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Japanese students’ perceptions of their student role at an international college Jacquest, Marni Anne 1995-01-26

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JAPANESE STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS OF THEIR STUDENT ROLE AT AN INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE by Marni Anne Jacquest B.Ed.(sec), The University of Alberta, 1983 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS (EDUCATION) in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August, 1995 (c) Marni Anne Jacquest, 1995 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) 11 ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to gain some understanding as to how Japanese post-secondary students, studying in North America, perceived their student role and the implications of this perception for conflict over various aspects of student role between teachers and students in a college setting in British Columbia. Although much has been written about the student role of Japanese post-secondary students in Japan, there is virtually no literature which documents what happens to perceptions of student role when Japanese students come to colleges or universities in North America. Ten aspects of student role were identified from reports of student-teacher conflict and used as the main focus of a questionnaire given to 69 students at Canadian International College (C.I.C.) in the first and last years of their four-year program at the college. Fourth-year students were also interviewed in groups about their perceptions of student role at C.I.C. Results from the first-year student interviews and the first- and fourth-year student questionnaires showed that such behaviors as: asking questions, volunteering answers, stating opinions, and active involvement in class were those to which students had the hardest time adjusting. In general, students reported a large difference between student role at Japanese Ill post-secondary institutions and at C.I.C. with moderate problems at C.I.C. as a result of that difference. They also reported a high level of student compliance with the ten aspects of student role in the questionnaire even though their perceptions of student role were different from that of C.I.C. The study raised the question of a turning point in the acquisition of Canadian academic values, at which students seem to internalize Canadian expectations of student role which were initially difficult to accept. It also suggested that international colleges such as C.I.C. have expectations of student role that are neither fully Canadian nor fully Japanese. The study recommended that North-American teachers of Japanese students find effective ways to orient students to new student role expectations and allow them to comply without jeopardizing their identity with their fellow students. iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of Contents iv List of Tables vList of Figures vii Acknowledgement viiChapter One INTRODUCTION 1 Purpose of the Study 1 Canadian International College 2 The Two- and Four-Year Programs 2 Students at C.I.C 5 Statement of the Problem 6 Importance of this Research Area 9 Outline of the Chapters 10 Chapter Two LITERATURE REVIEW 13 Education as a Means of Statification... 13 "Buying a Job" 4 Is this Changing? 15 Company-Based Training 7 Exam Hell 18 Leisure Land 20 Conformity 3 Amae: Sweet Dependence 25 Amae in the School System 26 Foreign Teachers Meeting Japanese Students 28 Summary 30 Chapter Three METHOD 2 Overview of the Study 3Students Chosen as the Sample 34 "F-l" Students"F-4" Students 3Nature of this Sample 36 Sample SizeFirst- Versus Fourth Year Students 36 Generalizability 37 The Questionnaire 8 Ten Aspects of Student Role 3The Three Main Questionnaire Sections 40 The Remainder of the Questionnaire..42 V The Interview 43 Method of Analysis 45 QuestionnaireAggregate Variables 48 Interviews 49 Summary 4Chapter Four RESULTS 50 Questionnaire Results 5Three Main Sections: Differences, Problems, and Student Behavior 50 Student Variables 55 Questionnaire Comments 58 Interview Results 59 The Ten Aspects of Student Role 59 Summary 61 Chapter Five DISCUSSION OF RESULTS 62 The Ten Aspects of Student Role 65 Asking Questions, Volunteering Answers, and Stating Opinions 65 Active Involvement, Community Involvement, and Student Leadership 72 Attendance and Homework 78 Studying, Reviewing Notes, High Marks, Exams, Paying Attention in Class, and Copying 81 Sex of RespondentAge of Respondent 82 Year of RespondentThe Aggregate Variable Graphs 83 Summary 84 Chapter Six CONCLUSION 5 Changing the Student's Role Within the Group 8A Turning Point in Maturity 87 Not Japan and Not Canada but Somewhere In Between 9 Summary 91 References 92 Appendix A English Translation of the Questionnaire 97 Appendix B Translated Questionnaire Comments by Campus 103 vi LIST OF TABLES Table 1 Questionnaire Results: Differences, Problems, and Behaviors by the Ten Categories of Student Role (All Students) 51 Table 2 Questionnaire Data by Sex of Student (All Students) 55 Table 3 Questionnaire Data by Age of Student (All Students) 56 Table 4 Questionnaire Data by Year of Program (All Students) 57 Table 5 Frequency of Responses about the Ten Categories of Student Role for Women, Men, and All F-4 Students 60 Table 6 Summary of Questionnaire and Interview Results 64 Table 7 Rank of Questionnaire and Interview Results 5 vii LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1 Sections and Question Categories on the Questionnaire 42 Figure 2 Data Analysis--Question Category and Exam Section by the Five Student Variables 47 Figure 3 Study Skills by Measures of Differences, Problems, and Behavior (All Students) 53 Figure 4 Class Participation by Measures of Differences, Problems, and Behavior (All Students) 53 Vlll ACKNOWLEDGEMENT S As with many major undertakings, this research was the product of many people working together; some overtly and some silently and to all of them I am very thankful. I would like to thank my family, friends, colleagues, and (especially) Kevin for being extremely tolerant and supportive of me while I was unavailable and/or cranky for long periods of time. Thanks, too, to proofreading friends who took the time to read and discuss drafts and, if they were bored, were too gracious to admit it. John Rathbun deserves a special thanks for short-notice emergency proofreading. I would especially like to thank people at C.I.C. for their help. Thank you to all of the students who participated in the study, especially to the F-4's who took time for interviews at the very end of their program and were very thoughtful about the whole subject of student role. Thank you also to my research committee at C.I.C. which approved of the project and made it possible for me to do the interviews in Vancouver. I would also like to thank the C.I.C. teaching staff in Nelson and Vancouver for their assistance, especially John Hodges, June Johnston, Elizabeth Kennedy, and Tamara Williams for allowing and helping me to do research with their students. For patient and thorough interpreting and translating I would like to thank Ikuko Haraguchi, Ritsu Muratake, Yoichi Oshima and Takeshi Sakakibara. ix Many people generously gave technical help, for which I am very grateful. Thanks to Tom Gougeon for advice and reference suggestions, to Carol Thew for establishing a research protocol at C.I.C. Nelson which made my life much easier, and to June Johnston for some excellent questionnaire advice. I would truly like to thank the members of my academic committee at U.B.C. who took the time to help me, especially my advisors: Dr. Mohan who advised me in designing the research and Dr. Berwick who patiently and carefully edited drafts and gave encouragement. Thanks also to Dr. Goelman at C.S.C.I, for patience and sound advice on many occasions. I hope that all of those people who gave me support during this research whom I have not specifically thanked know that I appreciate them greatly and have not taken their help lightly. 1 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Purpose of the Study As a teacher at Canadian International College (C.I.C.) I have found that one of the greatest challenges from year to year is helping students adjust to expectations about post-secondary student roles which might be foreign to them. Some problem areas around student role that faculty members at the college frequently noted in meetings and during informal discussions were such things as consistent class attendance, being on time for class, being actively involved in the class, paying attention during the lesson, asking questions and volunteering answers, handing in homework, not copying from another student (i.e., during preparation of homework or on an exam), regularly reviewing class notes and studying for exams, striving to do one's personal best academically, and accepting and working at forms of evaluation other than testing. These behaviors comprise normal operational values in a Canadian post-secondary classroom but not necessarily in a Japanese one. C.I.C. students are educated about these expectations as early as the initial interview for acceptance into the two- and four-year programs and also in the orientation that all students receive while they are still in Japan. Nonetheless, some students find the adjustment to Canadian expectations of student role quite shocking, particularly in their first year (and especially first 2 semester) at C.I.C. It was my intention then, in this study, to learn more about how C.I.C. students actually perceived their student role, and the relationship between their values and the expectations of their teachers, particularly with respect to ten aspects of student role: attendance, lateness, paying attention, asking questions and volunteering answers, active involvement, handing in homework, copying homework or exams, regularly reviewing class notes and studying for exams, striving to do one's personal best, and the importance of exams). Such a study would be helpful for any program in which Japanese students were meeting North American expectations of post-secondary student role such as during student exchanges, in non-Japanese colleges catering to Japanese students, or even in international components of Japanese university programs which send students abroad. Canadian International College The Two- and Four-Year Programs Canadian International College is a post-secondary residential institution with two- and four-year programs for students who have graduated from high school in Japan. Most students are between 18 and 20 years old when they enter C.I.C, although there are some students who are older, and even a few who have attended a post-secondary institution in Japan before coming to C.I.C. C.I.C. has two campuses, Nelson and North Vancouver. In 3 the year that this study was conducted, students in their first year of the four-year program (i.e.,"F-l" students) attended the Nelson campus along with first-year students of the two-year program (i.e, "T-l"'s). Although the four-year program had been in existence for three years, this study was conducted during the first year that F-l's joined the T-l's on the Nelson campus, blending together for all classes but Experiential Studies, a cross-cultural awareness class with community practica. Experiential Studies, for F-l and T-l students, also functions like the college equivalent of a "home room". For the entire first year, students stay in the same Experiential Studies class with the same teacher, who is known as their "faculty advisor". The faculty advisor acts as a communication hub for all the different areas of college life in which the student might have a problem such as campus life and lifestyles, community interaction, medical or legal problems, or academic life). Students meet every two weeks for interviews with their faculty advisors and may see them more often for special appointments in the event of problems or special circumstances. C.I.C. feels also that because the post-secondary educational system in Japan is so much different than that in Canadian colleges, students (particularly in their first year) need the faculty advisor to act as an academic counsellor who will "...clarify expectations and policies, grading principles and practices." (Watts, personal communication, 1995). 