Adult Development

Educational background


My learners are freshmen in college in southern China. About half will have attended rural primary schools where teachers often do not have formal university or teacher training. In order to access better teachers and facilities, most of these students will have boarded away from home for high school. The other half come mostly from small cities with populations under 250,000. At the high school level, teachers are required to have associate (2 year) certificates and most city schools require a BA. All these schools will have followed the national curriculum.

Educational Values

The learning environment in China is heavily influenced by traditional, primarily Confucian, teaching. The education system still incorporates the thought of “the ancients” and holds the following values:  

  • The teacher is seen as the sole, expert disseminator of “knowledge”
  • The lecture is the single most important teaching method and heavily dominates  classrooms
  • Measures of learning outcomes: 
             (1) subjective, end-of-course tests
             (2) scores on regional and national examinations/competitions

  • Memorization is considered a prerequisite for higher-order thinking skills

Educational Level
Students will have studied English for six to ten years: their reading level will be equivalent to a freshman in university; their writing, speaking, and listening abilities will be about the level of a high-school freshman or sophomore. They will function effectively in the lower domains of Bloom’s Taxonomy (Cruz, 2003).

Learning styles  
As uniformity and conformance are cultural values in China, it is fair to make an informal assessment of my class using the MBTI personality types. Roughly 80% of my students will exhibit a preference for the following learning styles: Introvert, Sensing, Thinking and Judging. In general, this means they are energized by analysis and reflection, they respond to facts, they are primarily concerned with principles and things, and they are driven to closure.