Topic: Cultural-based learning styles: (A comparison between the approaches and learning styles of United States’ University students and Pakistan’ University Students- NC versus GCU).
There are different schools of thought that have their own theory supported by strong analytical research evidences. In previous empirical researches it has been observed that the learning styles of student is greatly influenced by their social and cultural styles. The cultural- based learning style has contributed towards exploring the complexities and challenges faced by international students (Neuman and Bekerman 2000; Spizzica 1997). This research paper is to explore the previous empirical researches in more descriptive manner. Despite previous empirical researches are conducted related to cross cultural learning approaches are available but there is very little managerial literature available in regard to compare the most developed one with the country that is in the process of transition. There is high possibility that the flexibility in altering the learning approaches and the adoption of new learning style while breaking from previous cultural and rituals are likely to be considered. There is no possible time to speculate that when the changes may appear but the assumptions cannot be ignored at any cost. This research explains the comparison of learning style between most developed country United States of America’s University with learning styles and approach of developing country Pakistan’s university level students. This research will explain the probability of Asian international students’ issues and challenges in the process of transition in learning approaches while shifting from their strong cultural learning style to most modernized and unique approach’s consideration.
The aim of research investigation is critically evaluate quality in higher education system from student’s viewpoint. For this purpose, two comparatively distinct institutions with culturally diversified students are undertaken to critically evaluate the findings and make close comparison in the learning styles. According to Bond, “The teachers in the Eastern part of world have supreme authority over student and are considered as the ideal symbol of knowledge who may not be questioned about any information that he or she may deliver. The information is accepted without being any resistance” (cited in Chan, 1999). Whereas Ballard and Clanchy strongly emphasised on the point made by Kirby et al, (1996) that western style of learning is different as there is speculative significance with questioning approach. Due to great contrast between the ways of learning styles, there is high possibility that Asian international student may feel uncomfortable with the methodology and style of the Western Universities. There are numerous suggestion offered by researchers in this regard. Elton and Laurillard supported that the style of student’s learning can be altered in quickest manner by changing the evaluation criterion (Cited in Tangs and Brigs, 1996, Pg. 159).
On the basis of previous empirical researches and findings of the present research investigation this comparison is developed. It has been noticed that technology has played its strong role in the learning styles and methodologies of the students at two distinct institutions. The students in west have more frequent accessibility to the modern technologies whereas eastern students in their learning approach are orthodox and conventional. The academic fields have wide range of choices available for the students at western universities whereas in eastern universities the ranges of disciplines are limited. Not all disciplines are considered as worthy to pursue career in therefore the majority of students only move in one dimension. The western students are free towards experimentation as practical approaches towards field of study is provided to them while on the other hand students in the Pakistan have more theoretical knowledge and less practical implications. The students of USA have substantial information and skills are developed through practical exposure to execute and demonstrate their true potential and abilities in the professional manner. This means that innovation, self approach, and practical involvement in learning is part of studies from the beginning whereas the students of Pakistan have their chances to learn practical implications usually at the last stages of their university years.
Our literature review also revealed that in Eastern part of world teachers are considered absolute authority and passes the information to students in their own subjective manner. This again indicates that since the teaching method is conventional therefore the learning pattern automatically becomes conventional and specifically channelized in one dimension. The learning styles of students are deeply cultural oriented and they are groomed in similar pattern to not question the approaches but take the information conveyed to them through conventional methodology of their teachers. While the western university students are ready to question and have speculative approach. The style of teaching is participative and all students are involved in learning style through discussions, open debates, and seeking their opinions and suggestions.
The research is fundamental in developing and shaping the learning styles. In United state’s University research investigations are considered as vital tool and students are encourage to commence researches in their field of interest more often as compare to the students of universities in Pakistan. The university officials and professionals assist the students to conduct research work which has resulted in various significant discoveries. On the other hand, In Pakistan the students are not fully supported by the officials nor professionals explains them in detail the right patterns of the research commencement which leaves student to work on his own to explore and discover something significant. The research work and learning both require serious attention and cooperation from both sides which is more visible in the State’s university but not so clear and transparent in Pakistan’s university.
The quality enhancement cell and student counselling services are two difference making factors in the learning styles of the students of two culturally distinctive institutions. The academic process and methodology are checked thoroughly in order to ensure that quality is maintained in the patterns and procedures at University of State. Similarly the student counselling services are not ignored in this western world. It help student in career development and turn as career guidelines. Though at Pakistan’s University, the student counselling services have developed but it is not of the similar standards as in State’s university. Eastern University do lag behind State’s University in building strong student counselling services and proper quality enhancement cell so that learning is maintained without any breakdown and students do have proper notion and directions about their career development.
The deep investigations into the available managerial literature have given the precise idea to conclude about the contrast in the learning styles of the students in State’s University NC and Pakistan’s University GC. It is evident from the previous empirical researches that the technology has played its role in the advancement of NC to great extent. The atmosphere of the NC University is rich in context to the learning methods available for its students. It facilitates students with most advance methods of learning and executing their researches. They are more encouraged to participate and actively approach the learning styles in practical manner. The learning style is neither conventional nor static. The proper monitoring of the system also improves the patterns of learning as there are quality enhancement cells to monitor and regularly evaluate the procedures and processes. The notion at the NC University is to regulate the students and encourage them to learn in their own pattern with full official and professional support to commence their research investigation in practical way.
In GC University the efforts are made to improve the skills and approaches of learning styles but it is not as advanced and well-developed as it is in case of the State’s University. It has been observed that students are much on their own for practical implications at GC University but in recent times there are initiatives from industries to assist the fresh talent and provide them career development opportunities. Despite these efforts the cultural norms has a major role in the learning styles of the students of GC University. The University at both end work as great innovators and opportunity providers as they are the learning organisations and are viewed as role models for the students to map and shape their futures. The norms and rituals are deeply stemmed in the learning styles of the students therefore it will take time to have a major shift in the styles of students when they move in as an international student. The best way to quickly adopt the learning style is altering the assessment criterion.
The findings of this research also revealed that the material for the students should be more compatible as there is high competition in the macro domain and students must have updated and recent knowledge about their respective field. There is one valid suggestion that should be proposed on the basis of previous empirical researches and present findings that every individual student in his respective field should be given a practical exposure in his chosen field in order to have complete training and development of professional attitude towards work. This will increase the professional abilities of the students and at same time industries will have high return-on-investments because they will train these employees who will return them later on at job by increasing the organisational profit and solid commitment.
The above conclusion is drawn on the sample considered for this particular research therefore there are certain limitations as if more Universities were included in the comparison there is huge possibility that the outcome of the research would have been different. The research by nature is cross-sectional one which means that the research is conducted in one particular timeframe. If this research would have been longitudinal, there might have been different aspects of the findings as longitudinal research is done from time to time in order to understand the comparison in more descriptive manner.
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