4 Second-, third- and fourth-year students attended the Vancouver campus in the year that this study was conducted, with separate classes for second- and fourth-year students. In general, the four-year program is perceived to be more serious, rigorous, and prestigious than the two-year program. In their first year, students spend most of their instructional time in intensive English classes with some departure into content area classes taught in English, particularly when students reach a higher level of proficiency. Most classes are taught in English by Canadian instructors and in a radically different style from what students would expect in a Japanese post-secondary class with respect to teacher roles, student roles, academic requirements and evaluation, and educational priorities and resources. For example, class sizes at C.I.C. are generally small (15-20 students) whereas classes in Japanese universities are usually much larger. Teachers at C.I.C. sometimes lecture and give notes but just as often will teach students by placing them in active learning situations, whereas post-secondary classes in Japan are generally structured around the teacher's lecturing and notes. There are, however, two notable cases at C.I.C. where classes function more along a Japanese model. Students take a cross-cultural orientation course, taught by one of the Japanese staff from the Nelson campus. This class conforms more closely to the education style that students would expect in Japan. The classes are large, information is delivered in a 5 lecture format, students are called upon to give an answer rather than being asked to volunteer, there is no group work and there is little homework given from class to class. Students also take a Japanese language class taught by a Japan Broadcasting Corporation (N.H.K.) teacher from Japan. The instructional method is similar to the cross-cultural class. Students at C.I.C. C.I.C. recruits students from all areas of Japan. Many students see C.I.C. as a viable alternative to some relatively unprestigious Japanese post-secondary colleges or universities. Japanese post secondary institutions screen students by a system of entrance exams, andd in principle, the most prestigious institutions, theoretically offer the most difficult exams. Students generally attempt to enter the most prestigious post-secondary institution within their academic reach, and so a few of C.I.C.'s recruits have written exams for a few colleges or universities before they applied to C.I.C. There are also students who choose to come to C.I.C. wanting to refine their English skills or to build their level of international understanding. Teachers at the college observe that students in this latter category are highly motivated, have clear goals, and seldom have a problem adapting to Canadian post-secondary expectations of student role. In fact, these students often exceed the teachers' expectations by seeking out opportunities in the classroom and the community which meet their learning objectives. 6 Statement of the Problem Exchange programs, cooperative university and college programs, and international colleges deal not only with students but the cultures from which they come. International education can involve situations such as a teacher going to a foreign culture, students from many cultures gathering in one institution, or, as in the case of C.I.C, students coming from a single culture to meet teachers mostly from a foreign culture. It is not surprising that when students from one educational culture meet teachers from another there would be some clash in perception about what a student is and should do. For those such as myself who began teaching at C.I.C. without any previous teaching experience in Japan, this clash was dramatic. I had expectations of my students, which I thought were universal (for example that students should attend class regularly, pay attention in class, be open to active learning, or do their homework) but which I later learned were culturally based. In my first semester at C.I.C. I had to remove a student from a final exam for blatantly and persistently attempting to copy from another student on an exam. I warned him but he disregarded my warning. Eventually, I removed him from the exam, gave him a zero, and scheduled an appointment for him to see the college president. I confronted him later by saying, "Surely this would not be allowed in a Japanese college, would 7 it?" but he replied, "Case by case". Apparently he had genuinely expected me to look the other way while he copied from another student. One explanation for his behavior is cross-cultural; some foreign teachers who have taught in Japanese post-secondary institutions report situations similar to what I experienced with my student (Bohnaker, 1990; Schoolland, 1990). The teachers at C.I.C.'s Nelson campus noticed other aspects of student role that were a problem. Many of us had taught in Canadian public schools, universities, or colleges and were a bit surprised by students who went to sleep in class, did not attend regularly, forgot to turn in homework, or had poor study habits. Another challenge was motivating students to be more "active" learners. Many teachers can remember asking students to move into groups, in their first few weeks of classes at C.I.C, only to have their students gasp and look at each other in shocked disbelief. A better orientation process in more recent years has greatly helped to educate students about differences between Japanese and Canadian post-secondary expectations before they even arrive at C.I.C. but students still have difficulty adjusting. As a faculty advisor, I talk to students about their adjustment problems in individual interviews. Two months into the 1994-95 school year I had consecutive interviews with two students who stated the same cross-cultural problem but from fascinatingly different perspectives. The first student was a twenty-four 8 year old college graduate from Japan. He expressed shock to me that he was having to spend so much time outside of class on homework. As a student in a four-year economics program at a lower level Japanese university, he had always had much more free time. He expected the same would be true here. Because he was a conscientious person, he did adapt and seemed more at home with the workload but it took him a few weeks to do so. In contrast, the other student (an 18-year-old high school graduate) chose to come to Canada because he thought that Japanese universities were not serious enough. He thought that he could learn more if he went to a foreign post-secondary college. Now at C.I.C, he was comfortable with the amount of time he spent studying but was a little annoyed by some of the less serious students in his classes and in the student residence. Both of these students identified a difference between Japanese and Canadian expectations of what a student should be doing and both were having some manner of struggle being students within a college where these two sets of expectations were clashing. The first was complaining that his life as a student was too rigorous (or, perhaps, too Canadianized) while the second was complaining that student expectations were not rigorous enough (i.e., perhaps too Japanese). The perceptions of these students and the literature (outlined in more detail in Chapter Two) indicates that international colleges such as C.I.C. may be caught between 9 different understandings of what student role and student academic responsibilities are. This study, therefore, asked students (through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews) how they perceived their student role at C.I.C. and how this perception matched the institutional expectations. Importance of this Research Area I chose to research the area of Japanese students' perception of their student role within a Canadian college because I was seeing student behavior that I found unusual and hard to explain. Upon reading the available literature I found that much had been written about Japanese post-secondary institutions and students' roles therein. This literature explained student behavior and expected roles in Japanese universities and colleges but failed to explain adequately what happens when Japanese students enter a North American program. Nor was there any literature asking such students how they felt about their student role. Some of the questions that remain unexamined include the following: do students modify their opinions of what they should be doing as students? At what point, if ever, do students change their perception of student role from a Japanese to a more Canadian one? Are some aspects of student role slower to change than others? Similarly, what effect do the Japanese cultural concepts of amae (dependence upon an authority figure) and conformity have upon Japanese students when they are removed from their mother culture and face non-Japanese authority figures? What precipitates the 10 change? Do students perceive any conflict between themselves and the institution with respect to their student role? Do some aspects of student role cause more conflict than others? These questions are not ones that the available literature can really answer. The available research discusses how the demands of the Japanese job market affect what is expected of students in colleges and universities (Gittelsohn, 1989; Leclercq, 1989) but fails to examine student role perceptions as a cross-cultural phenomenon in North American institutional settings. Outline of the Chapters Chapter two, Literature Review, explores literature about the Japanese post-secondary educational system with respect to the stratification function of education in Japan, the effect of the Japanese job market upon education, Japanese university entrance examinations, and comparative ease of Japanese academic demands versus those at North American universities. These issues figure importantly in the perceptions Japanese students in North America are likely to have developed prior to matriculation at North American institutions. In addition to these possible institutional factors, literature about the influence of two Japanese cultural phenomena (amae and conformity) and student perceptions of academic responsibility is also discussed in this chapter. Chapter Three, Method, provides a rationale for the ten aspects of student role chosen for the questionnaire and shows 11 how both the questionnaire and semi-structured group interviews were implemented at C.I.C. This chapter also outlines analysis of the questionnaire via descriptive statistics and the Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric statistical test. A description of how the semi-structured group interviews about student role were analysed is included. Chapter Four, Results, reports the quantitative and qualitative data from questionnaires and interviews. Student responses from the three main interview sections are compared to show that Differences between C.I.C. and Japanese post-secondary institutions was high, Problems created by the differences were moderate, although Behavior of students showed a high level of compliance. An assessment of the ten aspects of student role with respect to student variables showed some areas of difference between types of students (i.e. older/younger, female, male, etc.) with respect to some role aspects but that no one group had an overall profile of being more positive or compliant students. An analysis of the interview data (by coding and tallying responses) supports the descriptive statistical results for the questionnaire. It also finds three emergent categories not mentioned in the questionnaire. Chapter Five is a discussion of the results presented in Chapter Four with qualitative data (in the form of semi-structured group interview comments) mentioned where applicable. The discussion of results is organized around the 12 ten aspects of student role from the questionnaire (as well as some new aspects which emerged in the interviews). Chapter Six concludes the study and focuses on several general issues linked to matriculation of Japanese students in Canadian institutional settings. 13 CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW Teachers of Japanese students at the post secondary level are often curious about differences between the Japanese and North American educational systems. This chapter outlines several aspects of the intersection of Japanese post-secondary education and social values through an examination of the relevant literature. The chapter will also focus on Japanese post-secondary education and on conformity and amae, two key elements of Japanese society which have a major impact on Japanese education. Education as a Means of Stratification In Japan, one of the primary purposes (if not the primary purpose) of post secondary education, is to sort students into social roles by means of the level of job they will be able to obtain with their post-secondary diploma (Berman, 1990). Unlike the Canadian system where undergraduate degrees from most universities are seen to be comparable, Japanese universities, public and private, are viewed within a hierarchy of prestige (Costiniuk, 1988; Fararo, 1987; McCormick, 1988; Nakane, 1970; Taylor, 1983; Tsukada, 1988; Van Wolferen, 1989). Canadian high school graduates, more often than not, attend the public institution closest to home as one school is viewed about the same as another, whereas Japanese students, if they desire a job with a large or reputable company or with government, attempt to enter the most prestigious university 14 possible (Matsui & Onglatoo, 1992; Stevenson & Baker, 1992). This access is decided through university entrance exams (Kemper & Makino, 1993; Ohta, 1986; Reischauer, 1988; Tasker, 1987). "Buying a Job" Many of the authors surveyed in this review comment that the level of employment that a student may one day attain is almost exclusively determined by the name of the university into which the student gains entrance. Fararo (1987, p.37) comments that "...while academic elitism may occur to a varying extent worldwide, the reformers say Japan has taken it to an extreme, with the government and big business tapping a mere handful of universities for recruits." Students at C.I.C, for example, use the idiom "buying a job" or "buying a good