Exploring the Current Condition of Teaching Community Organizations and Local Revitalization in Taiwan
Community organizations and community development serve as one important characteristic of the development of Taiwan’s nonprofit sector. From previous community overall building movements to local revitalization policies in recent years, community organizations serve as various roles and have become key local actors in governmental policies. However, prior literature fails to systematically examine the characteristics and trends of teaching community organizations and local revitalization in Taiwan. This research gap could impede the advancement of teaching in those areas and stay in the condition without further integration. This research first seeks to understand the meaning of community in Taiwan’s social and cultural context and the connection with recent local revitalization policies. After that, this research collects most recent academic year’s available syllabi from Taiwan’s universities (2019 Fall and 2020 Spring) and then conduct content analysis to explore the characteristics and trends of teaching community organizations and local revitalization in Taiwan. This research finds that social work and long-term care related departments have most community organization courses. Disciplines that also have relatively more courses associated with community and revitalization include general knowledge courses, leisure and tourism, architecture/rural and urban studies, cultural creativity, and public affairs departments. In addition, this research finds that many courses emphasize that they want students to visit communities or conduct community practices. By doing on-site practical work and interacting with local residents, students could have a better understanding of how to practice community development and local revitalization in the real local context. This research discusses the implications of these findings in the concluding section.