# Education Site

Linking Education’s Multiple Meanings within a Borderless Classroom

-Exclusive Interview with Principal Liu Kuei-Kuang of Fuxing Senior High School

If we are to define recent global trends, the answer is probably “breaking the framework,” such as the thriving development of the concept of “wall-less museum” that brings art into daily life; “borderless classroom,” on the other hand, takes education beyond the classroom into all corners on campus. The outdoor living space for cats and dogs at Taipei Municipal Fuxing Senior High School transformed in the “Design Movement on Campus” project brings life education alive from the printed words in textbooks to real practices of teachers and students.

Creating a Space of Multiple Meanings on a Campus that Exudes Artistic Vibe

“I have long been concerned with life education. The first year I was here, I established the Animal Protection Club, promoting adoption program of school cats and dogs. Thus, when I noticed ‘Design Movement on Campus,” I hoped to connect life education and aesthetics through spatial transformation, building for our school a space with multiple meanings of education,” said Principal Liu Kuei-kuang of Taipei Municipal Fuxing Senior High School.

For this reason, he picked the semi-outdoor sunken space between the library and Office of Student Affairs, hoping to turn this area into the future home of school cats and dogs, so they would not have to find shelter on the hallway outside of the Office of Student Affairs. This not only would improve their living environment, but also avoid messiness on the hallway due to scattered pet equipment. With the help of TDRI, advisor Ray Chu, and the design team “HH2O Design Workshop,” the unused space has been turned into an open space with three major functions—home of school cats and dogs, daily interaction, and life education. Construction materials with weather-proof coating prevent outdoor hardware from being eroded; portable kennels offers flexibility for increased number of pets in the future; the design of double traffic flows allows those who want to visit the pets and those who do not want to step near the area to naturally go in separate ways. 

Respecting Diversity is Key to Education of the New Age 

“Actually, when we first adopted school cats and dogs, we had worries that some teachers and students who were afraid of cats and dogs would object the idea. Therefore, we not only wanted to build a living space for the cats and dogs, but also be considerate of others. After all, in this age of growingly diverse education, every person has own and different learning path and caring for cats and dogs is just one of the paths of life education. How to respect and create diversity through the process is something we should continue to work on,” said Liu Kuei-kuang.

In addition to respecting diversity and the opinion of every teacher and student, another goal Liu Kuei-kuang hoped to achieve through “Design Movement on Campus” was to develop more teaching possibilities centering on the living space of the cats and dogs. For example, the space for showering the cats and dogs and interacting with them provides Animal Protection Club and life education a place of onsite education. As for future maintenance and repair of premanufactured kennels, the school’s existing carpentry class will be combined with Life Technology Class to make contribution to the maintenance and repair of the kennels.

“I also hope that we can have veterinary, biology, and life education classes here. After all, even during the design process, we appreciated how the design team preserved flexibility for the space. I also believe that everything in school has educational meaning, and this transformation has sown seeds of future creation.” Perhaps, regardless of education or design, the purpose is never to “do things to the fullest;” how to derive different possibilities to connect with more new types of education is the most important thing. 

Liu Kuei-Kuang
PhD student at Graduate Institute of Curriculum and Instruction, National Taiwan Normal University. Currently principal of Taipei Municipal Fuxing Senior High School and chairperson of Association for Education on Life Enlightenment.

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