job" to describe this relationship between entering a prestigious university and getting a good job. Over the years, the link between employment and university prestige has remained a central fact of social mobility in Japan. Nakane (1970, p.Ill) summarized, more than 25 years ago, the sorting function of education by pointing out that "Going to a university, and specifically a good university, is accepted as the prime prerequisite for upward mobility." Reischauer (1988, p. 176) comments that "Rejection or acceptance by a prestigious university is seen as determining one's whole life." The most prestigious universities are often the public ones, such as The University of Tokyo (at the very 15 top of the scale), and usually have lower tuition fees than private universities do (Greenlees, 1994). Companies often have a list of universities as being the only ones from which they will interview students for jobs. Baker and Stevenson (1992) claim that "Major companies and elite departments of the civil service only recruit graduates of certain departments in the most prestigious universities" (p. 1642). The assumption, of course, is that a student who has managed to pass the entrance examination for a top ranking university is a level thinker with the potential to be a top level employee (McCormick, 1988). Itoy, Strasser, and Takayama (1995) question this idea, noting that many members of Shoko Asahara's Aum Shinrikyo cult, blamed for March 1995's nerve gas attacks on the Tokyo subway, were recruited from top level universities. Whether or not the best thinkers graduate from the best universities, this assumption helps to explain how Japanese post-secondary education functions as a social stratifier. Is this Changing? Employment counsellors at C.I.C. began reporting last year that there was a possibility that Japanese companies were "loosening-up" and turning away from the system outlined above (Y. Oshima, personal communication, 1994). They confirmed that Sony, a Japanese electronics corporation of international repute, last year did not require applicants to list the university graduated from on the application form. They stated 16 that students from C.I.C, though members of a fairly new college just beginning to find its place on the educational hierarchy, have until this year been able to gain interviews and jobs largely on their personal merit. The available literature has not yet begun to examine this possible trend, although executives working in Japan do point to changes in employment practices that may have profound effects on social mobility in the future. Russell Mark (personal communication, 1994), an accountant with Pete, Marwick and Associates, who spent time in the last five years establishing the British Columbia Office in Tokyo and working for the Canadian Embassy in Japan as Head of the Investment Promotion Section confirms that Sony does not now require the university name of the applicant. He also reminded me that Sony is viewed as being somewhat avant-garde or eccentric, in Japan at least. Sony, in Mr. Mark's words, should not be taken as "...the bell-weather of Japanese society." Mark also explains how students were managing to capture interview slots higher than the prestige or history of their institution might warrant (as in the case of C.I.C.) and comments that personnel managers might be trying to fit the phenomenon of foreign Japanese colleges such as C.I.C. into their frame of reference. Because C.I.C. is comparatively new within the traditional framework of institutional ranking, the Japanese system has no way of evaluating it, as yet. Hence, the employment system has evaluated applicants from C.I.C. on 17 their individual merit and maturity as opposed to the name of the post-secondary institution alone. With the exception of its changes in trying to decide how to rank foreign post-secondary Japanese institutions, however, Japanese society's use of university name as a stratifying agent has probably not changed much: the available literature still reflects the basic, historical impact of post-secondary institutional prestige on employment in Japan. Company-Based Training In many ways, therefore, the demands of the Japanese job market drive or perpetuate the role of post-secondary education as a social stratifier. Potential employers drive the post-secondary system in another way, though. They assume that critical training of the employee for the job will very often be done by the company rather than at the university (Gillesohn, 1989; Leclercq, 1989). This is another large difference between the Japanese and North American systems. Regarding business's attitude toward higher education, Stephens (1991, p. 90-91) writes, "They [companies] wish to train them [students] when they graduate from their four years of, for the company, largely irrelevant study as they see it... Industry often does not believe in higher education, but thinks the bright people go there and must be recruited.". The lack of the company's interest in what the student managed to learn while in university may diminish student motivation to acquire subject-centered knowledge while at university--an idea which 18 will be discussed in depth later in this chapter. When Japanese students graduate from university and are hired by a company, they commonly undergo a period of intensive company training and orientation with other newly recruited employees before they learn what jobs they will occupy (Leclercq, 1989). C.I.C. students frequently report to me that they do not know what position they will fill when they are first hired by a company. What students have learned at university (e.g., English, business strategies, economics, etc.) may never be used in their new jobs. Ohta (1986, p.30) comments that in such a system, "...the most important questions for youngsters are shelved: the questions of what kind of persons they will become, what part they will take in society and how they should live." In such a system, where from middle school on there is intense competition for entry into the most promising high school to lead to the most prestigious university to arrive at the best job (Nozaki, 1993), one can see how the result of examinations can become more important than the attention to learning subject matter in classrooms. This key difference between the Japanese and North American education systems, as others have noted (Leclercq, 1989; Ohta, 1986; Stephens, 1991), highlights some of the possible sources of a clash in educational values between North American teachers and Japanese students. Exam Hell 19 The screening process for entrance into universities by use of entrance exams plays a central role in the Japanese system of allocation to work roles. Tasker (1987) writes that "The most crucial moment in the life of a Japanese male comes when he takes his university entrance examination. It would not be surprising if, as he sat down to his papers, the whole of his future life flashed before him...and the kind of person he will be at the age of forty... will be more or less determined" (p. 81) . The intensity of preparation as well as the stress surrounding these exams are so far from the experience of most North Americans as to be very difficult to comprehend. While I visited Japan two years ago, I was invited to the home of a renowned brain surgeon for New Year's, normally a happy occasion. The doctor and his wife told me that their son, who was looking very anxious and deeply depressed, was preparing for the February volley of entrance examinations. The whole family was helping him cram. The father told me that they were cramming English grammar that his son would possibly never use again after he entered university. "I have been a surgeon for twenty years now," said the father, "and I still have nightmares about my entrance exams." (K. Goto, personal communication, 1993) It is not uncommon for students, as they apply to universities and attempt to write entrance exams, to "shoot too high" and fail the exams the first time. They may, in fact, 20 write exams for different institutions for two or three consecutive years, attempting to match the prestige of the university with their ability to pass the exam (Feiler, 1991). Much has been written about the extreme competition of entrance exams and how it drives the educational system (Baker & Stevenson, 1992; Beauchamp, 1987; Christopher, 1983; White, 1987). Two interesting spin-off's of this competition are the Juku (once, historically used to build character and depth of thought but now an after-school cram-school that can begin as early as elementary school) and the Kyoikyu Mama, or "Education Mama" who encourages, drags, nags, and/or coerces her children to succeed in the Japanese education race (Christopher, 1983; Feiler, 1991). Just as the entrance into a post-secondary institution is a different process in Japan than in North America, so is what actually much happens within the university, which will be addressed in the next section. Leisure Land One of the most significant differences between Japanese and North American universities lies in what is expected once the student passes the entrance examinations. This is very freely documented in the literature, although somewhat shocking to North Americans who read about it for the first time. Very little is expected of students once they enter the university (Kemper & Makino, 1993; Nozaki, 1993; Tasker, 1987; Taylor, 1983; Tsuda, 1993). Berwick and Ross (1989, p. 206) 21 state that "Once the university examinations are over, there is very little to sustain this kind of motivation, so the student appears in freshman classrooms as a kind of timid, exam-worn survivor with no apparent academic purpose at university." Employers, also seem to care little for what the student learns in university (Stephens, 1991). Reischauer (1988, p.197) writes that "It is all too clear that performance during a student's university days has less influence on his career than do his entrance examinations and the post graduate examinations for business or government." In light of this, students have little to drive them to study, particularly after the time spent studying (sometimes years) for the actual entrance exams. Students themselves seem to be among the least motivated to take their course work seriously. The student is further encouraged to disengage from the academic work by the university structure itself, which also expects little of its students. According to Nozaki (1993, p.28), "...once a student enters a Japanese college, he or she is usually sure to graduate." University students are largely free to pursue such activities as part-time jobs, clubs, sports, or hobbies (Reischauer, 1988, p.199). Further reflecting this view, Tsuda (1993, p.324) writes that "...given the precedence of such personal pursuits, inclinations, and interests and the general suspension of formal academic work and requirements, universities today seem to have become recreational centers rather than academic institutions." One 22 idiom used to describe this phenomenon is "Leisure Land" (Gittlesohn, 1989, p.45; Nozaki, 1993, p.28). Although some writers make mention of the first two years of university being the slackest (Reischauer, 1988), others document cases in which students in their final two years were able to hold full time jobs in addition to completing their degree (Taylor, 1983). Mark, for instance, says it was not unusual for him to hire third- and fourth-year students to work full-time (personal communication, 1994). For many university students, some kind of student club becomes a large part of their academic life. Ogino (personal communication, 1995), a Japanese university graduate and cultural liason at C.I.C, estimates that about 10% of these clubs are "hard training" clubs--usually sports-related and involving a high level of discipline and commitment--while the balance require a time commitment but little hard work from the members. Some clubs focus on an area of study such as English Conversation or French Literature which might be seen as preparation for an upcoming job but Ogino suggests that the main role of university clubs is to meet the students' social needs. Clearly, academic learning is not the chief priority of most students at Japanese universities (Kemper and Makino, 1993). A Japanese university student, according to Nozaki (1993, p.31), " interested in receiving a diploma but not in studying and regards college as a place to get a 23 qualification (i.e., degree), not as a place for learning." North American teachers of Japanese college or university students must be aware that attending classes and completing homework (Christopher, 1983), studying, (Tsuda, 1993) not talking during class, or not cheating on exams (Schooland, 1990) may not be shared values between them and their students. More discussion relevant to a possible clash of values between non-Japanese teachers and Japanese students will be presented at the end of the chapter. Some writers argue that the four-year psychological letdown between entrance exams to university and entrance into one's occupation is necessary and important (Taylor, 1983). Tsuda (1993, p. 324) describes university as "...the only time and place in Japanese society where individuals are free to do virtually anything" while Christopher describes it as a "liberation" and