Disposition or dislocation? Why do foreign and local students’ learning styles differ?

Jinghe Han, James Schuurmans-Stekhoven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the relationship between culture and learning style by investigating three groups: Chinese students enrolled in universities in China and Australia, and Australian students attending Australian universities. Semi-structured interviews were emailed to all participants in their native language. Specifically, the data is examined in relation to commonly held cultural stereotypes about Eastern and Western learning styles. Comparisons of Chinese and Australian preferred learning styles were indistinguishable for students enrolled in home/local institutions (though reasons for holding these preferences differed between cultures). However, the learning styles of Chinese students enrolled in Australian universities did differ from the other two groups. These results suggest that dislocation and language context factors, and not culture per se, might better explain the previously observed differences in the learning styles between Western and Asian students at Western universities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285–297
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Pedagogies and Learning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


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