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Am Psychol. 2002 Feb;57(2):89-99.

Learning considered within a cultural context. Confucian and Socratic approaches.

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Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


A Confucian-Socratic framework is used to analyze culture's influence on academic learning. Socrates, a Western exemplar, valued private and public questioning of widely accepted knowledge and expected students to evaluate others' beliefs and to generate and express their own hypotheses. Confucius, an Eastern exemplar, valued effortful, respectful, and pragmatic acquisition of essential knowledge as well as behavioral reform. Expressions of these approaches in modern postsecondary contexts are discussed, as are the effects these approaches may have for students who either fit or do not fit the cultural ideal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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