likens it to "temporary duty, rest, and recreation" in the U.S. army (1983, p. 92, 97). Tsuda (1993) concludes that "Instead of simply being a useless "holiday", the university helps maintain psychological and social health in Japan" (p. 306). Whether or not North American teachers agree, it is important that they understand the background to their Japanese students' behavior so as not to measure them by North American standards alone and dismiss them as being merely lazy. Conformity One often-examined area of difference between Japanese and 24 North American societies and, hence, their school systems is the issue of individuality versus conformity. Many students of Japanese society are familiar with the Japanese proverb that the nail that sticks up will be pounded down (Anderson, 1993; Nozaki, 1993). Taylor (1983, p. 92), for example, concludes that "Japan is a dangerous place for standouts." Although one might question whether North American society is a model for tolerance, it is apparent that individualism is not a fostered value in Japanese society or in its school system. Wray (1991, p. 471) comments that "Initially, individualism was viewed in both modern China and Japan as selfishness." Even aspects of individualism, such as originality, creativity and excellence which North Americans might applaud are not necessarily encouraged in Japan. Ohanian (1986-7, p. 366) explains that "Japan's Confucian roots argue against catering to the individual, against encouraging the exceptional." Numerous authors argue that the Japanese school system tends to suppress such individualistic behaviors as spontaneous reasoning or thinking for oneself (VanWolferen, 1989), volunteering an opinion or showing individual initiative (Young, 1993), or adhering to one's principles against the will of the group (Wray, 1991). Anderson (1993) describes the pressure to conform well when he refers to students within the Japanese school system who are "...willing to initiate discussion and volunteer original answers--are the delight of Western instructors. Among their classmates, however, they are often 25 regarded as social misfits" (p. 103). Obara (1993, p.69) refers to this tendency of Japanese schools to make students conform as "de-individualization" and explains it in the context of the value of teamwork and the group over individual mindedness in society. It may be difficult for Western teachers to understand this large and deep root to the idea of conformity. While some, such as Tonegawa (1991), argue that excellence must be recognized and celebrated, Anderson (1993, p.106) cautions foreign teachers against "Western ethnocentrism" and reminds us that a student does not have to be conspicuous among his/her peers in order to be learning effectively. Amae: Sweet Dependence The concept of amae is a difficult one for Westerners to grasp and was, perhaps, best articulated for the Western world by Doi in his book, The Anatomy of Dependence (1981). White (1988, p. 22) stated Doi's basic definition of amae as being "...the desire to be passively loved or the expression of the wish to be dependent, to be taken care of unconditionally". Doi (1981, p. 57) believed that amae was "...the Japanese ideology... or leading concept" of Japanese society or, described another way, "...the basic emotional urge that has fashioned the Japanese for two thousand years..." (p. 82-3). Sometimes viewed through Western eyes as co-dependance or childishness, amae initially manifests itself in the mother-child relationship. Reischauer (1988, p.144) describes amae in 26 this relationship as the child forming " expectation of understanding indulgence from the mother but also an acceptance of her authority..." which then spreads out to other relationships in society. Amae creates a two way expectation, however, as the authority figure extends tolerance of the subordinate's self-indulgence while the subordinate gives his/her loyalty to the authority figure. Wray (1991, p.411), in his discussion of this two-way relationship, states that it is the Japanese goal " search for a dependent relationship with a company, a teacher, a benefactor, and a superior." Amae in the School System This psycho-social concept, of course, extends into the school system and other parts of society. Christopher (1983, p.83) comments that, "Like the permissiveness of the Japanese mama toward her babies, the almost boundless concern of the Japanese schoolteacher for his students is ultimately a form of social jujitsu." Accepting homework late, looking the other way when a student is copying homework or on an exam, scaling exam results for a group of students who did not study, or rearranging an interview time for a student who skipped his/her appointment might possibly be seen as the teacher indulging the student and tolerating his/her self-indulgence (or amae) from the Japanese perspective. Such a teacher might be described as "sweet" and worthy of the student's loyalty in return. Kato (1992, p.22) describes this relationship well when he writes that "Teachers and bosses offer benevolence and care to their 27 students and subordinates in exchange for obedience." It is possible not only for teachers but also for entire institutions to take part in amae (Christopher, 1983). Examples of this will be given in the last section of the chapter. Although it is difficult for Westerners to understand completely or accept, a few authors argue the positive aspects of amae. Mizuno (1988, p. 33) says that "Man needs such human elements as warmth, depth, acceptance, and so forth, which lie in a different dimension than justice." This, however, works against the Western values of principle before relationsip, or independance before interdependance. An illustration of the importance of amae is given by White (1988, 23-4) who, in referring to the memoirs of Sadaharu Oh, a famous baseball player, writes that "Oh says that it is through being cared for, indulged, and nurtured that he was fired to work hard enough to overcome his weaknesses..." and that "...the relationship between love and success in Japan is a crucial one." (1988, p. 22). What the effect of amae is upon the teacher-student relationship in a college such as C.I.C. is not made clear in the available literature. On a day when I was particularly exasperated by so many of my students turning in late assignments with apology notes hastily written on them, I asked one of C.I.C.'s Japanese counsellors why my students so frequently and unabashedly turned in late homework. She responded by explaining the idea of amae to me and concluded 28 that when my students said, "Marni is sweet," they really meant, "Marni will do such things as accept my homework late." (Muratake, personal communication, 1992). Just how consistantly this principle might be at work in a non-Japanese institution between Canadian teachers and their Japanese students is not something that the available literature discusses and, indeed, forms the basis of the basis of this study. Foreign Teachers Meeting Japanese Students In the body of literature about Japanese education that I have reviewed there is one area which is conspicuously void of analysis: what happens to Japanese students when they go abroad to study? One would think, with the explosion of foreign colleges and universities geared to Japanese students in the last ten years that there should be much written but this is not the case. In its absence, perhaps the closest that one can come to this literature is that which describes the clash in expectations between Western teachers and Japanese students when they encounter each other in Japanese post-secondary institutions. Becker (1990), outlines the issue involved in teaching or running cooperative programs with Japanese universities. The study focuses mostly on the differences between the Japanese and North American systems ranging from such mundane information as the differences between school calendar years or arrangement of classroom furniture to such important 29 information about student role as not asking questions, volunteering answers, or stating opinions and the philosophical underpinnings for these behaviors. Becker (1990) also has an important section at the end of his paper that discusses Japanese students who go abroad. He offers the insight that "The Japanese language makes a clever distinction between ryuugaku (study abroad) and yuugaku (playing abroad under the guise of studenthood)" (p. 443). Presumably, this means that international schools and exchange programs whose clients are Japanese may find two kinds of students in their classes: those who really want an international education experience and those who just want an experience--the less academic the better. Schooland (1990), writes about student behaviors at a Japanese university that show that not all Japanese students who play rather than study do so abroad. As a non-Japanese professor, he summarizes many of the things he found initially most jarring about teaching at a Japanese university (including those things which drove him to almost quit after only one week on the job). Students talked or played games while he was trying to teach. They were absent from his classes. They cheated on exams by looking at each others' papers, using crib sheets or writing on the desks and they did all of these things very blatantly, "...quite certain that nothing would be done about it." He was even more alarmed, though, to find a kind of instituional amae operating and states that "Even after the 30 final grades were handed out, there seemed to be extroardinary pressure from students, faculty, and parents not to fail anyone" (p. 12). Fellow teachers suggested he give make-up assignments or allow students to repeat the test, up to three times in one case, to allow them to pass. Similarly, Bohnaker (1990, p. 110) refers to his fifty students openly trading answers while taking their midterm tests with the mild comment that "The notion of cheating seems to be different here." Although Bohnaker's book is clearly a model of Japan-bashing, Schooland (1990) and Becker's (1990) writings are not and all three of them are commenting on the realities of teaching Japanese post-secondary students of which foreigners need to be aware. Summary Although there is little literature written about Japanese students in non-Japanese post-secondary programs, much can be learned about post-secondary student role by examining the Japanese post-secondary school system and the role of conformity and amae in Japanese society. The post-secondary education system serves as a stratifying agent within Japanese society. Students who desire jobs with the most prestigious companies work very hard from the time they are young in an attempt to enter the most prestigious universities through a rigorous entrance examination system known as "Examination Hell". Between university entrance exams and company entrance exams, the four years of university are a 31 relatively slack time for most students where they may spend relatively little time studying. A few companies (such as Sony) may be relying less upon the applicants' university name in choosing employees, but whether this is a general trend is yet unclear. Accounts written by non-Japanese teachers at Japanese post-secondary institutions describe differing expectations between Japanese students and their foreign teachers as to aspects of student role such as: asking questions and volunteering answers, stating opinions, pursuit of academic excellence, attendance, cheating on exams, and lack of student motivation or initiative, most of which are examined in this study. The next chapter outlines the study's method, including the choice of sample and the structure and analysis of the questionnaire and semi-structured interview. CHAPTER 3: METHOD This chapter outlines the method used in the study. Following an overall sketch of the study is a description and brief profile of students who participated in the study followed by a section about the questionnaire and interviews--their rationale, structure, and implementation and interpretation. Overview of the Study Sixty-nine students from the four-year program at Canadian International College were chosen to take part in this research. The 49 students from the first-year of the program (on the Nelson campus of C.I.C.) were given a questionnaire on their roles as students (Appendix A) as were the 20 fourth-year Vancouver campus students. The Vancouver students were also given semi-structured interviews in groups of two and three students each. Nelson students were not given the interviews as their English level was lower, so that communication in semi-structured interviews would have been difficult without translation. First-year students were given the questionnaire in the context of a unit they were studying on research in which they developed their own questionnaires and actually conducted mini-research projects. On the day the questionnaire was administered, I met with all three Experiential Studies classes of F-l (i.e., first year of the four-year program) students 33 during their regular Experiential Studies class. The teachers had asked me to talk to the students about the process involved in my research and leave time for student questions. Following this (and in keeping with C.I.C.'s research policy) students received a simple written