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Two way learning? A critique of East/West approaches to teaching and learning. Toni Dobinson School of Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Two way learning? A critique of East/West approaches to teaching and learning. Toni Dobinson School of Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Two way learning? A critique of East/West approaches to teaching and learning. Toni Dobinson School of Education

2 Internationalisation International education has made a significant contribution to Australia. It has grown to now be our third largest source of overseas earnings... The Hon Julia Gillard MP ( May 2009)

3 Statistics In Australia -Annual export figure for educational activity of $18.3 billion in 2010 (AEI, 2011) $10.4 billion (59%) in Higher Education Top 10 contributors were: China (24.3%) India (14.6%) Republic of Korea (5.7%) Malaysia (4.6%) Vietnam (4.5%) Thailand (3.8%) Indonesia (3.3%) Nepal (3.0%) Hong Kong (2.8%) Brazil (2.0%) Other (including Saudi Arabia – 28.2%)

4 Transnational Educational Programmes In 2009, 320,970 international students studying with an Australian institution of higher education 100,492 (31.3%) of these studying offshore (AEI, 2011)

5 MA (Applied Linguistics) course taught transnationally in Ho Chi Min City. Exchange of ideas about teaching and learning between Vietnamese lecturers and Australian lecturers on same course. Literature describing approaches to teaching and learning in terms of an ‘Orientalist Binary Paradigm’ (Takayama, 2008). Discourses on Orientalism and ‘othering’

6 Organisation of the presentation Approaches to teaching and learning Social and theoretical discourses on Asia and ‘othering’ ‘Spilling over’ of these discourses into research on ‘Asian’ approaches to teaching and learning Ways forward for teaching and learning in the Asia Pacific region.

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8 Mechanistic out – organismic, Humanistic in (Rogers, Maslow, Tennant, Bloom, Freire The learning society (Schon, Hutchins, ) Transformative learning –– instrumental learning out – communicative learning in (Mezirow) Learning =action collectively or individually, emotional, spiritual (Mezirow, Daloz, Cunningham, Boyd) Experiential and informal (workplace) in – classroom out (Boud, Eraut)

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10 ‘ Orientalism as a Western style for dominating, restructuring, and having authority over the Orient’. ( Said, 1978, p.3) Orientalism-almost a European invention…one of its deepest and most recurring images of the ‘other’ (Saud, 1978, p.1)

11 The European is a close reasoner; his statements of fact are devoid of any ambiguity; The mind of the Oriental, on the other hand, like his picturesque streets, is eminently wanting in symmetry The Oriental generally acts, thinks and speaks in a manner exactly opposite to the European (Cromer, 1908) ‘selective amnesia’ ‘denying of creativity and originality’ ‘continued essentially the same’ (Tavakoli-Targhi, Malcolm) Women – demure, sensual, subservient Men- cold, inscrutable, cruel

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14 Spilling over into reports of Asian approaches to learning? EARLY : reproductive (rote) dependent on teacher pragmatic/surface passive – listen and obey (Noesjirwan, 1970; Chan, 1999; Ballard, 1989)

15 Confucius versus Socrates Passivity, obedience, lack of creativity or critique, pragmatic (surface) learning, instrumental learning attributed to Confucian East. Questioning, evaluating, doubting, critiquing (deep) and communicative learning attributed to Socratic West (also deriving from Dewy (1899, 1916)

16 Setting the record straight- Confucian influence Confucius urged his students to sift his teachings and criticise his statements: 11:4 → Hui is no help to me at all. He is pleased with everything I say. He didn’t necessarily endorse teacher/student dependence: The teacher does not have to be more knowledgeable than the pupil; and the pupil is not necessarily always less learned than the teacher (cited in Cheng, 2000, p. 4) Dialectic→Ways of thinking and socio-political structures - Confucian attitudes a product of time of stability – Taoism, Buddhism approaches different – less stable (Geyer, 2003).

