Wed, May 01, 2013 - Page 11 News List

More than 70% of Taiwanese students too shy to ask questions in class
台生愛面子 超過七成上課不願發言

University students attend class in Greater Taichung on March 2.
大學生三月二日於台中上課。

Photo: Tsai Shu-yuan, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者蔡淑媛

Why are students so reticent in class? According to a recent study conducted by researchers from National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) and Taipei Municipal University of Education (TMUE), students are reluctant about asking questions or responding to questions in the classroom because they fear losing face. The study also found that Taiwanese students are culturally conditioned to learn passively, without asking or answering questions verbally.

NTU professor Fwu Bih-jen says that the advantage of Taiwan’s teaching methods is that students learn by memorizing and practicing, which gives them a firm foundation. This competitive edge is most apparent when looking at how Taiwanese students rank in overall educational performance in international evaluations, including the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Fwu says, adding that this advantage also provides capable talent to the original equipment manufacturing (OEM) sector. For the future, however, she says that Taiwan will need more innovators, people who can think critically and analytically. Taiwanese students typically do not perform as well in areas covering these higher cognitive skills in TIMSS and PISA, which explains why they show less overall proficiency in those areas.

The National Science Council commissioned researchers from NTNU, NTHU and TMUE to study university students in the classroom. The results of the study showed that 83 percent of students were accustomed to recitation and rote learning, while only 28 percent were willing to interact with teachers during class and 36 percent were willing to participate in class discussions and ask questions. The main reason for this paucity of participation is ostensibly because Taiwanese students are generally afraid of losing face and because the majority of their past learning experiences consisted of teachers lecturing without students asking questions during class.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. reluctant adj.

不情願的;勉強的;猶豫的 (bu4 qing2 yuan4 de5; mian2 qiang3 de5; you2 yu4 de5)

例: Diane is reluctant about quitting her job because she’s only been with the company for three months.

(因為在這家公司工作才三個月,黛安不情願辭職。)

2. inclined adj.

想要;有傾向的 (xiang3 yao4; you3 qing2 xiang4 de5)

例: I’m inclined to staying at home. It just started pouring down outside.

(外面剛開始下大雨。我想留在家裡。)

3. confident adj.

有自信的 (you3 zi4 xin4 de5)

例: She’s confident that she will pass the exam.

(她很有自信考試一定能及格。)


Wei Chih-fen, head of TMUE’s Department of Psychology and Counseling, says that the more afraid a student is of losing face, the less inclined that student is to answering questions, but that students are much more willing to ask questions in class if they feel confident that they have a worthy question that could gain them affirmation from teachers and students by showing their potential.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

為什麼學生在課堂上總是靜悄悄?原來是怕問到笨問題或答錯問題而「沒面子」!台灣大學師培中心、台北市立教育大學與清華大學共同合作研究發現,我國文化脈絡下的學習模式,「教」的意涵是「上所施,下所效」,不強調提問與回答。

台大教授符碧真表示,我國學習模式的優勢是學生透過記憶及練習,吸收知識,學識基礎扎實,這可從我國學生多次國際學術評比如國際數學與科學成就趨勢調查(TIMSS)及國際學生評量方案(PISA)整體表現優異或可為證,提供了代工所需人力。但未來發展需要創新人才,需要思辨與探究的能力,我國在TIMSS及PISA評比高層次能力表現較差,說明學生這方面的能力較弱。

國科會委託台灣師範大學、清華大學以及台北市立教育大學研究大學生上課情形,發現高達百分之八十三的大學生修課經驗是「記誦與練習」,只有百分之二十八的學生願意在課堂上與老師互動,百分之三十六願意參與課堂討論與發問,主要原因是台灣學生愛面子,且過去的學習經驗多半是老師單方面教授知識,學生沒有在課堂上發言的習慣。

台北市立教育大學心理與諮商學系主任危芷芬表示,學生愈擔心面子問題,回答意願就越低,但若覺得問出好問題,能展現自己潛能獲老師與同儕肯定,回答意願就愈高。

(自由時報記者湯佳玲)

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