In 2007, the Government established a ‘A Development Support Program For Young Children’s Basic Learning Abilities’under the proposition that the development of basic learning capability and desirable learning attitudes will be one of the most effective strategies in achieving the dual goals of eliminating social barriers and of efficiently cultivating human resources.
This research project was implemented in order to detect learning disabilities in the basic learning processes at an earlier stage and provide relevant support. Its overarching aim was to develop a language, cognitive, social and emotional development program which can be integrally taught by the teacher of a general class, of benefit to helping mentally disabled young children continue to develop their learning capabilities.
The following are core principles of program development: (1) Activity development according to developmental stages and difficulties; (2) To incorporate the themes of daily life into the kindergarten curriculum; (3) To describe the general educational goal for most children, and create a supportive goal for mentally disabled children; (4) To describe the major supportive strategies by activity stages, such as attracting interest, pre-experiencing, visual hints, teacher modeling, peer modeling, activity simplification, task itemization, making requests, repetition, controlling speed, preference utilization, peer assistance, role playing, and naming.
The program includes the following. A teacher's guide presenting various topics such as the characteristics and understanding of mentally disabled children, the composition of the development support program, site application methodology, and any time application strategies. Also included are activity materials containing a total of 120 activities, 30 each for supporting four different developmental areas including language, cognition, society and emotion.
This program is designed to be implemented for 10 weeks per semester with 2 activities offered on a weekly basis, equating to 40 activities in total in one year. It is recommended that the activities are repeated until the children meet the given goals.
In October 2008, the language, cognitive, social, and emotional development support programs developed in this project were distributed all at once to private and public kindergartens nationwide with the support of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. Currently, these are in use at the targeted kindergartens.