Confucian or Fusion: Perceptions of Confucian-heritage Students with Respect to Their University Studies in Australia

Common Ground
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Learning, 2009, 16 (5), pp. 373 - 384
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This research aims to uncover the perceptions of first-year Confucian-heritage students towards their lived experience of university study in Australia. Data was gathered from the students via interviews and analyzed using a phenomenological approach. From the students perspective, prior experience of western-style pedagogy was found to be helpful in giving students an idea of what the Australian learning environment would entail, although many students still had difficulty with classroom interaction due to persistent cultural conditioning. In terms of teacher behaviour, important factors include the lecturer demonstrating an understanding of the students culture, using humour in teaching, being a role model, developing a good relationship with the student and demonstrating a commitment to their learning. Issues included the students lack of understanding of the true significance of assignments and lecturers misunderstanding of the valuable role of memorization in Confucian-heritage students learning. The findings of this work allow academics an insight into the lived educational experiences of the student participants. They may also be tentatively offered as a means of informing future course design and delivery, with the goal of improving the quality of student learning and, therefore, academic success.
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