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Practice of Constructivism in Science Education

Question:

Discuss about the Practice of Constructivism in Science Education.

Answer:

Introduction

The concept of international education has gained much popularity in the recent times and it is a reflection of this particular every year thousands of students from the developing countries of the world migrate to the first world countries in search of better educational facilities (Wu, Garza & Guzman, 2015). This trend can be seen as a reflection of the benefits which the process of international education renders to the students like international degrees, new language learning, cultural exposure to the different cultures and others (Wu, Garza & Guzman, 2015). Furthermore, presently it is seen that the financial prospects of the process of foreign is also very rewarding and thus many students who have the necessary means take the help of this process (Kelly & Moogan, 2012). However, at the same time it is seen that the students had to deal with certain negative effects like the events of culture shock and others during the process of international education (Kelly & Moogan, 2012). This essay will argue the fact that the cultural differences during the process of foreign education are partial due to the presence of different kinds of native cultural groups and others.

The differences in the culture between the native country of the student and the host country in which the student is going to study plays a significant role in the not only in the performance level of the students but also the experience of their stay during the process of their education (Leithwood, 2013). It is generally seen that if the culture of the nation is similar to the one in which the student has been brought up to the culture of the host country in which the study has decided to pursue his or her higher education then the performance level of the student is likely to enhanced and vice versa. Many psychologists are of the viewpoint that the individuals are work or study in a much better manner if their cultural as well as the other psychosocial needs are fulfilled in a better manner (Popov et al., 2012). Apart from the educational performance factor the concept of culture also plays a significant role in the process of the adjustment process of the students. It is generally seen that the extent up to which a particular individual is being able to adjust to the culture as well as the society of another nation depends on the predominant culture of that particular nation (Bodycott & Lai, 2012). Therefore, if the student finds a culture which is similar to the culture as well as social structure of his or her native nation then it is all the more likely that the process of adjustment will be more easier for the student under discussion.

Culture and Personality differences

The major challenge which the students face during the process of international education is the difference in the culture of which they face in the foreign nations. Many experts are of the viewpoint that the personality or the culture of an individual can be seen as the accumulation of the cultural as well as the social beliefs of the environment in which she or he has been brought up (Rienties et al., 2012). This factor has a significant impact on the personality of the individuals of these nations as well. Therefore, the authors Allik et al., (2017) are of the opinion that the personality of a particular individual is an accumulation of the cultural beliefs as well as trends of that particular nation. Therefore, it would be apt to say that the factor wields a considerable influence on the identity or the personality of a particular individual. Furthermore, the author Terracciano (2005) is of the viewpoint that this particular is one of the reasons for the manifestation of the strong cultural trends within the character or the personality of the various individuals belonging to a particular nation. The “Motivation for Acculturation Scale” gives an overview of the willingness of the individuals to acculturate into the national cultures of the nation into which they are going to study. An interesting finding of this particular scale is the fact that the willingness of a particular individual to acculturate within a particular depended on the personal motivation level of the students and not on the time which they had spent in the foreign nation (Rienties et al., 2012). Furthermore, it is generally seen that if the students finds that his or her classmates belong to the same kind of culture or have identical character traits then not only the process of assimilation into the culture of the host nation becomes very easy for the student but at the same time this has a direct impact on the performance level of the students. Moreover, the assimilation into the culture of the host nation and also the formation of effective bonds with the students who are a part of the host culture is very important as it is likely to help the student not only in the process of his or her studies but at the same time will help the student to learn new and different things in a much better manner (Cobern, 2012). Therefore, it can be said that the primary hindrance which the students need to overcome in the foreign land is not the foreign culture but their own desire to mingle with the native people of that particular nation.

Language Barrier

Another major challenge which the majority of the students face during the process of international education is the language. It is generally seen that the majority who take the help of international education are the students are third world countries where they do not get adequate facilities for higher education (Ashton-Hay, 2016). The students therefore do not have English as their first language or the mother tongue language. Thus, it is often seen that they fail to communicate in an effective manner with the native people of the nation in which they are studying because of the differences in language. Furthermore, it is generally seen that although the majority of the nations of the present do impart education in the English language yet there is a difference in the quality of the English which is being taught to them (Ashton-Hay, 2016). This becomes more significant when an individual from a third world country like India or Pakistan goes to study in a first world nation like Australia, USA or others. This particular language barrier often deters many individuals from interacting with the individuals belonging to the host nation where they have come to study and thereby these students had to look for students or individuals who are more like them. Therefore, it can be said that this particular difference in the language is another factor which contributes in a significant manner towards the problem faced by the students in the foreign nations during the process of international education (Ashton-Hay, 2016). Furthermore, the concept of language barrier also plays a significant role during the process of the receiving education at the colleges as well as universities. It is generally seen that the lectures as well as discussions which takes place in the various foreign educational institutions is being impacted in the English language since in the present times the English language has emerged the international language of the world  (Bodycott & Lai, 2012). However, this particular fact is likely to cause a considerable amount of difficulty for the students who have gone to those countries for the process of receiving higher education for the diverse developing countries. Therefore, it would be apt to say this language barrier is not only likely to cause a significant amount of problem for the students during the process of their interactions with the other students of the same college or university or educational institutions but at the same time is likely to create various kinds of problems because of the difficulties which the students are going to find during the process of lectures and discussions that are being conveyed in the English language  (Bodycott & Lai, 2012).

