Visions for Education among Chinese and Non-Chinese Student Teachers: Exploring Cultural Differences

By Ana Maria Correia.

Published by The International Journal of Diversity in Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: November 5, 2015 $US5.00

Using Habermas’s theory of communicative action, this study explores the educational visions held by a multi-cultural class of students enrolled in a teacher preparation programme set in a culturally and linguistic diverse urban environment with a recent history of colonialism. The purpose of the study was to analyse the educational and teaching visions put forward by student teachers in an essay during the course “Principles of Education,” which took place in the 2013–2014 academic year and to determine whether the variation in respondents’ vision statements was related to the students’ cultural backgrounds. The students’ awareness of the instructor’s grading role may have influenced the content of their vision statements, and thus Habermas’s theory of communicative action was selected as it allows one to focus on both the content and the process of communicative interaction. The current qualitative research presents data from twenty Macau-Chinese and twenty non-Chinese overseas students. Their visions for education and teaching were examined along the lines of culture. The findings revealed that the idealised representations of what education and teaching is, does and symbolise, varies along culture lines. Since urban educational environments are growing culturally diverse, it is recommended that additional attention be given to cultural awareness in teacher education programmes.

Keywords: Teachers’ Visions, Cultural Differences

The International Journal of Diversity in Education, Volume 16, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.15-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: November 5, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 567.848KB)).

Prof. Ana Maria Correia

Dean, Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Saint Joseph, Macau, China