Activity theoretical perspectives on international Chinese students’ (ICSs') issues with their learning in Australia: the adapted change laboratory approach (CLA)

Wang, J 2016, Activity theoretical perspectives on international Chinese students’ (ICSs') issues with their learning in Australia: the adapted change laboratory approach (CLA), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Education, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size
Wang.pdf Thesis application/pdf 4.40MB
Title Activity theoretical perspectives on international Chinese students’ (ICSs') issues with their learning in Australia: the adapted change laboratory approach (CLA)
Author(s) Wang, J
Year 2016
Abstract Extensive research conducted on issues International Chinese students (ICSs) experience with their learning in Australia strongly points to the importance of previous experience in a successful adjustment. However, an analysis from an historical/cultural vantage point has rarely been undertaken in exploring the transition to study in a new country. This qualitative study reports on the findings of interviews with six ICSs, two of whom completed high school in China (two completed their undergraduate study, and two had working experiences after their undergraduate study in China) and all of whom relocated to Australia in their twenties and early thirties to undertake tertiary studies. The aim of this thesis was to explore the ways in which their past institutional, peer, family and/or work networks framed their learning, and how this in turn influenced their experience of and approach to issues with their learning in Australia.

Activity Theory (Engeström, 1987, 1991, 2000, 2001, 2004) informed the methodological approach taken in this thesis, in which the Change Laboratory Approach (CLA) was used to highlight the historicity, complexity and dynamism of these ICSs’ processes of adjustment. Modelling these processes through the adapted CLA points to the critical role non-institutional settings in China played in their approach to issues with their study in Australia. Participants drew on past experiences and understandings derived from their peer, family and work networks, as well as their previous experience in educational settings in China. Analysis revealed that non-resolution of issues was found to be primarily due to particular root causes, mainly the continuing application of implicit rules derived from their experiences of learning in China. This analysis enhances understanding of the reasons underlying non-resolution and also suggests possible transformative solutions. The study also found that successful resolution rested on boundary-crossing between past and present institutional, peer, family and work networks. This consideration of historicity was important in understanding the ways in which ICSs’ experiences of learning in China successfully influenced their approach to issues in Australia. It clearly demonstrates the losses to the literature and the field when ICSs’ heritage is viewed only as an inadequate preparation for what faces them in Australia. In its consideration of historicity and its use of an adapted Change Laboratory Approach as an analytic tool to explore successful resolutions and non-resolutions, this study contributes to and extends the literature on the experiences of ICSs when undertaking tertiary study in Australia.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Education
Subjects Higher Education
Comparative and Cross-Cultural Education
Keyword(s) International Chinese students
Challenges with studying at university
Change laboratory approach
Historicity
Complexity
Dynamism
Versions
Version Filter Type
Access Statistics: 257 Abstract Views, 264 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Fri, 04 Nov 2016, 15:35:47 EST by Keely Chapman
© 2014 RMIT Research Repository • Powered by Fez SoftwareContact us