Confucian and Western Teaching and Learning

Confucian and Western Teaching and Learning

Victor X. Wang (Department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, USA) and Geraldine Torrisi-Steele (School of Information Technology, Griffith University Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/ijavet.2015010104


The authors of this article consider Western teaching and learning alongside Confucian teaching and learning through reviewing the literature. The paper emphasizes that we must teach lower order thinking skills first before we teach higher order thinking skills, and confirms that rote learning and memorization precede critical thinking and creativity. It further confirms Brookfield's theory that cultural differences put a strain on the beautifully, well-reasoned theory of andragogy, which has brought a revolution to adult education and training in North America. Educational implications for instructors in North America who are involved in helping learners from the Confucian culture are such that these instructors should consider incorporating pedagogy into their everyday classroom practice. Andragogy alone may frustrate learners from the Confucian culture. Likewise, Western instructors who wish to practice andragogy in the Confucian culture may find that their practice may be limited by the aforementioned factors. The purpose of this paper is two-fold: Firstly, to contribute to a culturally sensitive discussion of teaching and learning and raise awareness that teaching and learning practices and beliefs are culturally embedded; Secondly, to draw attention to the complementary nature of what initially may appear to be two disparate approaches to teaching and learning. By comparing Western and Confucian teaching and learning perspectives, and reviewing pertinent literature, the authors seek to highlight some important ideas about teaching and learning that should be promoted to achieve the best learning outcomes on the part of all learners placed in this global economy and competition.
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2. Theoretical Frameworks: Western And Confucian

In this section, we review the Western and Confucian theoretical frameworks of teaching and learning with a goal to making a meaningful comparison relevant to both cultures.

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