From the Field - Location

Photo of Tony Bates We conclude this section with Dr. Tony Bates, current Chair of the International Experts Panel for the Open University of Portugal and a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Advisory Council on Technology and Education.

He notes there is a tendency in 'Western' courses from the USA, Britain, Canada and Australia to encourage critical thinking skills, debate and discussion, where students' views are considered important, and where the views of teachers can be legitimately challenged and where student dissent is even encouraged (Bates, 1999).

In other cultures, there is great respect shown by students for the teacher, and it is culturally alien to challenge the teacher or even express an opinion on a topic.

Consider the following…

"I find myself wondering to what extent I should impose 'Western' approaches to learning on students coming from other cultures, while acknowledging on the other hand that this 'new' or different approach may have attracted them to the courses in the first place."

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Discussion Question: What are your thoughts on Dr. Bates' comment?

 


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