Asian learners: Retrospect and prospect

Allan B. I. BERNARDO, Ronnel Bornasal KING

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

1 Citation (Scopus)


We observe some themes and trends across the different chapters of the book with reference to the research program of David A. Watkins and to the seminal book The Chinese Learner by Watkins and Biggs (1996). We first briefly summarize some of the key methodological and theoretical elements in Watkins’ research program that calls attention to the cultural dimensions of the psychology of learners and learning processes. We reflect on issues related to the use of the construct of “Asian learners” and note the underrepresentation of learners from some Asian countries in research. We also underscore how some research inspired by Watkins’ cross-cultural research approach in educational psychology fall short of effectively theorizing about how social and cultural processes relate to learning in schools. We observe how researchers have followed Watkins’ lead in applying both etic and emic approaches to research and extended Watkins’ approach to a wider range of psychological experiences of learners, consistent with the growing scope of research in psychology in education. In all of the above, we point to opportunities for further research and further building on the legacy of David A. Watkins. Copyright © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Singapore.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe psychology of Asian learners: A festschrift in honor of David Watkins
EditorsRonnel B. KING, Allan B. I. BERNARDO
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Singapore
ISBN (Electronic)9789812875761
ISBN (Print)9789812875754
Publication statusPublished - 2016


Bernardo, A. B. I., & King, R. B. (2016). Asian learners: Retrospect and prospect. In R. B. King, & A. B. I. Bernardo (Eds.), The psychology of Asian learners: A festschrift in honor of David Watkins (pp. 635-649). Singapore: Springer Singapore.


  • Chinese student
  • Chinese learner
  • Autonomous motivation
  • Epistemological belief
  • Emic approach


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