summary of the purpose and procedure of the research in English and Japanese. I read the summary aloud and a translator was present to read the Japanese translation aloud and invite questions from them. Students were told that the researcher desired their involvement in the study but that it was in no way compulsory nor would it have any affect on their marks. Students could withdraw from the research at any time and were invited to make comments, ask questions, or raise concerns as they arose. All questionnaires were anonymous but were numbered. Students were asked to make a note of their number in case there was a problem with their questionnaire. In the one case of a missing response teachers announced the questionnaire number in class, and the student involved went to a third party (in this case the Homestay Coordinator) and filled in the missing question. Each student was given an English and a Japanese copy of the letter of informed consent with room for the student's and a witness's signature to indicate participation or declining to participate in the study. Students were given copies of the letter and the research summary. The procedure was similar for the fourth-year students on the Vancouver campus with the addition of modifications to the 34 summary and letter to include the interview process. This research was scheduled to happen in a reflective unit that students were doing to bring closure to their Canadian experience and help them prepare for re-entry into Japanese society. Again, the researcher stressed that participation was optional and would not affect the student's marks in any way. All first-year and fourth-year students at C.I.C. chose to participate in the study. Students Chosen as the Sample "F-l" Students All students in the first year of the four-year program (49 in total, 33 male and 16 female--referred to as "F-l" students) completed a questionnaire about their perception of post-secondary student roles. All students except two were between the ages of 18 and 20; one was 21 and the other one was 22 years old. The F-l group members were in their second to last month of instruction in the first year on the Nelson Campus when they were given the questionnaire. These students were chosen because they were close to the beginning of their program and might possibly have different perceptions about student role than their "F-4" counterparts who were nearing the end of their program of study. "F-4" Students All students in the fourth-year of the four-year program (referred to as "F-4" students) completed the same questionnaire as the "F-l"'s but were also given a semi-35 structured group interview. Of the 20 students, 13 were female, 7 were male and all students ranged in ages between 21 and 25. These students were within a month of graduating from their program and, in most cases, joining the Japanese work force. This was a highly unique group of students within the history of the college. They all joined C.I.C. in its first year of operation. As one might expect, these students lived through many of the start-up wrinkles that beset the college in its first year. Many of those problems, whether in policy or pedagogy, seemed to have the role of the student as their root. Canadian teachers and administrators quickly learned that their ideas of what a student should do were not necessarily shared by the majority of the college's students. Students from this group (i.e., the college's charter students) who transferred from the two- to the four-year program were pioneers in almost every educational sense. They piloted new curriculae, educational philosophies, and college policies, and broke in teachers and administrators (as well as being broken in to new ways of being as students). How, then, one month away from re-immersion to Japanese culture, did they now view their role as students? Had that changed since their first year? I was particularly interested in this group of F-4 students because they were pioneers and had seen the college from its beginning. If challenge breeds reflection, perhaps these 36 students would have something important to say about their role as students and, having four years of experience working through cultural differences, perhaps they would be more forthcoming in their opinions than the average Japanese student. Hence, it seemed an important opportunity in this study and for the college, to interview this group of students, in particular. Nature of this Sample Sample Size Students from the first and fourth years of the program were invited to participate in the study, with the result that all first- and fourth-year students volunteered. Because the overall sample size was small (49 F-l and 20 F-4 students), I chose to use the Kruskal-Wallis one-way analysis of variance non-parametric test, a measure designed for small sample sizes where a normal distribution cannot be assumed (Siegel & Castellan, 1988). First- Versus Fourth-Year Students Another potential problem with the sample was that it used students from the first and fourth years of the program during the same academic year (i.e., the study was a cross-sectional design rather than a longitudinal one). I have already discussed how the F-4 students in the year the study was conducted, were an interesting and notable group because of their history with the college. We cannot conclude, therefore, that the F-4 students in this study have exactly the same 37 perceptions about their student role as the F-l students in this study will have when they reach their fourth year, although it is reasonable to surmize that their perceptions would be similar. Since students from year to year are recruited in Japan on roughly the same basis, have similar educational backgrounds, come from similar socio-economic circumstances, are exposed to the same curriculum rationale and teaching styles while at C.I.C, and are in Canada for four years it is likely that the two groups would be approximately equivalent and thus useful for the purposes of this study. Generalizability The students from C.I.C.'s four-year program are most likely similar in many ways to students at other four-year North American international colleges whose students are all Japanese. Although not all international college programs which Japanese students enter are exactly like C.I.C, quite a number of programs have begun over the last decade which, like C.I.C.'s, offer Japanese high school graduates an international experience, English training and general preparatation for white-collar employment. As a four-year international college which is oriented to middle- and upper-class Japanese students (as defined by family income level), C.I.C.'s four-year students (and, therefore the students chosen as the sample) are probably fairly similar to students at other comparable colleges. Factors such as the teaching staff, curriculum rationnale, or the communities which surround the college's two 38 campuses might make C.I.C. different from other international colleges which Japanese students might attend, however, so that some measure of caution should be exercised in generalizing, based on the results of this study, to all Japanese students who attend international post-secondary institutions. However, all things considered, we can make reasonable inferences from the results of this study about Japanese students with a similar background and in similar educational situations. The Questionnaire Ten Aspects of Student Role The questionnaire (Appendix A) identified ten categories or aspects of student role: attendance, lateness, active involvement, paying attention, asking questions and volunteering answers, handing in homework, copying, reviewing notes/studying for exams, importance of good marks (i.e., doing one's personal best) and the importance of exams. I chose these ten aspects as they were those which I perceived most frequently brought me into conflict with my students. These aspects were also the ones about which I heard other teachers at our college comment the most frequently in terms of adjusting to teaching Japanese students. Since the college opened in 1988, teachers and administrators have spent much time attending to the problems that arise regarding these ten aspects of student behavior. Institutional strategies and policies have been created, changed, and changed again in an attempt to mitigate these problems. 39 In 1994, C.I.C. made a video to be shown at the orientation for new students in Japan prior to coming to Canada. A Day at C.I.C. was intended to welcome students to the college, but also to model expected student behaviors for them. The video showed students doing such things as: coming to class (and on time), being actively involved in learning in the class (including pair and group work, presentations and skits) and in the community, asking questions and volunteering answers, paying attention in the class by listening carefully and taking notes, preparing for class by studying and doing homework and submitting homework on time. These are all aspects of student behavior that found their way into the questionnaire. Similarly, at the same orientation at which A Day at C.I.C. was shown, a true/false worksheet was given to students by the Dean of Academics as a way of introducing C.I.C.'s expectations of student role. Thirteen of the fifteen questions on the worksheet addressed attendance, lateness, active involvement, paying attention, asking questions and volunteering answers, and handing in homework. The ten aspects that I chose, then, were the ones which seemed to cause the most problems and frustration for teachers and administrators at C.I.C. and require the most time and attention to deal with. An informal poll with some of the teachers who were with the college in its first year suggested that these ten aspects were research-worthy. An additional informal survey of nine current C.I.C. faculty members also 40 supported the use of the ten aspects of student role used in the student questionnaire. Teachers were asked to list aspects of student role in which students'and teachers' expectations at C.I.C. were in conflict. Of 104 answers, 97 pertained to the ten aspects of student role used in the student questionnaire, thus supporting the use of these aspects over others. The experiences of Canadian teachers and administrators at C.I.C. are reinforced in the available literature that examines the behavior and expectations upon post-secondary students in Japan. Studies by non-Japanese teachers who have taught in Japanese colleges and universities are particularly helpful, here (e.g., Becker, 1990; Bohnaker, 1990; Schooland, 1990). I also piloted the questionnaire in its English form (before the questionnaire went to translation) with three students to check that it was easily understandable and had some relevance to them. All three of the students were able to understand the questionnaire without translation and felt it to be relevant and important. The Three Main Questionnaire Sections The ten aspects of student role were framed in three main sections of the questionnaire. The first section was preceded with the question, "Is there a difference between what a Japanese college expects of students and what C.I.C. expects of its students in the following areas?" where those areas were the ten categories of student role listed above. Students checked the appropriate number on a six-point (Likert-type) 41 Semantic Differential scale on which one meant "no difference" and six was listed as a "big difference". This section is hereafter referred to as Differences. The second main section asked students to think about problems that resulted from differences in the same ten student role categories and asked the question, "Do you believe that differences in expectations between students and teachers at C.I.C. create a problem in the following areas?". Using the same six-point scale, an answer of one meant "no problem" while an answer of six meant that there was a "big problem". This section of the questionnaire is subsequently referred to as Problems. In the final main section, students were asked to report their own behavior. Students responded to statements such as, "I attend all classes at C.I.C." using the six point scale where one was "agree" and six was "disagree". Again, all ten categories of student role were present. This section is hereafter referred to as Behaviors. A sample of the question format and answer scale for attendance from the Behaviors section of the questionnaire is as follows: I attend all classes. agree disagree 42 Figure 1 shows the ten categories of student behavior about which students were asked in the three sections of the questionnaire (Differences, Problems, and Behaviors). Differences Problems Behaviors Categori es Is there a di fference? 1=no diff. 6=big diff. Does this create a problem? 1=no prob. 6=big prob. I always comply with this expectation. 