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ERIC Number: ED559478
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 304
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3032-9680-2
How Do Students from China Studying at U.S. Engineering Graduate Degree Programs Develop along the Perry Scheme
Mak, Jenny Shuk Ching
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
This mixed-methods study explored the influence and applicability of the Perry Scheme to students from mainland China studying in the U.S. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to explore the intellectual and ethical development of students from mainland China enrolled in a U.S graduate engineering program using the Perry Scheme of intellectual and ethical development as a framework. Using the cross-sectional study approach, a bilingual English and Chinese Learning Environment Preferences (LEP) instrument (Moore, 1987) was administered to 196 engineering graduate students and alumni who completed their undergraduate studies in mainland China. Additionally, ten qualitative interviews were conducted to explore the learning experiences and cognitive development of the participants. Analysis of the quantitative data revealed that the majority of the participants in the cross-sectional study were in Position 4, or transitioning between Positions 3 and 4. This was consistent with studies in the Western higher education context. However, the findings indicate that there was a lack of development along the Perry Scheme during the program. Results of the ANOVAs did not reveal significant program differences. Gender played a role cognitive complexity with respect to progression. The female participants while enrolled in the program showed a greater progression in cognitive complexity. The male participants showed a greater progression in cognitive complexity after graduation. Interviews revealed that participants occupied up to four positions at a time. The Perry position occupied depended on the context. However, the role of the professor and family was a dominant theme for participants in Position 2. English proficiency, extracurricular activities, career development and rigorous academic curriculum were identified as important educational factors that influence participant learning. Participants identified career development, extra-curricular activities and rigorous academic curriculum as key differentiators of U.S. and Chinese higher education systems, and thus key motivating factors for them in pursuing graduate degrees in the U.S. Results from correlation and multiple regression analyses revealed little to no predictor and relationship between cognitive complexity and academic achievement. The lack of clear predictors of cognitive complexity for this group of competitive academically high achieving participants demonstrated the importance of other assessment techniques. The high academic achievement should not be construed as greater cognitive complexity. In fact, this study demonstrated the need for a combination of techniques, such as the LEP and Perry Interview protocol, to understand the learning experiences of the students. The study has implications to higher education practice, admissions, curriculum and teaching, and mentoring. Limitations and recommendations for future research were discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A