A Tale of Two Cities: Chinese teachers vs. Western Teachers on Pedagogic Behaviours in an IB World School in China

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Yue Zhang—Guangdong Country Garden School (China)

The purpose of this study is to investigate any differences existing in pedagogic behaviours between Chinese teachers (CTs) and non-Chinese teachers (NCTs) in and outside the English and Science (English-medium) classrooms in an International Baccalaureate (IB) context in mainland China. It also explored potential cultural influences, students’ perspectives and issues arising from any differences in pedagogic behaviours. It provided an in-depth and systematic interpretation of the reasons that cause the differences with the aim of contribution to an amelioration of the co-constructed pedagogy. The study adopted a comparative approach and employed qualitative methods of observation, teacher-researcher diary, individual interviews, focus group, narrative inquiry and document review to obtain data from a case study school in China. The findings indicate that firstly there were differences in pedagogic behaviours according to the key factors of: lesson timing, lesson structure, activities, students’ participation, management, differentiation, assessment, language, materials and information and communication technology. Differences also existed in communication and teacher-student-relationships outside of the classrooms. Secondly, the pedagogic behaviours were influenced by culture. Thirdly all differences were partly attributable to cultural influences. Fourthly, certain issues arose from the differences, such as misunderstandings and mistrust between NCTs and CTs and students. Finally, students on one hand welcomed the differences for they were inspired by the differences which they also considered as a good preparation for their further study overseas; on the other hand, they believed that there should be an international standard of IB approach.

Executive summary (PDF, 802 KB)