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Constant and emerging characteristics of Chinese learners in changing school contexts

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The characteristics of Chinese learners and the factors influencing these characteristics become increasingly an important focus of research in the field of educational psychology, sociology and comparative education ever since the publication of the book, The Chinese Learner: Cultural, Psychological and Contextual Influences, edited by Watkins and Bigg in 1996. The recent essay collection edited by Chan and Rao in 2010, Revisiting the Chinese Learner: Changing Education, Changing Contexts, proposes a conceptual framework for guiding the further inquiry and documents some of the important developments in this line of research. This essay review synthesizes these developments emerging from the book, comments on the potentials of these developments in challenging the existing theoretical and empirical understanding about the relationship between Chinese learners, their learning and their social, cultural and pedagogical contexts. It further raises some conceptual and empirical questions about the constant and emerging characteristics of Chinese learners in the above contexts that are worth further examination.

Keywords: Chinese learner; changing contexts; cultural values; teaching

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2013

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