The purpose of this paper is to provide for Western educators of international Chinese and Confucian Heritage Culture (CHC) students the first integrated review of kiasu, the “fear of missing out”, and its consequences for learning, teaching, and future research.
A review of the economic importance of international Chinese students is provided, followed by consideration of the pedagogical consequences of restricted participation in educational activities by the so-called “silent Chinese student”. Examination of research on international Chinese students and their source cultures established significant gaps and misunderstandings in the generally accepted understandings of CHCs, especially with respect to the actual practices used in Western and Chinese teaching. More importantly, the participation-related implications of kiasu within the context of broader cultural characteristics are described and implications drawn for teaching practices and research.
While many Western university teachers are aware of the “silent Chinese student” phenomenon, few understand its underlying reasons, especially the kiasu mindset and its relationship to other cultural elements. Kiasu actively impedes the interaction of international Chinese students with their teachers and restricts collaboration with peers, thereby limiting educational achievement. Specific tactics for amelioration are reviewed and recommendations are provided, while an agenda for future research is outlined.
Western teachers need to normalise and encourage Chinese student participation in class activities using tactics that have been demonstrated to improve outcomes for Chinese students, but that also assist students generally. These include both within-class and electronic interaction tools.
More culturally sensitive understanding of the impact of cultural differences on teaching effectiveness. While some effective responses to these already exist, further research is needed to expand the skill-set of Western teachers who work with international Chinese students.
This paper provides the first systematic integration of the kiasu phenomenon with educational practice and research.
S. Hodkinson, C. and E. Poropat, A. (2014), "Chinese students’ participation: the effect of cultural factors", Education + Training, Vol. 56 No. 5, pp. 430-446. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-04-2013-0057Download as .RIS
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