17 Setting the record straight- Socratic influence Learning (surface/deep) in Western universities dependent upon nature and year of course (Kirkpatrick & Mulligan, 2002) ‘Deep’ approach takes years to develop – even for academics (Haggis, 2003) Memorisation does not preclude deep understanding (Kember, 2000). Critical’ thinking often just means mirroring lecturer’s ideas (Webb, 1997; Sandeman-Gay, 1999) Asking Asian students to critically think in university settings - are we really just asking them to imitate our preferred learning style? This is Behavourist not organismic (Kegan, 1994).See Mahbubani quote Not always safe for students to articulate critical thought e.g. Indonesian student

18 Continued Can have a teacher centred approach which produces independent learners (Brookefield, 1985a) Western learning theory and teaching practices = ‘grand narrative’, ‘hegemonies’ that don’t fit reality of most learners in mass educational systems (Haggis, 2003) Mental colonisation – power and privileged versus feelings of worthlessness, thinking incongruent with ‘essence of being’ (Apsland, 1999). Quote Mahbubani Learning a product of its time (Foucault, 1972)

19 Recent research has laid ground for dismantling ‘Orientalist binary paradigms’ (Takayama, 2008) often based on ‘othering’ and Orientalist notions. Asia much more confident now – rapid economic development. Quote Mahbubani, Lecturers educated at post grad level in Western universities can occupy ‘the Third Space’ (Kramsch, 1993a, 2009) – intercultural competence Are we yet again heading in different directions though? Japan/USA (Takayama,2008)

20 More focus on social/ theoretical discourses, history and cross cultural awareness in teacher education (pre-service and in-service) and knowledge of recent empirical research More collaborative (across national borders) qualitative research by practitioners in the field recognising power relations, ethnocentricity etc Joint delivery of transnational courses with onshore and offshore teachers/lecturers; recognition of offshore teachers superior intercultural competence = learning opportunities for those in East and West. More symmetrical dialogue – Asian teachers and Australian teachers which goes beyond national differences and binary paradigms and is situated in a globalised world.

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22 References Aspland, T. (1999). ‘You learn round and I learn square’: Mei’s story. In Y. Ryan & O. Zuber-Skerritt (Eds.), Supervising postgraduates from non-English speaking backgrounds (pp.25-39). Buckingham: Open University Press. Australian Education International (AEI) (2011).Transnational education in the higher education sector. Research Snapshot, May. Bloom, B.S. (Ed.). (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: Book 1 cognitive domain. London: Longman Boud, D. & Walker, D. (1990). Making the most of experience. Studies in Continuing Education, 12 (2), Boyd, R.D. (1989). Facilitating personal transformations in small groups: Part 1.Small Group Behaviour, 20 (4), Boyd, R.D. (1991) (Ed.). Personal transformations in small groups: A Jungian perspective. London: Routledge. Boyd, R., & Myers, J.G. (1988). Transformative education. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 7 (4), Brookefield, S. (1985a). Self-directed learning: A critical review of research. In S. Brookefield (Ed.), Self directed learning: from theory to practice (pp. 5-16). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Chan, S. (1999). The Chinese learner – a question of style. Education and Training, 41 (6/7),

23 Cheng, X. (2000). Asian students’ reticence revisited. System, 28, Confucius the analects.(1979). Middlesex, England: Penguin. Cunningham, P. (1998). The social dimension of transformative learning. PAACE Journal of Lifelong Learning, 7, Daloz, L. (1986). Effective Teaching and Mentoring: Realizing the Transformational Power of Adult Learning Experiences. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Daloz, L. (1999). Mentor: Guiding the journey of adult learners. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Delacroix (1834). Algerian Women. GATE (1997). Certification Manual, Global Alliance for Transnational Education. Washington. Dewey, J. (1899). The school and society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education. USA: Macmillan. Dirlik, A. (1996). Chinese history and the question of Orientalism. History and Theory, 35 (4), Eraut,M. (2004). Informal learning in the workplace. Studies in Continuing Education, 26 (2), Foucault, M. (1972). The archeology of knowledge and the discourse on language. New York: Tavistock.

