Eastern and Western learning theories in transnational higher education: An interpretive phenomenological analysis case study of a Malaysian college

Watson, Ian R. (2017) Eastern and Western learning theories in transnational higher education: An interpretive phenomenological analysis case study of a Malaysian college. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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The current and past research into Trans National Higher Education (TNHE) from the experiences of teaching staff is limited and principally from the perspective of the western staff member teaching overseas students. This research bridges the gap that exists in the research literature, as the role and experiences of, and the influences upon Malaysian staff when teaching a western degree is one that is overlooked but has an important influence on the students they teach. The western learning style is very individualistic and student centred, whilst the eastern learning style is very collectivist with strong influences from Confucian Heritage Culture (CHC). The methodology chosen to investigate the views, opinions and feelings of the five volunteers from Hotec College, was Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). IPA allows the voice of the Malaysian teacher to be heard, as it is grounded in the participant’s world, it enables interpretation through Phenomenology and Hermeneutics. IPA’s ideographic approach means that one interviewee transcript is analysed at a time to elicit meaning and the development of themes, these themes allow group superordinate and subordinate themes to be generated. The results generated three superordinate themes and nine subordinate themes.

Findings indicate that the Malaysian teacher exhibits three selves: eastern, transitional and western. There are also CHC effects on teaching, and strong influences of the CHC concept of Li. Additionally there are influences on the Malaysian teachers that impacts on their self, these included the CHC concept of saving face. Existing studies into TNHE demonstrate a progression of the student from an eastern self to a western self. This investigation realises that Malaysian teachers demonstrate the same acculturation to the western educational style as students, but they must also be able to revert to their eastern self as they teach in both learning styles.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
University Services > Graduate School > Professional Doctorate
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2018 08:46
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2018 10:32
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/36240

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