Perspectives on Thinking, Learning, and Cognitive Styles

By Robert J. Sternberg; Li-Fang Zhang | Go to book overview

7—
Correlates of Approaches to Learning: A Cross-Cultural Meta-Analysis
David Watkins
University of Hong Kong

Developing countries around the world typically see education as a route to economic progress (Altbach & Selvaratnam, 1989). Surveys such as those in the well-known IEA series have told us much about what is being learned in different countries. Much less information is known about why international differences in such outcomes are achieved except in relatively macro-terms such as the percent of gross national product spent on education, class sizes, teacher training, and so on. To achieve such insights requires intensive research into the range of factors that influence how students learn and the outcomes they achieve.

Such research has been carried out in Western countries using both quantitative and qualitative methods and much more is known now about the teaching-learning complex and how high-quality learning outcomes can be achieved (see, for instance, Fraser, Walberg, Welch, & Hattie, 1987; Marton, Hounsell, & Entwistle, 1984; Ramsden, 1988, 1992; Schmeck, 1988; Wittrock, 1986). A common cry even from developing countries such as India and the Philippines, which have been relatively successful in their educational progress in quantitative terms, is that the quality is lacking (Gonzalez, 1989). So there is an urgent need for research to be conducted in non-Western countries to investigate the generalizability of

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