1=agree 6=di sagree Attendance Lateness Active Involv. Paying Attention Asking Questions Volun. Answers Homework Copying Rev. and Study Good Marks/ Doing One's Best Imp. of Exams Figure 1. Sections and question categories on the questionnaire The Remainder of the Questionnaire The questionnaire was prefaced by a brief section which asked students for information about their age, sex, academic performance, and how many post-secondary institutions they had 43 applied to before entering C.I.C. After the Differences section of the questionnaire students were asked the question, "Are there other areas of difference?" and room was left for them to respond. A similar section followed the Problems section, where students were asked, "Are there other areas that are a problem?". As the questionnaire was presented to students in Japanese most of the comments made at the ends of the Differences and Problems sections were written in Japanese. A translated list of comments appears in Appendix B. The Japanese counseling staff at C.I.C. Nelson translated the questionnaire. Although one of the counselors translated most of the questions, all three members on the team checked the final translation and, in some cases, checked with me to clarify the meanings of different questions. The Interview Fourth-year students were interviewed on the Vancouver Campus approximately one month before their return to Japan at the end of their academic program. Students were interviewed in groups of two to four students, one to three days after they had provided informed consent for participation in the study and completed the questionnaire. Students chose their own interview groups according to their own schedules and degree of comfort with the other students. The interviews were semi-structured (rather than unstructured) in order to increase their reliability and used the following questions: 1. When you first came to C.I.C. what things surprised you about what students were expected to do in college? 2. Did you ever have a problem because of these dif ferences? Did you see any situations where other students had problems? 3. If you had your choice, what would you like to change about the student's role at C.I.C? 4. Did your role as student change when you came to Vancouver? 5. Have you changed your opinion about the role of a student in the last four years? 6. Has your own student role changed in the four years? The English level of the students I interviewed was high enough to allow for English-only interviews with no translation (i.e., students were in their fourth-year and their teachers indicated that interviews could reliably be conducted in English). Interviews for the eight interview groups were taped and later transcribed. Some of the students knew me as a Computer and English Skills teacher in their first year but many students had not had contact with me before. I chose a posture of not knowing much about Japanese society during the interviews and students often responded by explaining things to me about Japanese 45 society and post-secondary expectations. I did this intentionally to increase chances that the students would want to explain their perceptions and to see if those perceptions accorded with the literature I had read. Students seemed genuinely interested and eager to attend the interview and reflect on their experiences. Many of the students expressed their encouragement to the interviewer and their interest in seeing the final research. Method of Analysis Questionnaire Response data from the questionnaires from all students was analyzed using Kruskal-Wallis One-Way Analysis of Variance. I chose it as a statistical test to show significant relationships between student variables (e.g., age, sex, year, etc.) and categories of behavior (e.g., attendance, lateness, etc.) This non-parametric test seemed appropriate because it was more powerful than other non-parametric tests (Seigel & Castellan, 1988) in the sense that it is less prone to type A errors (it is less likely to find a significant relationship between variables where none exists). The large number of unrelated independent variables and relatively small sample size also seemed to support Kruskal-Wallis over other non-parametric tests, including Chi-Square (Popham, 1967; Seigel & Castellan). When run as a check against Kruskal-Wallis results, Chi-Square produced virtually the same patterns of association as Kruskal-Wallis, the more powerful test. 46 By variable of age of student (<19 versus >20 years old), sex, academic performance (no failed classes versus one or more failed classes), year of program (Fl versus F4), and number of institutions applied to before C.I.C. (none versus one or more), student responses were analyzed according to the ten categories (or aspects) of student role (attendance, lateness, active involvement, paying attention, asking questions and volunteering answers, handing in homework, copying, review and study, striving to do one's academic best and importance of exams) in the three main questionnaire sections of Differences, Problems, and Student Behavior. Figure 2 shows how the ten student categories in each of the three questionnaire sections (Difference, Problem, and Behavior) were tested for each of the five student variables. 47 Student Variables Age Sex Year Academic Success # Instit's Applied to. *< *> 19 20 *F *M *F-1 *F-4 *no fai T s *>1 fail's *on1y CIC *others Categori es D p B D P 8 D P B D p B D|P|B I i Attendance Lateness Active Inv. Paying Attention Asking Questions Volun. Answers Homework Copyi ng Review and Study Good Marks/ Doing One's Best Import, of Exams Figure 2. Question Category and Exam Section by the Five Student Vari ables. Using for example, attendance for section one (Differences) I was interested in whether there were significant differences between groups of students (e.g., males or females, older or younger, first year or fourth year, and so on for each of the five student variables). Attendance was tested in the same way as it appeared in the second (Problems) and third (Behavior) sections. All ten categories of student behavior were tested in this way for significant relationships with each of the five 48 student variables (males vs. females, for example). Aggregate Variables Two aggregate variables (or aggregate categories) were composed from the ten categories of student role. The first one, Study Skills, included handing in homework, copying, reviewing/studying, and doing one's academic best in all three questionnaire sections: Differences, Problems, and Behavior. These were all aspects which reflected how seriously the student approached studying. The second aggregate variable, Class participation, was composed of the variables which reflected what the student did in class, which were: attendance, lateness, active involvement, paying attention, and asking questions/volunteering answers, again, by Difference, Problem, and Behavior. As with the single categories of student behavior, the two aggregate categories were also tested against the variables of age, sex, year of study, academic success, and number of institutions applied to, to find significant relationships. Figures 3 and 4 in Chapter 4 show the mean results for all students according to Study Skills (Figure 3) and Class Participation (Figure 4). At the end of the questionnaire sections regarding Differences and Problems, students were given space to answer the questions, "Are there other areas of difference?" and "Are there other areas that are a problem?". These comments were compiled and translated into English (Appendix B). 49 Interviews The eight small-group semi-structured interviews were recorded, transcribed from tape, coded as to whether the speaker was male or female, and finally coded as to the aspect or category of student role to which the interviewee was referring. If the remark pertained to any of the ten aforementioned categories or aspects of student role it was coded accordingly. A summary of number of student responses (male, female, and total) can be found in Table 5. Students mentioned other aspects of student role, however, which were not found in the original ten. These became emergent categories and were coded accordingly. Student remarks which attempted to explain more about post-secondary student role in Japan, causality of student behavior at C.I.C. or the student's own academic growth were also coded and noted. Summary This chapter has focused on the structure of the study, how it was implemented, and the method of analysis. The next chapter will report the results of the questionnaire and the semi-structured interviews. 50 CHAPTER 4 Results This chapter will report the results from the questionnaire and interview described in Chapter 3. Both descriptive and non-parametric statistical data from the questionnaire are reported in tables with brief descriptions. Two graphs showing aggregate variables are also provided. A table of interview data is also provided that shows frequency of student responses with respect to the ten aspects of student role addressed in the questionnaire. Actual interview comments will be included in the discussion of results in Chapter 7. Questionnaire Results Three Main Sections: Differences, Problems and Student Behavior In all ten categories the mean responses (all students, n=69) were higher in the first main section of the questionnaire (Differences) than in the second (Problems). This would seem to indicate that although students acknowledge a difference in the college student's role between Japan and Canada, they do not report great problems between students and teachers that arise from those differences. Table 1 shows the mean responses of all students for all categories in each of the three questionnaire sections. 51 Table 1 Questionnaire Results: Differences, Problems, and Behaviors by the Ten Categories of Student Role (All Students) Category of Differences Problems Behavior o LUUCII i r\u i c Mean S D. Mean S. D. Mean S D. Attendance 4 93 1 45 3.68 1 . 91 2 00 1 53 Lateness 4 62 1 53 3.49 1 . 80 1 99 1 30 Active Involvement 4 96 1 34 4.04 1 . 83 1 53 87 Paying Attention 4 83 1 64 3.81 1 . 89 1 84 90 Asking Questions/ Volunteering Answers 5 01 1 54 3.88 1 . 91 2 38 1 20 Handing in Homework 3 59 1 78 3.12 1 . 79 1 55 88 Copyi ng 3 43 1 9 2.77 1 . 90 1 43 88 Review/Study 3 45 1 89 2.71 1 . 67 3 36 1 41 Good Marks/ Doing One's Best 3 10 1 74 2.62 1 . 60 2 35 1 75 Importance of Exams 3 51 1 98 2.97 1 .64 2 42 1 51 In the category of student attendance, for example, students reported a fairly large difference between what a Japanese college expects of its students and what C.I.C. expects (mean=4.93 on a six-point Likert scale). Students report, however, that this generates only a moderate amount of problems between teachers and students at C.I.C. (mean=3.68). Similarly, the third questionnaire section (Behavior) has, in all but one case, a lower mean than the corresponding 52 category in section two (Problems). A lower score, in this case, means a higher level of student compliance with the expected student behavior. Using the example of attendance again, a score of 1.0 would mean perfect attendance. The mean response for all students, however, was 2.0. Evidently, though student attendance is a large point of cultural difference, and creates moderate friction between Japanese students and Canadian teachers, students nonetheless report a high level of compliance. A Visual Representation of two aggregate variables (Study Skills and Class Participation) with all students (i.e., F-l and F-3's) reporting shown in Figures 3 and 4 indicate a similar trend of moderate to high difference, moderate problem, and a moderate to low level of student non-compliance, with the Class Participation aggregate variable showing this effect more sharply. 53 M 36 2.8 • \ J r >•' w 26 L , J I * '* j i"*' 9 2.4- HHHHHH HBHHBH 2.2- C ' I *-—»—~ **j i^yt.-'-'-^j :—--»*—«•»* 2.0 j I i | i «iJ C,-"*Lu, i -3 * , I Differences Problems Behaviour Figure 3. Study Skills by Measures of Differences, Problems, and Behaviour (All Students). Differences Problems Behaviour Figure 4. Class Participation by Measures of Differences, Problems, and Behaviour (All Students). 54 It is important to remember students are not stating facts; they are stating their perceptions on the questionnaire. The questionnaire data does not show whether or not there are differences between Japan and Canada in the ten categories of behavior but it does show what students at C.I.C. perceive as differences. On both campuses, there were one or two students who looked up from writing Section One during the questionnaire to say, "...But I don't know what happens in Japan. I haven't studied in a Japanese college." Interestingly enough, the Japanese counselling staff at C.I.C. had the same concern when they were translating the questionnaire. In all cases I responded that what I was interested in was students' perceptions of what happens in a Japanese college. Although the majority of C.I.C. students have no firsthand Japanese college experience, most have perceptions about what happens there, from watching Japanese T.V., talking with friends, and mail from home. To the Canadian college teacher, the student's perception of his/her student role is what affects the classroom. Whether or not students in Japan really spend more time playing and working at part time jobs than they do going to class is really academic if the student coming to Canada believes it to be true. This study, then, reports C.I.C. students perceptions about student role. 55 Student Variables When the five student variables of Age, Sex, Year of Program, Academic Success, and Number of Institutions Applied to were tested against the ten aspects of student role in each of the three sections, a few significant relationships were found (p<.05). A summary of these significant differences can be found in Tables 2, 3, and 4. A student's sex was associated with studying in the Differences section of the questionnaire, such that males reported a significantly bigger difference between Japanese Table 2 Questionnaire Data by Sex of Student (All Students) Quest. Aspect of F Prob. Mean S D. # of Sex Section Stud. Role Res1 s Di fferences Studyi ng 5.79 .0189 3.90 1 70 40 M 2.82 1 98 29 F Behaviors Rev. Notes 6.79 .0113 3.72 1 41 40 M 2.86 1 27 29 F II High Marks 2.92 .0485 2.70 1 96 40 M - 1 .86 1 27 29 F II Exams 9.96 .0026 2.87 1 58 40 M 1 .79 1 41 29 F colleges and C.I.C. than did females. Similarly, in the Behaviors section of the questionnaire, sex of the respondent was significantly associated with three aspects of student 56 role: reviewing notes, achieving high marks and studying for exams, where males reported themselves as being less conscientious than the female respondents. Table 3 indicates that the variable of age was significantly associated with paying attention in the Differences section of the questionnaire; older students Table 3 Questionnaire Data by Age of Student (All Students) Quest. Section Aspect of Stud. Role F Prob. Mean S D. # of Res' s Age Di fferences Pay Atten. 