Understanding Chinese Culture and Learning

    Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


    This paper examines Chinese learning traditions and research on Chinese learners' conceptions of learning. It begins with the analysis of Chinese culture and its influence on learning and teaching traditions. Some commonly held opinions and recent interpretations of Chinese learning and teaching are also presented. The influence of the basic tenets of Confucian conceptions has been pervasive over the centuries and can still be felt in contemporary Chinese education. It is a complex tradition which embraces various goals for learning, but it has been reduced to a simple stereotype by some Western observers, for instance, rote learning and examination culture; authoritarian teacher and obedient student; and transmissive teaching and passive learning. Recent years have seen some reinterpretations and new understandings of Chinese learning and teaching: 'Confucian confusions', memorising and understanding; a family relationship between student and teacher; a mixture of authoritarianism and student-centredness; and 'Chinese learner' paradox. This paper argues that Chinese learning and teaching are more subtle and complex than they appear to be in some representations of them. Relevant studies also provide evidence that conceptions of learning, teaching and knowing are deeply rooted in specific cultural antecedents and social structures. Key words: Chinese culture, Chinese learners, learning and teaching
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAARE Conference 2006 Papers
    EditorsP Jeffery
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherAustralian Association for Research in Education
    Number of pages14
    Publication statusPublished - 2006
    EventAARE 2006 International Education Research Conference, Adelaide, Engaging Pedagogies - Adelaide, Australia
    Duration: 26 Nov 200630 Nov 2006

    Publication series

    NameAARE conference proceeding
    PublisherAustralian Association for Research in Education
    ISSN (Electronic)1324-9320


    ConferenceAARE 2006 International Education Research Conference, Adelaide, Engaging Pedagogies


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