Cultural Shock and Cultural Groups

A common trend seen among the students who are studying in the various foreign nations of the world is that they tend to form groups which are more similar in culture as well as social background like the ones which the particular student has at his or her native nation or the nation of their birth (Kim, 2012). Many experts are of the viewpoint that this particular phenomenon helps the individuals taking the help of the process to reduce the level of cultural shock which they receive in the foreign nations during the process of international education in a significant manner (Al-Kloub, Salameh & Froelicher, 2014). Therefore, it is more likely that an individual from the nation of China is more likely to mix with the people from the nation of China or more likely from the people who are from the nation which are in proximity to it because of the similarities in cultural as well as social trends. It is significant to note that this particular trend is being adopted by the various international students not only to create a community of their own in the foreign nation in which they are studying but also to form a semblance of the cultural landscape which they had experienced at their native nation and which is totally different from the one which are they are experiencing in the nation where they have come to study. The formation of these small cultural groups depending on the kind or the type which is being followed at the native nation of these students can be seen as the pseudo-cultures which the students try to follow in the nation where they have opted to pursue their higher education (Campbell, 2012). Many experts are of the viewpoint that the creation of these small cultural groups depending on the cultural as well as the social backgrounds of the students is likely to help the students in a much better manner for the process of acculturation and at the same time to get adapted to the culture of the host nation (Al-Kloub, Salameh & Froelicher, 2014). Furthermore, these experts are also of the opinion that these small cultural groups help the students to reduce the impact of the cultural shocks which they experience at these host nations where they have opted to pursue their higher education in a significant manner (Al-Kloub, Salameh & Froelicher, 2014).

Conclusion

To conclude, the process of international education provides several kinds of benefits to the students however at the same time it is also seen that the students has to deal with various kinds of issues as well. The major issue which the majority of the students face is the problem of cultural shock. However, it is generally seen that the students mitigate these adverse factors particular the ones related to culture through the creation of native group or same cultural groups.

References

Al-Kloub, M.I., Salameh, T.N. & Froelicher, E.S., (2014). Nursing students evaluation of problem based learning and the impact of culture on the learning process and outcomes: A pilot project. Nurse education in practice, 14(2), pp.142-147.

Allik, J., Church, A. T., Ortiz, F. A., Rossier, J., Hřebíčková, M., De Fruyt, F., ... & McCrae, R. R. (2017). Mean profiles of the NEO personality inventory. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 48(3), 402-420.

Ashton-Hay, S. A. (2016). International student transitioning experiences: Student voice. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 10(1), A1-A19.

Bodycott, P. & Lai, A., (2012). The influence and implications of Chinese culture in the decision to undertake cross-border higher education. Journal of studies in International education, 16(3), pp.252-270.

Campbell, N., (2012). Promoting intercultural contact on campus: A project to connect and engage international and host students. Journal of Studies in International Education, 16(3), pp.205-227.

Cobern, W.W., (2012). Contextual constructivism: The impact of culture on the learning and teaching of science. In The practice of constructivism in science education (pp. 67-86). Routledge.

Kelly, P., & Moogan, Y. (2012). Culture shock and higher education performance: Implications for teaching. Higher Education Quarterly, 66(1), 24-46.

Kim, E. (2012). An alternative theoretical model: Examining psychosocial identity development of international students in the United States. College Student Journal, 46(1).

Leithwood, P.H.K., (2013). Unseen Forces: The Impact of Social Culture: School Leadership. In Leading Schools in a Global Era (pp. 130-155). Routledge.

Marginson, S. (2014). Student self-formation in international education. Journal of Studies in International Education, 18(1), 6-22.

Popov, V., Brinkman, D., Biemans, H.J., Mulder, M., Kuznetsov, A. & Noroozi, O., (2012). Multicultural student group work in higher education: An explorative case study on challenges as perceived by students. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 36(2), pp.302-317.

Rienties, B., Beausaert, S., Grohnert, T., Niemantsverdriet, S. & Kommers, P., (2012). Understanding academic performance of international students: the role of ethnicity, academic and social integration. Higher education, 63(6), pp.685-700.

Terracciano, A., Abdel-Khalek, A. M., Adam, N., Adamovova, L., Ahn, C. K., Ahn, H. N., ... & Avia, M. D. (2005). National character does not reflect mean personality trait levels in 49 cultures. Science, 310(5745), 96-100.

Wu, H. P., Garza, E., & Guzman, N. (2015). International student’s challenge and adjustment to college. Education Research International, 2015.

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