Internationalization of Australian independent schools: The influences of Confucian heritage culture on pedagogy

Project: Research

Project Description

Independent schools are emerging as a significant educational sector in Australia, enrolling thousands of international students each year. However, there are very limited studies globally on the internationalisation of primary and secondary level education, particularly in the Australian context. Culture is the major factor in explaining the differences in various learning styles of students from different cultural backgrounds. Despite our recognition of its importance, the cultural influence on students’ learning style is poorly understood for many cultures. Importantly Australia has many students from Asian countries with a Confucian Heritage Cultural (CHC). The learning styles of these students need to be better understood, particularly within influential contextual factors within Australian educational systems (such as social contexts, school culture, different pedagogies and students’ psychological factors).

This project will use a social constructivist methodological approach to address two key aims:
• to make sense of and interpret the influences of CHC pedagogy on the development of independent school culture in Australia. This will be done through an analysis of the various policy contexts of the development of Australian independent school culture, the diversities of school culture in different types of independent schools, and their influence on learning and teaching (with a foucs on CHCs).
• to explore the internal characteristics of Confucian pedagogy (i.e. a lifelong process, moral striving, passion for learning, effort-based attitudes and action plans, respect knowledge, and humility) and its effect on teaching and learning styles in Australian independent schools.

To provide educational policy contexts for this study, we will undertake an extensive review of the literature on internationalization of independent schools in Australia and relevant Australian government policy documents. This will provide background on the development of Australian independent school cultures and their pedagogical effects on teachers and students. This will also construct the legitimate theoretical base for the incorporation of CHC in Australian independent school culture, and Confucian pedagogical effects on teaching and learning styles.
Effective start/end date1/07/1731/12/19