The academic acclimatisation difficulties of international students of the built environment
journal contributionposted on 2007-01-01, 00:00 authored by Richard TuckerRichard Tucker, Susan AngSusan Ang
Teaching models common to Australasia can be antithetical to those of its Asian neighbours. Australasian andragogy is a bottom-up student-centred mode of knowledge transmission promoting extroverted learning styles, whilst in Asia andragogy is commonly a top-down teachercentred model promoting introspective learning. Yet these teaching styles are in opposition to the cultural-systems attributed to Asia and the West. Such socio-cultural differences are recognised in this research as contributing to the difficulties international Built Environment undergraduates experience when asked to learn in multi-disciplinary collaborative teams. This paper presents the initial stages of a study currently running as a reflexive research program aimed at resolving these learning difficulties. The primary aim of this program is to inform a new culturally inclusive andragogy for design teaching. The outcome of the research questions are addressed through a triangulated analysis including: the formative appraisal of student satisfaction through questionnaires; the summative evaluation of student achievement through the analysis of grades and the assessment of knowledge and skills gained through the measure of student design projects; and illuminative evaluation through focus group discussions and the observation of tutorials.