Hong Kong Students' Approaches to Learning: Cross-Cultural Comparisons

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Anecdotal evidence abounds in Hong Kong to the effect that students entering tertiary education in Hong Kong are predisposed to a "rote" learning approach. With the internalisation of Higher Education in many countries, there is still insufficient understanding of how Chinese students approach their learning. Except few studies conducted locally, there have been no systematic studies undertaken and as such there is a tendency to rely on anecdotal statements about Hong Kong Chinese students' approaches to learning. This study was designed to see if Hong Kong Chinese students who enrolled into a 3-year undergraduate programme in Occupational Therapy predisposed to a surface or deep approach to learning react differently when moving progressively from one stage to the next stage in their curriculum. The study adopted a longitudinal design method and measured students' changes in their approaches to learning using the Biggs Study Process Questionnaire (SPQ). The internal consistency reliability estimates for SPQ scales for samples of Hong Kong, Australia and U.K. was compared. The results of this study indicated that Hong Kong Chinese students demonstrated a higher mean for the deep approach learning and a lower mean for the surface approach, similar to other Hong Kong studies conducted in other tertiary institutions in Hong Kong and Australia.


Keywords: Chinese Learner, Approaches to Learning, Undergraduate Occupational Therapy Students, Cross-Cultural Comparisons, Implications for Teaching And Learning
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Dr. Bhoomiah Dasari

Lecturer, School of Health Professions and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Southampton
Southampton, Hampshire, UK

Dr Bhoomiah Dasari is currently working as a lecturer in the School of Health Professions & Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Southampton, U.K. Prior to taking up this post in September 2004, Dr Dasari worked for the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for more than 23 years in a capacity as the Course Leader for about 17 years and Head of the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences. During his long career at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, he had seen the department through the many academic transitions from undergraduate to postgraduate, as well as faculty growth and changes over the years. His involvement had been not only with the University but in the broader Hong Kong community and this lead to the appointment of a Justice of the Peace by the HKSAR Chief Executive. Dr Dasari travelled widely and presented many papers at national and international conferences.

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