Abstract and Keywords
Chu-Sheng Yeh (1915–2008) promoted the well-being of children and youth in the areas of education, health, and social welfare. Professor Yeh established two programs related to social administration and social work for two universities. As a female scholar, she made a valuable contribution to the early stage of social work development in Taiwan.
Chu-Sheng Yeh (葉楚生生平事蹟) was born in Fujian, China, in 1915. She graduated from Yenching University in Beijing in 1936. She earned her first master’s degree in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1947, and another master’s degree in education from Columbia University in 1948. A passionate and enthusiastic educator, Professor Chu-Sheng Yeh founded Taiwan Provincial Administrative College and the Department of Sociology, College of Law and Commerce in 1949.
Professor Yeh was also the first female director in a government department in Taiwan. From 1956 to 1978, she was appointed the director of elementary education in the Ministry of Education, Taiwan. She revolutionized the educational system in Taiwan. With the support of the Asia Foundation, science education was promoted in elementary schools. Five volumes of elementary school science books and teacher’s guides were published. She also recommended that science exhibitions be made a part of curriculums in the elementary and secondary schools from 1962 onward. She introduced Nine-year compulsory education in Taiwan, and, therefore, junior high school enrolment rate rose from 4 percent to 94.2 percent.
Professor Yeh also showed her passion and concerns for the welfare of children, including children’s health and child care. She actively worked to promote school lunch provision, trachoma control, BCG vaccination, and dental decay prevention for children. She proposed the establishment of kindergarten and day care centers as annexes to elementary schools. Integrated projects were provided for the blind and intellectually advanced students for special education. Teachers’ training was advanced and upgraded from the level of the Normal School to Junior Teachers’ college. Her years of dedicated service to the advancement of education earned for her the honor of the “Mother of Education to the Country.”
Professor Yeh was also well recognized both nationally and internationally. She was the chairperson for elementary education in the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1957. She also served as the director-general for the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) Taiwan for seventeen years. She was a committee member on the Commission of Human Rights and the Commission on the Status of Women.
Professor Yeh was responsible for the construction of a new model of social work education. She lectured in many universities. Her textbook publication Introduction to Social Work (1958) won plaudits in promoting the education of social workers in Taiwan. The Department of Social Work at the Chinese Culture University was established by her in 1962. Unfortunately, she had a stroke in 1990 and suffered serious language disability. She was bedridden for many years, and she passed away in 2008 at the age of 93. Her body was donated to the National Yang-Ming University for the purpose of medical research.