Evidence of cultural differences between American and Japanese mainstream science and engineering contexts from analysis of classroom discourse

Nilson Kunioshi, Judy Noguchi, Kazuko Tojo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Teaching styles in science and engineering instruction were compared by analysing corpora of transcripts of lectures delivered in English and Japanese at leading universities in the United States and Japan, respectively. Our findings were compatible with cultural differences related to power distance and field dependence, which have been reported in the literature. Teaching styles seem to simultaneously result from the cultural context as well as reinforce it. Science and engineering instruction in the Japanese educational context tends to reflect and reinforce a personalised transmission of knowledge style, while instruction in the American context tends to match and reinforce learning styles characterised by impersonal, inductive thinking.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
    DOIs
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2018 Jan 23

    Fingerprint

    teaching style
    cultural difference
    instruction in engineering
    Teaching
    engineering
    instruction
    classroom
    discourse
    science
    evidence
    Japan
    university
    learning
    literature

    Keywords

    • Corpus of lectures
    • education and culture
    • language and pedagogy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Engineering(all)

    Cite this

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    AB - Teaching styles in science and engineering instruction were compared by analysing corpora of transcripts of lectures delivered in English and Japanese at leading universities in the United States and Japan, respectively. Our findings were compatible with cultural differences related to power distance and field dependence, which have been reported in the literature. Teaching styles seem to simultaneously result from the cultural context as well as reinforce it. Science and engineering instruction in the Japanese educational context tends to reflect and reinforce a personalised transmission of knowledge style, while instruction in the American context tends to match and reinforce learning styles characterised by impersonal, inductive thinking.

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