24 Geyer, R. (2003 September 19). Europeanisation, Complexity, and the British Welfare State. Paper presented at the UACES/ESRC Study Group on The Europeanisation of British Politics and Policy-Making, Department of Politics, University of Sheffield, UK. Giroux, H.A. (1981). Ideology, culture and the process of schooling. London: Falmer Press. Golden, A. (1997). Memoirs of a geisha. USA: Knopf. Green, A. (2000). Converging paths or ships passing in the night? An ‘English’ critique of Japanese school reform. Comparative Education, 36, Haggis, T. (2003). Constructing images of ourselves? A critical investigation into ‘approaches to learning’ research in higher education. British Educational Research Journal, 29 (1), Johnson, M.C. & Boud, D. (2010). Towards an emergent view of learning work. Journal of Lifelong Education, 29 (3), Kegan, R. (1994). In over our heads:The mental demands of modern life. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Kember, D Misconceptions about the learning approaches, motivation and study practices of Asian students. Higher Education, 40, Kirkpatrick, A., & Mulligan, D. (2002). Cultures of learning: Critical reading in the social and applied sciences. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 25 (2), Knowles, M. (1973). The adult learner: A neglected species. Houston: Gulf Publishing. Kramsch, C. (1993a). Context and culture in language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Kramsch, C. (2009). Third culture and language education.

25 Mahbubani, K. (1998). Can Asians think? Singapore: Times Books International. Malcolm, J. (1815). The history of Persia from the most early period to the present time. London: John Murrray. Maslow, A.H. (1970). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper & Row. Merriam, S.B. & Caffarella, R.S. (1999). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide. 2nd Ed. San Francisco, CA: Josssey-Bass. Mezirow, J. (1991). Transformative dimensions of adult learning. San Francisco,CA: Jossey-Bass. Mezirow, J. (1994). Understanding transformation theory. Adult Education Quarterly, 44 (4), Mezirow, J. (1996). Contemporary paradigms of learning. Adult Education Quarterly, 46 (3), Mezirow, J. (2003). Transformative learning as discourse. Journal of Transformative Education, 1 (1), Noesjirwan, J. (1970). Attitudes to the Asian student studying in the West. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1, Nozaki, Y. (2009). Critical teaching about Asia: Orientalism, postcolonial perspectives and cross-cultural education. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 30 (2)

26 Rogers, C.R. (1969). Freedom to learn. Ohio: Bell & Howell. Rohmer, S.(1913). The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu. London: Methuen. Said, E. (1993). Culture and imperialism. London: Chatto & Windus. Said, E.W. (1978). Orientalism. London: Penguin Sandeman,-Gay, E. (1999). Supervising Iranian students: A case study. In Y. Ryan & O. Zuber-Skerritt (Eds.), Supervising postgraduates from non-English speaking backgrounds (pp.40-47). Buckingham: Open University Press. Sayer,A. (1997). Essentialism, social constructionism and Beyond. Sociological Review, 45 (3) Sch ӧ n, D. (1983). The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books. Spies, W. (1939). The Landscape and its Children. Spivak, G.C. (1999). A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

27 Takayama, K. (2008). Beyond Orientalism in comparative education: challenging the binary opposition between Japanese and American education. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 28 (1), Tavakoli-Targhi, M. (2001). Refashioning Iran: Orientalism, occidentalism and historiography. St Antony’s, New York: Palgrave. Tennant, M. (1988). Psychology and adult learning. London: Routledge Tennant, M. (2006). Psychology and Adult learning. Abingden, Oxon: Routledge. Tennant, M. (2006). Psychology and adult learning. Abingdon, Oxon: Routlegde. Tretchikoff, V.(1950). The Green Lady. Tweed, R.G. (2000). Learning considered within a cultural context: Confucian and Socratic approaches. PhD Thesis. The University of Colombia. Ware, P., & Kramsch, C. (2005). Toward an intercultural stance: Teaching german and English through telecollaboration. The Modern Language Journal,89 (2), Webb, G. (1997). Deconstructing deep and surface approaches towards a critique of phenomenography. Higher Education, 33 (2),


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