproduction, take back their life autonomy, and create the diversity of social life.

2.     To promote the sustainable development of ecological communities

“Promoting Eco-Community Development” is the main objective of Beimen Community College for entering the community to address the pressing problems which community faced.

At the beginning of the college, Beimen Community College’s most important partners, Qigu Coast Protection Association worried the severe loss of Qigu lagoons sandbar, so Qigu protection sandbar action becomes Beimen Community College’s outstanding issues in community development.

However, during the sand protection operation, Beimen Community College has also fully recognized that community development should not only be the work of environmental protection. To link people’s lives, community livelihoods, and sustainable ecology is the way to assist the sustainable community development. Therefore, in addition to the sand protection movement, Beimen Community College begins to develop the local humanities, industry and other related courses and activities, such as milkfish, mullet roes, and other fish processing courses. We also design a variety of “Big Beimen small travel” activities, hope through the agricultural and fishery products to talk about the origin of the environmental problems, the safety of food and community aging issues. At present, the main topics to promote includes: A. Protection of the Qigu sandbar, B. Coastal Environmental Monitoring, C. Big Beimen small travel, D. Fishing Tribes.

A.     Protection of the Qigu sandbar

The Qigu lagoons are rich in ecology because of the shielding of the three sandbanks (the DingTouEShan, the WangZaiLiaoShan, and the QingShanGangShan) so that nearby residents can settle down here. However, due to abnormal human-made development, the sand source is reduced and wasted, The original sand dunes have gone, windbreak forests have submerged. In this vicious cycle, the sandbar is increasingly broken and reduced, the area of ​​the lagoon reduced from 1,600 hectares to 1,100 hectares, the survival of the fishing village of biological resources are precarious.

In 2007, the Beimen Community College began the sand protection action. Volunteers put fences made of bamboo in the sandbar; it would cause the monsoon brought sand to settle in the sandbar, and would prevent sand being taken away by monsoon as well, the method is simple but has a good effect. However, because of the stakes used to protect bamboo fence collapsing and became less and less, we used straw fixing way instead. Use the straw which left after harvesting in the nearby areas to be the sand protection material, can reduce the burden on the sandbar environment and make waste reused.

We hope that through continuous coastal environmental education and volunteers’ participation in sand protection work, we can encourage people to care the issue of Taiwan Coast Change. The environmental impact of coastline retreating has formed; sand protection movement may not be able to resist environmental change, but it is the opportunity for people to review the relationship with the land. The combination of volunteer action and sand protection will once again show the Qigu residents’ action force of protecting Qigu coastline; it also shows volunteers’ concern and measures to the marine and coastal environment.

B.     Coastal Environmental Monitoring

Since 2008, Beimen Community College has been monitoring the tidal sandbank and the waste of the beach. Currently, the monitoring activities will continue once a month. The specific monitoring date will be announced at Beimen Community College’s website, on the volunteer service section.

▶Coastal sandbar monitoring

The coastal sand monitoring is mainly to understand the status of coastal sandbar changes; Beimen Community College set a fixed sand pile as a monitoring pile; the measurement method is to measure the pile height, to understand the results of coastal protection of sand. However, because of the harsh seaside environment, the monitoring pile has collapsed gradually, so that the monitoring method would be adjusted to the movable pile measurement at the end of 2016. For detailed monitoring data, please refer to http://beimencc.org/archives/category/09海岸監測

▶Coastal waste (referred to as sea debris) monitoring

Beach waste monitoring is mainly carried out in the classification and measurement of beach debris; such monitoring methods can clearly understand the types of coastal waste and the main source. Hoping to get a good control of the garbage source, and also make people review the additional waste production in daily life cause the pollution of the beautiful natural environment.

祈華幫忙釘竹樁標示鋁片

C.    Big Beimen small travel

To make the environmental education action more close to the life and feelings of the general public, we try to create a tourism style that can truly understand the local people’s living and eco-friendly. Through deepening the connotation of travel make tourists have the opportunity to enter the community to see the locals’ life and have a positive interaction, to have a real understanding of the humanities and natural environment, furthermore, to rethink the food origin of environmental protection and support the local production and consumption.

Take “A small trip about the foods origin of oyster omelet ” as an example, from the understanding of Taiwan’s national snack – oyster omelet as the starting point, to collect the ingredients of oyster omelet. : To the lagoon to pick up a string of oysters and learn how to open oyster shell, to community grandmother’s vegetable garden to pick vegetables, eggs and so on. And then invite the owner of the food stalls to teach tourists to make an oyster omelet. Through these processes allow participants to rethink the way food is produced, the food production environment, the plight of farming villages, and the simple lifestyle which the inhabitants respond to nature. Please refer to the related activities:  http://beimencc.org/大北門小旅行

D.    Fishing Tribes.

Why does Beimen Community College want to promote eco-farming program? Have to trace back to the history of hundred years the Qigu milkfish feeding development. The first Qigu milkfish breeding was in the shallow fishing farms, for milkfish the water temperature in winter was too little to survive. So the fish farm in winter was always in the idle state, at this point, the different fish inside the fish farm has become an important food source for winter migratory birds, which makes Qigu become a significant habitat of Black-faced Spoonbills. However, the modern deep-water fish farming is no longer restricted by the season; it is unfavorable for the foraging of migratory birds. On the other hand, in recent years, the prices of milkfish have been declining, and it is not easy for young people to get employed. So to figure out there is a natural friendly way of farming can help young people to stay in Qigu, is the goal and vision of Beimen Community College. The sustainable development of human livelihoods and nature has reached a balance in the past in Qigu, and the challenge now is to find back the balance again. Ecological farming is the first step.

As a result, Beimen Community College cooperates with its community partners to develop a “Fishing Tribes,”   through shareholders stocks sharing model, to seeks and create an alternative development way for the community industry. Its name implies a group of partners who wish to work together, to create the embers for the vitality of breeding. We also tried to apply CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) model to farming fisheries. At present, shareholders are invited to participate in the work of fish farming on two hectares of the fish farm. The shareholders can not only gain knowledge of aquaculture and environmental ecology, but also learn safety ingredients, and contribute to the ecological environment. It also supports the fishermen who are committed to the green aquaculture industry. Now community partners provide aquaculture fish farm, technical advice, and practical assistance, use low density, low facilities, low management of fish polyculture approach to get ecological balance; base on the concept of ecological equilibrium, community mutual benefit, and the ecological symbiosis, to process economic production of ecological farming.  Friendly to the environment, to reduce the plundering and make all things coexist to create a pollution-free breeding environment, not only to keep safe and healthy food fish but also taking water, soil and the surrounding ecological diversity and balance into account, to experiment the new possibilities of fishing village life for future.

Beimen Community College
Add.:No.523,Annan Rd.,Jiali Dist.,Tainan City 72259,TAIWAN

Tel: + 886-6-7236483
Fax: + 886-6-7236485
E-mail: beimencc@gmail.com
Website: http://beimencc.org/
Facebook Page: 台南市北門社區大學