Taiwan's economic and educational performance have lately been the subject of international attention, admiration and envy. Taiwan's economic success has been attributed in large part to its education system. This paper examines that education system and the cultural context within which it operates. It looks at the recent history of education in Taiwan and notes that, while results have been outstanding, the system has not been without its critics. This has led to a series of reforms. It is interesting, if not ironic, that this system, which has attracted so much Western interest and acclaim, is criticised from within for its rigidity, its emphasis on rote learning, the intense competitiveness it promotes, the enormous sacrifice and stress it places on students and its failure to promote many of the values which Western educators take for granted. Finally, the paper considers the outlook for education in Taiwan.
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