[photopress:Students_from_China.jpg,full,alignright]A University of Florida study suggests Chinese students want to learn practical knowledge in an organized environment, while their American counterparts prefer a more imaginative school environment.
The academic primarily responsible for the research, Thomas Oakland, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Florida’s College of Education, said, ‘If our findings in China are borne out by further study, they could have some interesting implications for higher education, particularly in the sciences. Children who prefer a practical and organized learning style tend to do well in the sciences, and children generally choose career paths that complement their temperament.’
Oakland’s co-author, Professor Li Lu of Shanxi Medical University, recently tested 400 students of various ages and income levels in Taiyuan, a large industrial city in northern China. The researchers compared their results to tests given to nearly 8,000 American students. Some highlights from the results.
- 86 percent of Chinese students preferred an organized learning style.
- 60 percent of Chinese preferred a practical learning style, showing more interest in material that has real-world applications, preferring to learn by experience and seeking hard facts.
- Of their American counterparts, six out of 10 preferred an imaginative style, which stresses discussion of ideas and possibilities.
Thomas Oakland said, ‘The combination of ‘organized’ and ‘thinking’ styles is particularly good for people who hope to become researchers. Compared to Chinese students, American students seem to be much more interested in the use of imagination and in flexible work routines, traits that are typically conducive to creative work.’
Source: University of Florida