, Volume 68, Issue 4, pp 607-622
Date: 04 Mar 2014

And never the two shall meet’? Comparing Chinese and Dutch university teachers about the role of research in teaching

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Abstract

During the past decades, university teachers from both the East and the West have been increasingly called to involve their students in research, therefore they have to rethink not only their research and teaching practices but re-evaluate the role of research in their ongoing teaching. Thus, a survey was conducted to explore (1) what Chinese and Dutch university teachers believe the role of research should be in their teaching, (2) how they perceive their actual incorporation of research into their current teaching practice, and (3) how their beliefs about the role of research relate to their beliefs about teaching. Altogether, 284 university teachers from China and the Netherlands participated in the study. One striking result was that the Chinese and the Dutch university teachers were similar in several ways. They both highly valued the role of research in teaching, and were dissatisfied with the actual incorporation of research into their ongoing teaching practice. However, despite all similarities, the Chinese teachers were also found to be different from the Dutch teachers: They scored lower on how much they valued the role of research, how well they could incorporate research into their current teaching practice, and how much they agreed with teaching as conceptual change and focusing on an active role of the student. In general, the differences between the Chinese and the Dutch teachers may have their roots in the Confucian versus Western educational philosophies, respectively, and the similarities identified perhaps reflect the Western influence on Asian higher education.