4.59 .0356 5.22 1 42 36 <19 4.39 1 78 33 >20 Behavi ors Attendance 5.96 .0173 1 .58 1 20 36 <19 2.45 1 73. 33 >20 II High Marks 9.97 .0024 1 .75 1 27 36 <19 3.00 1 96 33 >20 reported that there was a bigger difference between Japanese and Canadian colleges and universities than younger respondents. Two student role aspects from the Behavior section of the questionnaire associated with age were attendance and high marks, where younger students reported themselves to be significantly more conscientious. There were many aspects of student role significantly associated with the program year of the student (i.e., first-or fourth-year of the four-year program). In the Differences section, first-year students reported a bigger difference 57 Table 4 Questionnaire data by Year of Program (All Students) Quest. Section Aspect of Stud. Role F Prob. Mean S D. # of Res' s Year Di fferences Pay Atten. 7.81 .0067 5.16 1 43 49 F-1 4.00 1 86 20 F-4 Problems Ask. Ques. 4.12 .0463 3.59 1 99 49 F-1 4.60 1 50 20 F-4 Behavi ors Attendance 5.38 .0234 1 .73 1 31 49 F-1 2.65 1 84 20 F-4 Behavi ors Copyi ng 4.24 .0432 1 .57 1 00 49 F-1 1.10 0 30 20 F-4 between Japanese and Canadian colleges and universities in the area of students being required to pay attention in the class. In the questionnaire section on Problems, fourth-year students reported a significantly bigger problem between students and teachers at C.I.C. in the areas of students being expected to ask questions in class and to attend class. In the final section of the questionnaire, Behaviors, first-year students reported themselves as being more conscientious attenders but less conscientious about working by themselves without copying on homework or exams than the fourth-year students. The one student variable that was not significantly associated with any of the ten categories of student behavior was the academic performance of the student. Similarly, number of institutions applied to before C.I.C. only showed one area of significance (asking questions/volunteering answers in the 58 Problems section of the questionnaire) where students who had applied only to C.I.C. reported a larger problem between students and teachers at C.I.C. than did those who had applied to other institutions as well as to C.I.C. (F=4.80, p=.0319). Questionnaire Comments In addition to completing the questions, students were invited to make comments at the end of the first two interview sections (i.e., Differences and Problems). These comments will not be examined in detail in this chapter because, in virtually all cases, they echoed comments and trends found in the interviews, which will be examined in the next section. For example, students commented on the questionnaire that Japanese students spend less time in class, studying and doing homework and more time "playing" and engaging in other activities such as clubs and part time jobs. They also mentioned cheating, students falling asleep in class, asking questions, student leadership, character growth, and having a voice in curriculum change. These were all areas mentioned in the interviews, as well. The only noteworthy discovery was that most of the comments made by F-l students were explanations about Japanese post-secondary schools. A few of the F-4 comments were about the Japanese post-secondary system but many more were from the perspective of what they were expected to do, as students, in Canada. A complete list of translated comments can be found in Appendix B. 59 Interview Results The Ten Aspects of Student Role A tally of the number of times that interviewees mentioned the ten different aspects of student role also offers us a rough idea of what aspects of student role were most on students' minds. This information is summarized in Table 5 and is further broken down into frequency of comments about the ten aspects made by male and by female interviewees. Total numbers of responses by women, men, and all F-4 students appear and the bottom of the appropriate column and include responses made from the three emergent aspects of student role (stating opinions, community involvement, and student leadership) which are not actually shown on this table but can be referred to in Table 6. A further discussion of number and nature of comments appears in the next chapter. 60 Table 5 Frequency of Responses about the Ten Categories of Student Role for Women, Men, and All F-4 Students Category of Student Role Women % of Res's Total Men Res' s % of Total All Res' s % of Total Attendance 20.00 8.60 11.00 15.40 31 00 10 23 Lateness 9.00 3.87 0 0 9 00 2 97 Active Involv. 53.00 22.79 20.00 28.00 73 00 24 09 Paying Attention 13.00 5.59 2.00 2.80 15 00 4 95 Asking Questions/ 46.00 19.78 11 .00 15.40 57 00 18 81 Volun. Answers Handing in Hmwk. 14.00 6.02 1 .00 1 .40 15 00 4 95 Copying 0 0 1 .00 1 .40 1 00 33 Revi ew/Study 5.00 2.15 0 0 5 00 1 65 Good Marks/ Doing One's Best 4.00 1 .72 1 .00 1 .40 5 00 1 65 Import, of Exams 3.00 1 .29 4.00 5.60 7 00 2 31 /233 /72 /305 The number of interview responses related to the topic of student attendance, for example, is recorded in the first line of Table 5. Women made a total of 20 (of 233 total comments) on the subject of attendance. Therefore, 8.6% of all female responses in the semi-structured interviews were on the topic of attendance. Men made 11 responses about attendance from a total of 72 for a percentage of 15.4. The All column shows 61 results for all F-4 students--male and female combined. Thirty-one of a total of 305 responses were made about attendance for a percentage of 10.23. The remainder of Table 5 shows the breakdown of responses for the other nine categories of student role. Summary Means of student questionnaire responses showed, for each of the ten aspects or categories of student role, that students reported Differences between Japanese institutions and C.I.C. to be moderate to large, causing only moderate problems between students and teachers at C.I.C. Students also reported themselves to be highly compliant to C.I.C.'s expectations of students in each of the ten categories. Two aggregate variables of Class Participation and Study Skills showed this same trend. Three tables summarized the Kruskal-Wallis analysis of the questionnaire responses by sex, age, and year of program. A few significant relationships were found for each of these student variables but there were no sweeping trends that would signal any one group of students as being more aware of expectations or problems, or being less conscientious (i.e., behaviors) . Interview data was summarized in a table by the ten categories of student role to make it easily comparable to the questionnaire data, a discussion of which takes place in Chapter 5. 62 CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION OF RESULTS This chapter will expand upon the results presented in Chapter 4 by discussing the parametric and non-parametric results from the questionnaires and group semi-structured interviews and by integrating relevent comments from the interviews. The chapter will mostly proceed thematically by groups of the aspects of student behavior used in the questionnaire (attendance, lateness, active involvement, paying attention, asking questions and volunteering answers, handing in homework, copying, reviewing and studying, importance of good marks and doing one's personal best, and importance of exams) as well as three new aspects which emerged from frequent comments in the semi-structured interviews (stating opinions, community involvement, and student leadership). I organized the groups of student aspects by considering (a) how frequently students mentioned the item in the interviews (see Table 6), (b) the mean response of all (F-l and F-4) students on the three sections of the questionnaire (see Table 6), and (c) how the aspect related thematically to the other aspects. At the end of this chapter is also a section which discusses the aggregate variable graphs introduced in Chapter 4. The first grouping of aspects of student behavior incorporates asking questions and volunteering answers and stating opinions. Asking questions and volunteering answers 63 was listed according to mean responses on the questionnaire as the biggest area of difference between Japanese post-secondary institutions and C.I.C, the second biggest problem between C.I.C. teachers and students, and the third highest item under behavior (where a higher number indicates higher non compliance to the expected behavior). It was also the aspect of student role that was most discussed in the group interviews. Stating opinions was an aspect of student behavior that emerged from frequent student comments on the interviews. It was grouped with asking questions and volunteering answers because students often talked about both items together. The remainder of the ten aspects of student role were grouped in a similar fashion. Tables 6 and 7 summarize information introduced in Chapter 4. Table 6 shows the ten aspects of student role from the questionnaire and the three emergent aspects from the interviews. Mean responses for each of the ten original aspects are listed for each of the three interview sections (i.e., Differences, Problems, and Behaviors) as well as percentage of student interview responses for all thirteen aspects. Table 7 summarizes the information in Table 6 by ranking the questionnaire and interview data. A rank of "1" under the interview responses in Table 7 does not mean that it was the most important issue to students or that they viewed it positively or negatively. It simply means that it was the aspect of student role that students chose to talk about most when asked to respond to the general questions about student role listed in Chapter 3 (Method). Table 6 Summary of Questionnaire and Interview Results Questionnaire Interview Means of All Responses % of Al1 Res's Aspect of Student Role Difference Problem Behavior Attendance 4.93 Lateness 4.62 Active Involvement 4.96 Paying Attention 4.83 Asking Questions & 5.01 Volun. Answers Handing in Hmwk. 3.59 Copying 3.43 Review/Study 3.45 Good Marks/ 3.1 Doing One's Best Importance of Exams 3.51 3.68 2.00 10.23 3.49 1.99 2.97 4.04 1.53 24.09 3.81 1.84 4.95 3.88 2.38 18.81 3.12 1.55 4.95 2.77 1.43 .33 2.71 3.36 1.65 2.62 2.35 1.65 2.97 2.42 2.31 Emergent Aspect of Student Role Stati ng Opinions 8.5 Community Involvement 6.2 Student Leadership 14.0 65 Table 7 Rank of Questionnaire and Interview Results Questionnaire Interview Ranking of Mean Res's Ranking of Response %'s Aspect of Student Role Di fference Problem Behavi or Attendance 3 4 6 4 Lateness 5 5 5 8 Active Involvement 2 1 2 1 Paying Attention 4 3 4 7 Asking Questions & 1 2 8 2 Volun. Answers Handing in Hmwk. 6 6 3 7 Copying 9 8 1 11 Revi ew/Study 8 9 10 10 Good Marks/ 10 10 7 10 Doing One's Best Importance of Exams 7 7 9 9 Emergent Aspect of Student Role Stating Opinions 5 Community Involvement 6 Student Leadership 3 Significant differences presented in Chapter 4 (Results) will also be discussed in this chapter in relation to the aspects of student role. The Ten Aspects of Student Role Asking Questions, Volunteering Answers, and Stating Opinions As Table 6 indicates, asking questions and volunteering answers, according to the questionnaire data, was considered the biggest area of difference in student role and was the 66 second biggest problem area between students and teachers. In the small group interviews, 18.81% of all student comments were about this subject. Stating opinions was also discussed frequently and will be introduced later in this section as an emergent category related to asking questions and volunteering answers. Fourth year students, in the interviews, mentioned their shock at learning that teachers expected them to ask questions. One student mentioned this experience from her first year. One confusing thing was that they (i.e.,. teachers) expected us to break in and ask questions during the lecture. So that was uncomfortable and I didn't know that at first. One day a teacher talked to me and was very upset. And he was asking me, "Why do you think they ignore me?" We were listening, actually, not interrupting. He actually wanted questions... or interruptions. So that was news. It took courage. Similarly, many students explained to me the Japanese system of asking questions of students. If a Japanese teacher wants an answer he or she would first ask a question and the students sit quietly. Then he or she would have to point to one student who will then answer. Students frequently mentioned the peer expectation of conformity as being one of the greatest obstacles in the way of asking questions or volunteering an answer. Although they might know the answer and even want to volunteer it, they were 67 afraid to look conspicuous in the eyes of their classmates. One group of women made the following remarks. 