Construction and deconstruction of Chinese learner: Implications for learning theories

Wing On LEE, Magdalena Mo Ching MOK

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


W.O. Lee and Magdalena Mok have recently organised a special journal issue that elevates the discourse on Chinese learner. This presentation reports on the new perspectives generated from this special issue. As much as the notion is debatable and controversial, the authors contributing to this special issue provide a wide spectrum of views. Some carry on the notion of paradoxes of the Chinese learners in further understanding the East-West divide in teaching and learning, such as the different approaches to mathematics teaching and learning. Others extend the investigation of the Chinese learners beyond the cognitive aspects to uncover the emotive and social aspects of learning (such as the social reasons underlying the help-seeking behaviour of the Chinese learners that might make outsiders mistakenly regard the Chinese learners as passive learners, and how the deepening of teacher/student relationship enhances learning. Yet others move further to demystify the concepts of the Chinese learners, arguing that the Chinese learners, even though they may be different from learners of other cultures, still need to resolve problems common to all learners. Moreover, Chinese teaching cannot be classified as a stereotype. It is an emerging concept, responding to changing educational contexts, and also the corresponding changing demands on teaching and learning. In sum, the articles in this special issue make special contribution to the following aspects in further understanding of teaching and learning: rebuilding the self-concept theories, the social-emotive aspect of the Chinese learners, the intracultural perspective of learning, and changing teaching approaches in response to changing educational contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009


Lee, W. O., & Mok, M. M. C. (2009, March). Construction and deconstruction of Chinese learner: Implications for learning theories. Paper presented at the 53rd Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) 2009: The Politics of Comparison, Charleston, SC.


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