Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Learning and Teaching in the Chinese Classroom

Learning and Teaching in the Chinese Classroom: Responding to Individual Needs

Shane N. Phillipson
Bick-har Lam
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 424
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Learning and Teaching in the Chinese Classroom
    Book Description:

    A major concern of all education authorities around the world is the challenge that schools face in catering for learner diversity. That this concern is shared by authorities in East Asia, including the Education Bureau (EDB) of Hong Kong, is surprising given the high academic achievement of students from this part of the world. This book helps to meet this challenge for teachers in East Asia by focusing on specific research that helps explain the basis for diversity in the Chinese learner. Although there are many textbooks that cover the basic principles of educational psychology, few do not focus on the Chinese learner. This book makes the link between the broad field of educational psychology and how these theories contribute to our understanding of the Chinese learner. This book is unique in that it draws on recent research to illustrate the application of these theories, thereby helping teachers and students in teacher education progammes understand the variability in student achievement. Our book is based on the idea that the Chinese context is in many ways different to other cultural contexts, and that teachers can make a difference to the outcomes of student learning. We also draw on our many years of experience in educating future teachers where our students want us to focus on the Chinese classroom. Our student-teachers also want to be educated by professors who are themselves researchers. In drawing on research about the Chinese learner we also bring to our student-teachers the richness and value of educational research. We also encourage our student-teachers to think of themselves as “professional researchers” in terms of developing an understanding of the research literature and in finding solutions to their classroom problems.

    eISBN: 978-988-8053-92-6
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xii)
    John Chi-kin Lee

    Chinese teachers and learners have become an increasingly fruitful focus for educational research, not least because Asia, especially China, has been drawing worldwide attention on account of the unprecedented economic and technological development. Beyond the classical Confucian Heritage Culture, there is a curious ‘paradox’ that, on the one hand, learners from East Asia are frequently seen as rote and passive learners but, on the other hand, international assessment studies, such as PISA and the TIMSS, show students from many of the countries within East Asia achieving consistently outstanding results. Hong Kong is a particularly interesting place within contemporary China and...

  4. Foreword
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
    Kerry J. Kennedy

    Teachers play a fundamental role in the social and economic development of any society. Their preparation as professionals to meet the challenges of post-modern living is a key priority for both governments and universities. Many changes have taken place in teacher education since the establishment of formal institutions of teaching training in Hong Kong over one hundred years ago. Today, the Hong Kong government is committed to an “all graduate, all trained” profession and university level institutions are now responsible for all teacher education across early childhood, primary and secondary education. It is against this background that the Hong Kong...

  5. Preface
    (pp. xv-xviii)
  6. About the authors
    (pp. xix-xx)
  7. 1 The Contexts of Teaching in the Twenty-First Century
    (pp. 1-30)
    Bick-har Lam

    This chapter discusses: (a) the philosophical foundations of teaching in the East and West and their relevance to contemporary education; (b) the advantages and degeneration of Confucian education; and (c) the reform of classroom teaching in the twenty-first century in the context of Chinese culture. It aims to develop a solid grounding in the philosophical and cultural basis of education for teachers so that they can become fully functional professionals and make it more likely that the current reform initiatives will be successful.

    After completing this chapter, readers will be able to:

    comprehend the major philosophies that guide teaching;


  8. 2 Constructivist Perspectives on Learning
    (pp. 31-62)
    Bick-har Lam

    This chapter considers constructivist perspectives on learning, which involve a shift from viewing learners as responding to external stimuli to seeing them as ‘active in constructing their own knowledge’ and consider that ‘social interactions are important in knowledge construction’ (Bruning et al. 2004). For constructivists, learners develop knowledge directly by experiencing things and by reflecting on the consequences of such experiences; and they learn actively through cognitive processes, constructing an understanding of the world around them.

    After completing this chapter, readers will be able to:

    understand various constructivist approaches to teaching;

    explain various constructivist perspectives on learning, including the work...

  9. 3 Behavioural Models of Learning
    (pp. 63-94)
    Shane N. Phillipson

    Among the earliest approaches to the study of learning were the observations of the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov (1927) and American psychologist John B. Watson (1930). Pavlov was initially interested in the mechanisms of salivation, using dogs as his experimental animals. Inducing his dogs to salivate was easy—simply feed them. The relationship between meat and salivation can be modelled as:

    meat ➙ salivation

    In this model, the meat acted as the stimulus (S) and salivation was the dog’s response (R). However, the dog’s response to the meat did not appear to depend on its learning to salivate: the response...

