Undergraduates’ Conceptions of Learning in an International Economics and Trade Program

Xiantong Zhao


Using phenomenographic approach, the research investigates undergraduates’ conceptions of learning in an international economics and trade program in a Chinese university. This is an attempt to introduce phenomenographic approach to Chinese higher education to investigate undergraduates’ conceptions of learning. It is also an initial phenomenographic study which is conducted in an international education context. The six conceptions of learning identified finally could be divided into two categories: the ‘reproductive’ conceptions include learning as memorizing, acquisition of knowledge and skills and application, and the ‘transformative’ conceptions involve learning as understanding, interpreting reality and change as a person. The study recommends that students ought to have the higher level of ‘transformative’ conceptions if they are to deal with huge academic burden. Meanwhile it verifies that learning is contextually-dependent, and those findings and conclusions made by the Western researchers could not be generalized without hesitation.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijld.v5i2.7266


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