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International Education and the Chinese Learner

International Education and the Chinese Learner

Janette Ryan
Gordon Slethaug
Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 216
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  • Book Info
    International Education and the Chinese Learner
    Book Description:

    International Education and the Chinese Learner is one of the first full-length studies in the relatively new field of transnational pedagogy to explore the role of the Chinese learner in international schools and universities across the globe. It describes the unprecedented growth of international schools and university exchange programs during the past decade together with the way in which Chinese learners at all levels have taken advantage of these opportunities and have been scrutinized in the process. The results of this internationalization have in some cases solidified stereotypes about Chinese learners and in other instances have helped to overcome those prejudices.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-615-1
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Contributors
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)
    Gordon Slethaug

    During the past decade, international education (that is, intercultural and crosscultural education that transcends the geographical and pedagogical boundaries of a particular nation) has been growing at an extraordinary pace and shows no signs of abating. According to the Office of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), over 2.7 million university students went abroad in 2006 alone (“Education” 2007, 8, 45), and, according to the International Institute of Education (IIE), these figures went up significantly in 2007 and 2008, though they attach no numbers to that assertion (“Open Doors” 2008). In this activity, China has played a central role in both...

  6. I. Interrogating International Education and Chinese Learners

    • 1 Something Happened While Nobody Was Looking: The Growth of International Education and the Chinese Learner
      (pp. 15-36)
      Gordon Slethaug

      In the rapidly globalizing world of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, where money, ideas, and people move readily across the planet, it has become clear that the circulation of knowledge plays an increasingly critical part in economic productivity, potentially spelling problems for those who cannot share in this linkage and presenting opportunities for those who can:

      Educational systems tied to the formation of nation-state citizens and consumers bonded to local systems to the neglect of larger global forces are likely to become obsolete, while those that proactively engage globalization’s new challenges are more likely to thrive. (Suárez-Orozco and...

    • 2 “The Chinese Learner”: Misconceptions and Realities
      (pp. 37-56)
      Janette Ryan

      Despite intensified internationalization of education through “global cultural flows” (Appadurai 1996) of students and teachers between schools and universities in Anglophone countries and China, Western views of “the Chinese learner” remain largely based on outmoded and stereotypical assumptions long past their use-by date. Countries like Hong Kong and Australia are sites of intense flows of Western and Chinese people and ideas, yet often the opportunities that these interactions present are wasted when those on both sides continue to base their understandings of the “other” on idealized or outdated notions. Such narrow thinking and lack of attention to the very real...

  7. II. The Chinese Learner in International Schools in Hong Kong

    • 3 Fit for Purpose? Why Chinese Families Choose International Schools in Hong Kong
      (pp. 59-72)
      Chris Forse

      In Hong Kong, as in many other major cities throughout Asia, international schools have become the schools of choice for expatriates working there, socalled overseas families who have spent time abroad, and, increasingly, local families as well. Hong Kong has one of the densest concentrations of international schools in the world, which include “genuine” international schools as well as the unique English Schools Foundation (ESF) system that was created in 1967 by the British colonial government to serve the needs of its families. The ESF schools were supported by the government, and, unlike other international schools, they became financially integrated...

    • 4 Being, Becoming, and Belonging: Exploring Hong Kong-Chinese Students’ Experiences of the Social Realities of International Schooling
      (pp. 73-88)
      Eric Jabal

      This chapter considers the lived schooling realities of ten Hong Kong-Chinese international school students. It uses data from a mixed-method PhD study undertaken to understand better student engagement within the international schools in Hong Kong.

      This research agenda arises from my professional experiences in France and Hong Kong as an international school teacher-administrator and from scholarly understanding developed as a graduate student in the UK and Canada. The specific research interest stems from my concern about the ways in which international schools seem to “look after the interests of some more privileged social groups better than [they] look after the...

    • 5 Educating Chinese Learners for Social Conscience in Hong Kong: An International School Perspective
      (pp. 89-108)
      Martin Schmidt

      As Asia looks to maintain its competitive economic edge and become the world’s financial engine, educational reforms in the region have sought to adapt Western learning values of inquiry and creativity to the needs of Asian learners to put together the best of China and the West. Hong Kong, too, has recently embarked on major educational reforms. There has been much scholarly interest in the Chinese learner and how best to bring together Western educational values and practices with a society firmly rooted in Chinese culture, and many educators believe that a new curriculum design uniting these values can grow...

  8. III. Teachers and Chinese Learners in Transnational Higher Education Settings

    • 6 A Danish Perspective on Teaching Chinese Students in Europe
      (pp. 111-127)
      Jane Vinther

      Until a few years ago, Chinese students were almost unheard of at universities in Scandinavia. Now they are the fastest-growing group of foreign students. At the University of Southern Denmark, the Chinese students now constitute the second largest foreign student population, outnumbered only by students from the other Scandinavian countries, and make up a larger group than do students from all the member states of the European Union put together, despite long-established exchange programs with these countries.

      On a national basis, the figures for 2006–07 are that 14,470 international students came to Denmark;¹ of the exchange students 81 percent...

    • 7 Chinese Pre-service Teachers in Australia: Language, Identity, and Practice
      (pp. 129-148)
      Jennifer Miller

      This chapter presents one manifestation of the fluid cultural and geographical borders that now impact on education and that are central to the concerns of this book. It looks at an increasingly diversified teaching force in Australia, and specifically the case of two Chinese pre-service teachers. The language and culture difficulties they experienced during their practicum are of interest, but it is also important to consider the longer impacts once students have graduated and are working as professionals in an education milieu where their first language is neither the dominant language nor the language of instruction. The chapter opens up...

    • 8 Realizing “Cross-cultural Exchange”: A Dialogue between the USA and China
      (pp. 149-160)
      Ivy Wang

      Each year, publicly and privately financed organizations fund thousands of Americans to travel to distant countries to teach English. These organizations range from the Fulbright Committee, which administers hundreds of teaching fellowships a year, to university-affiliated programs that select only a small handful of their own alumni annually. For these ESL teachers, their classroom mandate does not end at language instruction. The loftier and less tangible goal of their work is frequently that of effecting “cross-cultural exchange” between the USA and the country to which they have traveled. More than a simple education in American customs and society, the term...

    • 9 Learning for All: Cross-cultural, Interdisciplinary Team Teaching between China and the USA
      (pp. 161-171)
      Zhu Weibin

      While many chapters in this volume regard “Chinese learners” as young people, both Miller (Chapter 7 in this volume) and I make the case that there are older learners as well. The “Transnationalism and America” project funded by the Lingnan Foundation¹ and taking place at Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU) in Guangzhou indicates that Chinese professors, graduate students, and undergraduates can all learn from interdisciplinary inquiry and team-teaching methodologies. Exciting and challenging as it may be, team teaching by professors from different cultures and speaking different languages is not an easy task for any of the participants.

      As its name implies,...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 173-175)
  10. Works Cited
    (pp. 177-196)
  11. Index
    (pp. 197-206)