Integrated Projects

Academic Research

Influencing tomorrow’s world

TUP Project 2nd Year Conceptions

A. Definition of the field

The College of Social Sciences (hereinafter referred to as “CSS”) intends to integrate all the departments by establishing A Case Study and Teaching Center for Public Affairs (hereinafter referred to as the CSTC) to implement teaching reform, forming its own research characteristics and performing international exchange. It is still in the preliminary development stage, so it’s classified as the basic field.

B.Significance of the field

CSS intends to establish the CSTC in hope of cultivating talented people who are dedicated to the practices and theories of social sciences and will wield their influences on the public affairs, especially on Taiwan’s policies and development in respect of politics, society and economy, and of developing the case teaching and study to form its own characteristics, which will distinguish it from other domestic and foreign universities and thus endow it with a strong competitive edge.

C.Development trend of the field

Although the case teaching and study have long been made much account of, the academic circle has always been, to some extent, reserved about it. Currently, Harvard University takes the lead in developing this methodology, making it the focus of considerable attention from the international academic circle. The case study is fairly important in its own right, and some scholars even venture to profess that this is the soundest research methodology. In fact, case teaching is a type of collective learning and a methodology which features best interactions between instructors and students, and therefore has reserved strength and advantages for future development.

D.Issues and challenges for future development (SWOT analysis)

E.Development characteristics and development path of the case teaching and study

Development of case teaching and study may be the unique development mode for all the colleges of social sciences in Taiwan. Through case teaching and study, every field of the social sciences may maintain its own characteristics and develop in an independent way. Every case study is related to description, validation of theory and methodological construction of reality and fact. When a certain number of cases have been accumulated, they will naturally contribute to the theory and serve the purposes of explanation and prediction seeded in the scientific researches. The following figure demonstrates the relations between the case study and the academic disciplines:

he solid section means that after the cases have been accumulated to certain quantity, they will serve the purposes of explanation, analysis and prediction.

The case study may be divided into two parts:

  1. A Case Study of Events
    A case study of events is aimed at a special event to ascertain the reality and to reconstruct the real story in so far as possible, and will, after depicted, become a descriptive analysis of the theoretical facts with simple causal relationship. For example, the “Health Insurance” event (concerning the Department of Public Finance, Institute for Labour Research, Department of Sociology, Graduate Institute of Social Administration and Social Work, etc.) and the “319 Shooting Case” (concerning the Department of Political Science and Sun Yat-sen Graduate Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities (hereinafter referred to as the “Sun Yat-sen Institute”)) may be adopted for case study. The case study may be performed on every event that arouses deep and extensive discussions and controversies and has profound influence at the political, economical and social levels. After a number of cases have been accumulated, we may proceed with seminars, publication and teaching and build up the database for event case study, so as to propagandize in the domestic and foreign academic and practical circles the notion that whoever wants to know the complete story of an event must come to the CSS of NCCU to refer to our database.
  2. A case study of Elites
    A case study of elites covers the political, economic and social elites and encompasses all the case study on crucial elites in CSS and other relevant departments and institutes in such fields as labour, ethnology, public finance, national development, land economics, social work, public affairs, etc.

The elite case study may be subclassified into two categories:

  1. What the theoretically practical and socially devoted elites acted and did:
    This part of case study attaches emphasis on the governance of country and society, and is performed on the acts and behaviours of the influential elites, such as, Kuan Chung in ancient China, Zuo Zhongtang in modern China, Hu Jintao presently in Mainland China, and Li Teng-Hui presently in Taiwan, etc. Such practical elites who have devoted themselves to governance of public affairs may be eligible subjects for case study. CSS may practise interdisciplinary cooperation in this part, and collaborate with, for example, the Department of History at the College of Liberal Arts, College of International Affairs, or the College of Education, etc.
  2. What the masterminds of social sciences thought and learnt:
    Other than the theoretically practical and socially devoted elites, the masterminds who have brought about profound influences on the ways of thinking and the academic fields solely with their thoughts have motivated us to develop the case study on academic and theoretical elites to research into what they thought and learnt. For example, Yan Fu in the modern times, Xu Fuguan in the present age, etc. are eligible subjects for case study. Interdisciplinary cooperation may also be practised in this part.

Presently, none of the colleges of social sciences in Taiwan have engaged in the development in this respect, and the case study is for the most part concentrated on medical science, psychology, education, business, chemistry, and other natural sciences and management sciences. With only a small portion of sociologists involved in case study, CSS may establish its own characteristics.

Harvard is the only university that has engaged in case study and teaching in the fields of political science, sociology and economics and is presently the “role model” for the NCCU to model upon through the entire First-Class University Plan. For example, a majority of the case study and teaching in the U.S.A. are concentrated on natural sciences, education, psychology and business management, etc. As regards the study on political, economic and social elites, the Columbia University in New York stands out for its study on historical persons and the oral history project of its Institute of East Asia Studies renowned throughout the world. As regards the study on general elites, a handful of individual scholars in the UCLA, University of Texas, Ohio State University, etc. have engaged in some isolated projects. Hence, if CSS may develop the event and individual (elite) case study, it will be able to establish some communication channels with Harvard, Columbia and other famous universities, which will benefit CSS by enhancing NCCU’s academic position in the field of social sciences.

