London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Successful schooling as a way for immigrants to become successful citizens: Hungarian and Chinese concepts of learning

Author(s) Sebestyén, N.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2011  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell, Europe's Future: Citizenship in a Changing World  
Age group -  
Rapidly growing migration enhances cultural diversity in the educational sphere. In order to promote effective and culturally sensitive education it is crucial to investigate the cultural embeddedness of learning concepts. This paper presents a Hungarian learning model and compares it with an already existing Chinese one (conducted by Li, 2003). The learning concept was examined by the prototype method (Shaver et al., 1987) through collecting learning-related terms from 183 Hungarian university students. Using the same method as Li (2003) to reveal the Chinese learning model made it possible to compare the two cultural concepts. The findings show that although there is similarity of deliberated conception in both cultures, there were differences as well. The Hungarian students emphasize external goals (diploma, graduation), memorization and immorality (e.g. cheating) whereas the conceptual focus of the Chinese terms is on learning virtues (e.g. diligence, perseverance) and the unity of knowing and morality (Li, 2003). Looking at the results, it becomes a salient question as to which beliefs the Chinese students living in Hungary hold. Is it necessary for the immigrant children to alter their concept of learning to the learning concept of the host society to get successful schooling and to become successful citizens or is the Hungarian education system tolerant enough to let them live up to their own cultural heritage? Keywords: successful schooling, learning concept, Chinese, Hungarian, prototype method

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   Page last updated 09 March 2011