Lunghwa University of Science and Technology, Taiwan, ROC (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The recent rise in the importance of fostering students’ holistic development has led to various curricular changes. Universities in Taiwan have slowly transformed their general education curriculum to include the development of various competencies. However still, recent statistics have shown that universities in Taiwan, while pushing for quantity, educational quality are neglected. It is important that as Taiwan’s universities transform into global institutions of learning, emphasis should be placed not only on the quantity of students, but also towards the quality of graduates. With this in mind, this paper will showcase the development and validation of a set of traits that are crucial for future Taiwanese graduates. Participants in the trait-development stage are twenty experts comprised of school administrators, educators, researchers, and industry professionals, while the validation stage consists of 398 university students. Brainstorming sessions were organized wherein ideas with regard to the important traits that teachers should impart to students were generated. The structured conceptualization method of concept mapping and a mixed-method participatory approach that combined group processes with a sequence of multivariate statistical analyses were used to summarize the complex group discussions accomplished by the participants. In addition, Confirmatory Factor Analysis was used to validate the proposed traits. Results show that future graduates need to possess six major traits, namely: study skills, life skills, utilitarianism, compassion, synergy, and global vision. Within these major traits, 20 different characteristics are also found. Implications are then given on how and why educators should focus on developing such traits.
Keywords: student attitudes; concept mapping; holistic individual; general education; global literacy