The development of case study and teaching may work together in a mutually supporting way with the original development plans of CSS as set forth below:

  1. The social sciences honorary program: It originally plans to enrol the outstanding senior high school students who will not have to choose their disciplines until the end the second academic year, with a view to cultivating two types of talented people in the field of social sciences: one type being the practical talents and the other type being the academic talents, whereas the case study of an event case and of an elite case will exactly be in position to provide sufficient courses for the program.
  2. The English taught program of social sciences: Presently, the plan of English taught programs is composed of the courses which have already be given in English by the instructors on their own initiative and some English taught classes of the basic courses; if the case teaching are integrated in the English taught courses, this honorary program will be more distinguished and attractive to the students participating in the Joint Entrance Examination of Universities and Colleges.
  3. The Taiwan study credit program (under planning): the program will be more distinctive if cases of events and elites in contemporary Taiwan are incorporated into the courses.
  4. The China study credit program (for which the Sun Yat-sen Institute of CSS and the Institute of East Asian Studies of College of International Affairs are jointly responsible): the program will be more characteristic if cases of contemporary Chinese elites are incorporated into the courses.
  5. CSS’s second discipline credit program (under planning): the program will take the Social Sciences Investigation as subject and will incorporate the Case Study Methodology in the courses to add to the distinctiveness of the program.

Presently in the 2007 First-Class University Plan, the development of case study will be centered on establishment of the Case Study and Teaching Center for Public Affairs (hereinafter referred to as the “CSTC Plan”), which includes the following tasks:

The instructors will be delegated to take the case study short-term program at Harvard University;

The scholars engaging in the case teaching will be invited mainly from the Harvard University to CSS;

The case teaching is experimented with in one class of each of the three programs, namely, MEPA (Master for Eminent Public Administrators), IMTS (International Master’s Program in Taiwan Studies), IMCS (International Master’s Program in China Studies). Various and more short-term case teaching classes will be planned and promoted with the program design centered on Excellent Governance and Leadership.

To develop the case study plan, a number of seed instructors must first be trained up in addition to the annual overseas training program for the instructors delegated, a reading club will be set up as planned. On principle, every 7 to 10 persons will form a team to collect information, organize achievement publication conferences and hold seminars in the name of the Reading Club. The Reading Club (or research team) must try to select one of the event cases and elite cases to be the development focus for the team, but the elite case study may be further classified into two categories, namely, the case study on theoretically practical and socially devoted elites and the case study on academic theorists and masterminds.

F.Future annual working plan

A working group will be set up to program and carry out the basic tasks for the CSTC Plan, including determining the final version of the CSTC Plan, advancing preparation of the schedule, integrating design of the curricula, consulting with personnel of the Central Personnel Administration of the Executive Yuan and relevant organizations about the cooperation plans, etc.

  1. Short-term preparation stage (2007.01-2007.06)
    Objective: To implement the experimental teaching.
    Implementation methods:
    In the preparation stage, CSS will call together the seed lecturers to perform the experimental teaching. Presently, during the period from February to June 2007, the Master for Eminent Public Administrators (MEPA), the International Master’s Program in Taiwan Studies (IMTS), and the International Master’s Program in China Studies (IMCS) will work together to give the program of Independent Study: Case Analysis, in English. 15 to 20 students will be enrolled for this program and divided into 5 study groups, each of 3 to 4 students. Each group will include domestic and foreign students.
  2. Medium-term stage (2007.06-2008.12)
    Objective: To train up the seed instructors.
    Implementation methods:
    A number of instructors will be recommended to take an short-term intensive program on the case study teaching method at the Kennedy School to exalt the faculty’s performance and teaching qualities and learn on the spot how the system of the Kennedy School functions to promote the academic development, so that we may draw on their experience to expedite the development of CSS. The designation method is set forth in Appendix I.
    The seed instructors who will take the short-term intensive program at the Kennedy School will cooperate to open a Program of Government Governance and Excellent Leadership, which will be designed on the basis of the case teaching achievements attained in the short-term stage and enrol both foreign and local students.
    If substantial support is obtained from the government departments in the medium-term stage, 2 to 3 intensive credit programs will be opened in view of the actual conditions, with the adjustable duration of each program ranging from 1 to 3 weeks, but the subjects will focus on outstanding leadership and excellent governance.
  3. Long-term stage (2009-) :
    Objective: To implement the overall CSTC Plan and drive the curriculum reform.
    Implementation methods:
    • By reference to the schedule of the short-term intensive programs provided by the Harvard University, we will promote the case analysis teaching method featured by the CSTC Plan.
    • Since in the CSTC Plan, the case analysis teaching method is not applied only for the English taught courses, and the subjects of the cases for discussion in the classes also focus on politics, administration, economy, finance, and other issues of much concern to Taiwan, the CSTC Plan may perfectly fuse with the IMTS and IMCS programs, to probe into such issues as Taiwan’s political and social development, Taiwan’s international relations, cross-strait relations, etc. In addition, this Plan will also consolidate the courses of the Taiwan Study Credit Program provided by the Taiwan Study Center, such as, Taiwan’s Economy Monopolized by Local Factions, Colonial Modernization and Modernism, Taiwan’s Post-War History, etc. With a view to energizing the Taiwan study in respect of politics, economy, history, society, ethnic groups, and culture, this program will be twined around the Taiwan study with the case teaching method, and combine the faculty of CSS, the Graduate Institute of Taiwan History, and the Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature and the research resources of the Taiwan Study Center.

G.Integration of the resource requirements and the external resources

We will actively win the support and assistance from the government and relevant organizations to carry out the CSTC Plan. For example, we will coordinate, consult, cooperate and establish partnerships with the Central Personnel Administration of the Executive Yuan, Training Institute of the Ministry of Finance, International Center for Land Policy Studies & Training, Research and Planning Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Development Fund, Examination Yuan, etc. and such relevant foundations as Taiwan Democracy Foundation, and open case teaching intensive programs targeting the foreigners.