Title: Does culture influence learning styles in higher education?

Authors: Sankaran Manikutty, N.S. Anuradha, Katrin Hansen

Addresses: Business Policy Area, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380 015, India. ' Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India. ' Fachhochschule Gelsenkirchen, Abteilung Bocholt, Fachbereich Wirtschaft, Munsterstr. 265, D-46397 Bocholt, Germany

Abstract: This paper develops a framework for understanding the relationships between approaches to learning adopted by students in the context of higher education and the culture of the country they were brought up in. The paper, after examining the more widely used Kolb|s learning styles, opts for another categorisation, namely the so called learning approaches developed by Entwistle and others (for example, Entwistle and Ramsden, 1983; Biggs, 1987; Entwistle, 1992; Tait, Entwistle and McCune, 1998; Biggs, Kember and Leung, 2001). Each of the main categories of learning approaches identified by his school, namely, deep, surface apathetic, and strategic are related to Hofstede|s cultural dimensions, namely, power distance, individualism vs. collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, long vs. short time orientation and masculinity vs. femininity and a series of hypotheses developed that could be tested in cross cultural samples. This study would give practical hints on students moving out to study in different cultures (e.g. for higher education) and for teachers dealing with students from multiple cultures.

Keywords: learning approaches; learning styles; culture; cultural influence; higher education; change; competencies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLC.2007.014896

International Journal of Learning and Change, 2007 Vol.2 No.1, pp.70 - 87

Published online: 16 Aug 2007 *

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