China, Taiwan: Lin Ching Hsia

Both a successful therapy case and successful social action rely on the power of the persons involved to struggle against life’s limitations. 'Struggle' is necessary, it takes different forms.

— Lin Ching Hsia

After studying overseas, Hsia Lin Ching brought new ideas to Taiwan, a country which had suffered from severe political suppression. Today, she works with sex workers and on community adult education, as well as on capacity building and social awareness among young people. She is professor in the Department of Applied Psychology, Fu-Jen Catholic University, and director of Lu Di Community University, Taipei Province.

Born to a civil service family in Taiwan’s nationalist government in the 50s, Hsia Lin Ching became influenced by leftist ideologies while studying in the US, where she also earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in educational psychology and counseling. Back in Taiwan in 1977, she developed a career in education and joined the labor movement, focusing on women workers’ rights. In the 1990s, she also supported the equal rights’ movement of the sex workers, and the community adult education movement in Taiwan. As an educational worker, Hsia has been trying to connect her professional practices with community action. She is a pioneer in developing “action research” in Taiwan. In a session in one of the community universities, she managed to get the over 150 students coming from different walks of life to talk about their life experiences and reflect upon them. Then she made use of these experiences to conduct a deep reflection by connecting them to the social context of Taiwan. As an educational practitioner and researcher, Hsia has also intervened in education policies in Taiwan, such as the reform of the university entrance policy. She works with high-school teachers, treating them as educators and collaborative researchers to inquire into their dilemmas embedded in the educational practices and their interaction with educational reform. A professor of applied psychology in Fu-Jen Catholic University, Hsia also serves as the director of the Lu Di Community University in Taipei Province, and is consultant for the University Entrance Examination Center.

Department of Applied Psychology, Fu-Jen Catholic University