Learning Styles of Mainland Chinese

  • Kumaran Rajaram


The chapter presents the academic evidence addressing the educational perspectives in relation to mainland Chinese students. It focuses on five key aspects—namely, (a) evaluating principles of learning styles which contributes to optimal learning effectiveness and perceived learning effectiveness; (b) the stereotypes of the learning styles of mainland Chinese students; (c) changes and shifts in Chinese culture of learning; (d) practical challenges and implications in the pursuit of Western-based education and (e) the deliverables of Western-based education for mainland Chinese students and the different types of instructional approaches.

This chapter first presents the general context of the education system in Singapore, thereafter addressing the learning style theories, followed by explicitly identifying the learning behavioural styles of mainland Chinese students. The individual aspects of the mainland Chinese students’ learning styles are further examined: (a) emphasis on the perception of the concrete; (b) practicality as a central focus; (c) rote versus repetition style of learning; (d) classroom behaviour; (e) medium of instruction and (f) analysis and identification of gaps in current knowledge. Next, the evolving changes in the Chinese culture of learning are investigated. Thereupon, the challenges and adaptability issues on the pursuit of a Western-based education versus the Chinese-oriented education are discussed. The discussion is further extended to examine the applicability of Western concepts to China. Vital aspects related to the learning styles of mainland Chinese students, namely, (a) students’ participation in classroom activities; (b) use of typical management training techniques and (c) teacher-student relationship and active versus passive teaching approaches, are also explored and debated. In this chapter the two key theoretical frameworks for the context of learning effectiveness and instructional approaches—namely, (a) Morey and Frangioso’s (1988) six effective learning principles and (b) four active (A-like) and six passive (P-like) instructional techniques identified by Rodrigues (2004)—are discussed. This primes to the next section on the identification of the gaps in current knowledge. Lastly, the key pointers discussed are reinforced.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kumaran Rajaram
    • 1
  1. 1.Nanyang Business SchoolNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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