A Cross-Cultural Look at Perceptions of Good Teaching
In the US, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand, as well as many European countries, external authorities—at the behest of their respective governments—are increasingly assessing institutional goals, processes and outcomes. Universities in return have often set in place mechanisms to evaluate and to reward teaching quality and to establish centers whose role is to improve teaching at their campus. The chapter examines the cross-cultural validity of Western conceptions of good teaching and how it impacts teaching in a non-Western culture. It reviews qualitative research into conceptions of learning and teaching in different cultures. The chapter presents comparative research into how students from two Western and five non-Western countries perceive good and bad lecturers. It discusses the extensive attempts to improve university teaching in one non-Western but highly developed country, Hong Kong. As well, the Asian view that a good teacher—at whatever education level—should also be a good moral guide could perhaps also benefit Western lecturers and their students.