  10. 4 The Role of Intelligence in the Diversity of Learners
    (pp. 95-126)
    Shane N. Phillipson

    In response to the publication of The Bell Curve (Herrnstein and Murray 1994), an American Psychological Association taskforce published a review on the general field of intelligence (Neisser et al. 1996). They based their review on the following grounds:

    Individuals differ from one another in their ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt effectively to the environment, to learn from experience, to engage in various forms of reasoning, and to overcome obstacles by taking thought. (p. 77)

    This chapter focuses on some of the most important models of intelligence and how knowledge of these models can assist teachers to understand...

  11. 5 The Role of Creativity in the Diversity of Learners
    (pp. 127-144)
    Shane N. Phillipson

    Most psychologists consider that creativity and intelligence are very different concepts. However, there are many definitions of creativity and many different approaches to researching it, which sometimes makes it a confusing area to study—though several of the publications cited in this chapter can help to reduce some of the confusion.

    After completing this chapter, readers will be able to:

    recognize the complexity of the scientific study of creativity;

    explore various instruments that measure creativity; and

    support and enhance the creativity of students.

    All the following five descriptions capture many aspects of creativity:

    Creativity is the application of existing knowledge...

  12. 6 Understanding the Development of the Self
    (pp. 145-174)
    Bick-har Lam

    In psychology, self-development refers to a wide range of knowledge, encompassing physiological, psychosocial, psychoanalytic, personality and learning theories. This chapter aims to develop a general understanding of how learners perceive themselves through the processes of socialization, environmental interaction and self-concept formation. After completing this chapter, readers will be able to:

    appreciate the complex process of student development in which environmental factors may exert both positive and negative influences to a person growth;

    understand the subtle interactions between adults and children in the socialization process

    develop strategies to support children and adolescents in building a positive self-concept that facilitate their growth...

  13. 7 Motivation and Effective Learning among Chinese Learners
    (pp. 175-202)
    Shane N. Phillipson

    Think about how you would feel if you were asked unexpectedly to sing in front of a class of Secondary 2 students. Although you are taking singing lessons, you may feel a little nervous because you do not have much experience of singing in public. On the other hand, you are curious about how it would feel to sing in front of an audience. Also, singing in public is one of your personal goals, and to be invited to sing by your class seems to you to be a great honour. You also want to avoid disappointing your singing teacher...

  14. 8 Language Development of Chinese Learners
    (pp. 203-230)
    Shane N. Phillipson

    This chapter describes the development of first language (L1) and second language (L2), and the relationship that exists between language development and the acquisition of knowledge. Many textbooks on educational psychology include sections on the broad relationship between language and cognitive development, but the treatment of the topic is often superficial. As a consequence, readers usually need to consult other textbooks on language development.

    This chapter aims to bridge the gap between language development from the perspective of educational psychology and from the many texts that focus on language development itself. Also highlighted are strategies that all teachers can use...

  15. 9 The Social Context of Learning
    (pp. 231-264)
    Shane N. Phillipson

    To understand the complete range of factors that influence learning, it is important to consider the social context of learning—that is, the broad group of external factors that either contribute to or inhibit student learning, especially in relation to academic achievement. These factors are in the environment, external to the student.

    After completing this chapter, readers will be able to:

    place the Chinese classroom within a social context (i.e. Chinese culture);

    develop an understanding of the relationship between Confucianism and student achievement;

    understand the interactions among various factors within the social context of learning; and

    focus on the importance...

  16. 10 Teachers as Researchers and Teacher Development
    (pp. 265-290)
    Bick-har Lam

    This chapter, which outlines the roles of teachers in the twenty-first century, will help readers develop a personal orientation towards teacher development and lead them to understand the professional capacity of teachers in these challenging times. The chapter focuses on professional teachers in East Asia, particularly in countries with a Confucian culture, such as Hong Kong.

    After completing this chapter, readers will be able to:

    recognize the role of teachers in the contemporary classroom;

    appreciate reflective practice as an important process in the professionalization of teachers;

    comprehend various reflective practices that support teacher development;

    understand the concept of a teacher...

  17. 11 Lesson Planning, Assessment and Learning
    (pp. 291-342)
    Bick-har Lam

    This chapter discusses lesson planning, learning and assessment and the impact of educational reforms on classroom teaching and learning. As the central theme of this book is the importance of recognizing the diversity of learners, the chapter therefore focuses on helping teachers to meet society’s expectations as they support the development of students’ potentials.

    After completing this chapter, readers will be able to understand:

    conceptual theories that guide classroom teaching;

    the planning phase of lessons, including the different levels of planning, goals of instruction, domains of development, models of organization and assessment;

    the implementation phase of lessons, which includes teaching...

  18. Glossary
    (pp. 343-354)
  19. References
    (pp. 355-382)
  20. Index
    (pp. 383-394)