Learning approaches and cultural influences: a comparative study of Confucian and western-heritage students

Dennehy, Edward (2014) Learning approaches and cultural influences: a comparative study of Confucian and western-heritage students. pp. 1-21. ISSN 0309-877X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0309877X.2013.869561; ht...


With the advent of increasingly multinational student cohorts in many higher education institutes, the possible influence of ?national culture? on students? learning approaches has become a focal point of attention. In particular, the claim that Asian (Confucian) students adopt (primarily) surface learning approaches has attracted much debate despite, or perhaps because of, relatively little empirical research on the matter. Similarly in Ireland, while much concern has been voiced regarding the existence of a culture of surface learning in higher education, few studies have been conducted on the matter. The purpose of this research is to strengthen our understanding of these two areas through empirical evidence. This study examines the preferred learning approaches of students (n?=?327) from 37 nationalities studying in a higher education institute in Ireland. Two hypotheses are tested: Confucian Asian students will have higher surface strategy learning scores than western students (Hypothesis 1) and Irish students will have higher surface learning scores than other western students (Hypothesis 2). The results indicate important differences in preferred learning approaches according to nationality and cultural cluster, where Hypothesis 1 is rejected and Hypothesis 2 is supported. The study is of particular interest to HE management and educationalists working with students entering higher education from diverse national backgrounds. Recommendations are made at an institutional level as to how HE management might address student surface learning approaches.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2015 13:50
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2015 13:51
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/2179

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