The Difficulties of Adapting from an Instruction Paradigm to a Learning Paradigm

Shaanxi Normal University

There are many differences between the Chinese and American educational systems, most notable being where they place their focus. China stresses an emphasis on achievement and high test scores above all else, demonstrating their use of the instruction paradigm. The instruction paradigm is a model of teaching in which the teachers have all the knowledge, […]

Organization and Governance of Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) in China

US Department of Education Structure
as posted on

The idea for this final project came to me during our visit to Shaanxi Normal University.  Prior to this, at Beijing Normal University, Dr. Baocum gave us a presentation on comparative education detailing the history of Higher Education in China.  He spoke about the need for higher education reform in China, identifying the need for […]

The Clash of Old and New: Chinese Students’ Perceptions of Learning in the English Language Classroom

Cultural Dimensions - China vs. U.S.

The Clash of Old and New: Chinese Students’ Perceptions of Learning in the English Language Classroom  I remember when I was in college, my [English] teacher always focused on the vocabulary, the grammar, and you know, we Chinese students can all get higher scores on the English examination, but we can’t speak very fluent English, […]

Teaching and Learning in China

China in 12 days

 The 1995 article, From Teaching to Learning – A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education by Robert Barr and John Tagg, served as a resource and the bases of many class discussions.  It describes the shift from “providing instruction- teaching to producing learning” (Barr & Tagg, pg. 13).  The traditional form of instruction is noted as […]

Study Abroad and Internationalization in China

Leslie and I with students at Shaanxi Normal University. We interviewed them in the second half of sitting in on their Sociology of Higher Education class.

When I approached this final project, I knew I wanted to do something related to study abroad in China. I began wondering why Chinese students want to study abroad, what their goals are, and what the focus on study abroad is from a Chinese administrator point of view. I knew that in the United States, […]

Does Addiction Follow You Around the World?

KTV Studio--Karaoke Nation

As a counseling student, my focus of study is on addictions. I saw my trip to China as a unique opportunity to see how different cultures view the concept of an addiction. Do they see addiction as a disease? Is addiction a well-known problem? Do they have counselors to help people battle their addictions? What […]

Global Higher Education: Academic Integrity in China


Overview In an Op-Ed article, “The Question of Corruption in Academe”, Philip Altbach (2004) explores the countless example of misconduct in higher education.  He challenges his colleagues by saying “the academic community itself must understand that without integrity and meritocracy there can be no true university.” In essence he says that as a discipline we […]

Alicia Fredericksen


I am a first year Master’s student in the Marriage and Family Counseling program. I love working with children, and passionately believe that the best way to help them is to work with the family system as a whole. Some of my specific interests include the challenges of military families, students at risk for depression […]

The Joys of Learning the Micro Level Viewpoint: Interviewing Graduate Students in China and the U.S.

East China University in Shanghai

The Joys of Learning the Micro Level Viewpoint: Interviewing Graduate Students in China and the U.S.  As a former ESL teacher of international students, many of them Chinese, I experienced teaching students who had attended Chinese secondary schools.  I heard my Chinese students talk extensively about their secondary experiences: the teacher-focused classroom, the rote memorization, […]

“Learn, so as to instruct others; Act, to serve as an example to all.”


By J. Richelle Joe On a conference room wall at Beijing Normal University, there is a wall with the following motto written in Chinese characters: “Learn, so as to instruct others; Act, so as to serve as an example to all.” Although its meaning may be up for interpretation, there is something striking about this […]