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A Qualitative Study of Eastern International Students' Adjustment to Western Culture and Western Pedagogy in a British University

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posted on 07.12.2011, 12:09 by Linda Akl
This qualitative study explored the cultural, social, and academic experiences of international students in a British university (MTU), in the current geopolitical climate. The case study involved 18 international students and 22 academic and support staff members. Ethnography and content analysis for interviews during three phases yielded results that apply to Hofstede and Hofstede’s (2005) Cultural Dimensions Model, Devito’s (2004) Culture Shock Model, and Maslow’s (1954, 1970, and 1984) Hierarchy for Human Needs. The foregoing structures joined Western pedagogy in Liberal Secular Ideology to generate the Culture, Human Needs, and Western Pedagogy Model (CHNP). The CHNP Model inferred that culture shock triggered the international students’ regression in satisfying their human needs after they immersed themselves in British culture. First, human needs may exist across cultures, but the process for satisfying human needs is culture specific. Second, human needs satisfaction affects culture shock adjustment and Western pedagogy competency. Third, international students’ identities were at risk through each culture shock and human needs stage, and as they attempted to develop competency in Western pedagogy. The policy implication for supporting international students is that an academic environment that ignores IS’ cultural differences, human needs, and their unfamiliarity with Western pedagogy can destroy IS’ motivation to fulfil their academic potential.



Cooper, Paul

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University of Leicester

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