51 -I liked the idea but to do it...the other students... "ahhh you...". I didn't like it. 52 -I got really nervous. Even if I wanted to say... I was watching other people... 53 -What the other students think about you, that was the biggest thing, so it took me a long time to break it. 52 -Usually I'd try to make eye contact with the teacher so that they'd point me out... "Ask me! Ask me!"... with the bright eyes. 53 -Also there is a Japanese saying that the nail that sticks out will... 51 -(student one pounds on the table to complete the proverb that the nail that sticks up will be pounded down) 52 -...that's the fear that the students and I also had at C.I.C. They (C.I.C.) expected me to show the leadership, start things and say my opinions and show the others some leadership but there is a fear that I might be pushed down. Many students mentioned that their fear of other students' opinions diminished the further they went in the four-year program, particularly in the third- and fourth-year. They explained that this was because classes were smaller and they 68 had a better relationship with their peers. Instead of feeling resistance from other students, they felt and gave encouragement because their peers were, as one student said, "...people who wanted to stay at C.I.C. and to improve their English." One student made the insightful comment that the students in the fourth-year class had become like "...the Canadian teachers in Nelson. We expect each other to speak up and volunteer and do things." An emergent category that was in most cases mentioned in the same breath as asking questions and volunteering answers was students being required to state their opinions (8.5% of the total number of interview responses in Table 6). Students in six out of the eight groups interviewed mentioned that they were at a loss to respond, particularly when they first came from Japan, when a teacher asked them for their opinion on a subject. Some students mentioned that this was because they did not have good enough English skills to do so, while others simply stated that they did not know enough facts about many of the subjects they were being asked about. Five out of the eight groups mentioned that being asked for an opinion simply made them uncomfortable because it was not part of their student role in Japan. One student summarized this well by saying, "In Japan a good student can memorize but can't necessarily debate or express his opinion or impression. That's a big difference, I think." Another student commented 69 that "In the Japanese educational system, the teacher just gives us the information. Just cram that information into the brain. That's all. We have less opportunity to have discussion." Students in three of the eight groups reported that concentrated time in a specific major area of study with a small cohort group had helped to make stating opinions easier. One interesting aspect of being asked to give an opinion that was mentioned by a few students was that when a teacher asked them for an opinion, they took it as a sign of respect from the teacher and felt closer to him/her as a result (i.e., they thought the teacher was treating them as an equal rather than someone below the teacher whose opinions did not matter). This assumption would probably surprise most Canadian teachers who often ask their students to state opinions as a means of getting them to think critically and sharpen their public speaking ability and confidence. To the Canadian teacher, asking the student for an opinion in no way closes the gap between teacher and student. More than likely, the teacher does not even care what the student's opinion is as long as he/she exhibits careful thought about the matter. The teacher may view this entirely differently from asking the opinion of friends or experts on a matter where he/she is seeking information and advice. It seems that several of the students interviewed did not see this distinction. Judging by student responses, the teacher asking the student for his/her opinion may actually be creating some role 70 confusion. The student may be thinking, "Because the teacher is asking me my opinion, he/she sees me more as an equal than a Japanese teacher does." This confusion probably has a deeper root than just the stating of opinions. Most of the groups commented that the role of the teacher in Japan is to transmit the correct information and opinions and the role of a good student is to be the receptor. This creates a distance between teacher and student. The teacher is considered to be high above the student and, as one student said, "Any suggestions or opinions from the teacher it's just right. That's true." When the students came to Canada and were asked their opinions they were, at first, shocked, and then modified their perception about who they were as students. One student, in discussing being asked for opinions by teachers in Canada, commented: Teachers and students are at the same level. In Japan we feel the teachers are standing way higher than us and saying, "I'm telling you this." But here we feel equal--same level. As well as being asked for opinions in class, students commented several times about being asked for opinions about the curriculum. This may be because they were the first group of students in the four-year program so that curriculum and institutional policy were being shaped for the first time as these students went through their four years. Students expressed their appreciation for being given a voice in the 71 shaping of curriculum and seemed to see this as being a part of their student role at C.I.C. Taking the overall category of asking questions and volunteering answers on the questionnaire, Vancouver students (i.e., the students in fourth-year who were also interviewed) thought that this created a greater problem between teachers and students than did first year Nelson students (.F=4.12, p=.0463). This could be because of Vancouver students' experiences in their first year of the program (i.e., the first year of the college). Since that year, orientation of students before they come to Canada and teacher level of cross-cultural experience and understanding have improved. Also, first-year students now have advisee groups (with bi-weekly student-teacher interviews) which may have helped students and teachers to bridge the cross-cultural gap. Kruskal-Wallis analysis found no significant differences on the questionnaire by age, sex, campus, or academic performance for this aspect of student behavior. This test did find a significant relationship between number of institutions applied to and asking questions/volunteering answers in the Problems section of the questionnaire. Students who had only applied to C.I.C. reported asking questions to be a bigger area of conflict between C.I.C. students and teachers than did students who had applied to other institutions in addition to C.I.C. (p=.0319). There is no interview data to explain why this would be the case since interview responses could only be coded by whether the interview respondent was male or female. 72 Active Involvement, Community Involvement, and Student Leadership The category of active involvement was also an important one. Questionnaire data reported it as being the second largest area of difference and the largest area of problem. Interview data shows that students talked about this category more than any of the others (24.09% of all comments). There were also two emergent categories mentioned frequently: community involvement and student leadership, which will be discussed later in this section. In the previous section of this chapter I described students as shocked to be asked to ask questions, volunteer answers and state opinions as their perception was that good students sit quietly and receive the information transmitted by the teacher. Under the category of active involvement, students mentioned several other things that they were asked to do which they found disconcerting: doing group work, skits, presentations, games, singing, discussions, field trips, role playing, choral response, oral practice, and dialogues. During one group's discussion of field trips in their first year, all of the students exploded with laughter as one student began a remark, seriously enough, with the phrase, "I remember the trip to the lumber mill...". In year one, when the field trip happened, students just could not see the point behind an 73 experiential trip, so that the idea of a trip to the lumber mill seemed a ludicrous way of spending class time. Teachers viewed experiential learning seriously but students did not. Many other anecdotes created the same reaction, such as one student's description of his first class in Canada where the teacher was playing a music tape (Jazz Chants) for practising basic English phrases and students were expected to sing along. Yet another student mentioned that he remembered me bringing my guitar to class, in his first year, to have students sing pronunciation practice songs. The effect on students was the same in all cases; at the time they couldn't understand why they were doing what they were doing. Surely such things as singing and taking trips were not serious study. In year one they saw these activities as childish, silly, or as one student stated it, "...very close to entertainment." Some students expressed that they felt panicked that they weren't learning enough information. Because they did not see active learning as being serious learning, they were worried that their English was not progressing quickly enough. They were frustrated because they had studied English for six years in Japan but they felt their Canadian teachers were teaching them the same things all over again. Also, they found active learning uncomfortable and embarrassing and, as with asking questions, volunteering answers, and stating opinions, feared the ridicule of their fellow classmates. Most fourth-year students said their opinion of active 74 learning exercises, particularly those used in year-one, had changed now that they were nearing the end of their program. They now believed that their teachers in year-one probably had been aware of what students had learned in Japan and that the active learning exercises that students had found so annoying in year-one were important and necessary to make them use English more. Many students commented on their low ability to express and understand English in the first year and reflected that the deeper content they desired in their courses (that they were now able to grasp in the latter part of the four-year program) would have been too difficult to attempt in English in year-one. There were a few students who reported that certain forms of active learning still make them uncomfortable or embarrassed but all students who raised the subject said that they now viewed active learning positively and recognized its by products such as increased competence and confidence in English. Greater interest in the subject area, higher level of trust understanding and confidence in English, smaller classes, greater between students, positive classroom atmosphere, and good relationship between students and teacher were all factors that students mentioned as encouraging them to engage actively in learning, not only in "active learning" activities, but in virtually all aspects of study. Teachers in the first year of the college's operation 75 recall students being highly resistant to active learning strategies. In fact, if one were to walk into the faculty work room and begin an anecdote with the phrase, "I remember the trip to the lumber mill..." it would probably be received with the same reaction from teachers as it was in the group of students described above. Teachers were frustrated that students could not see experiential learning as serious learning, or connect learning in the field to what was being learned in the classroom. It is interesting that the students from the college's first year who continued in the four-year program, should be able to see the purpose of those active learning exercises four years later and have a more positive opinion of them. Did they reach this conclusion on their own or did teachers help them to see the purpose of active learning? Is this only because the students who were likely to be more open to other forms of learning were the ones who stayed for all four years of study? One student made this very jarring comment: I have just noticed that the policy of this college is learning through experience. I think that's really different from a Japanese school because the Japanese students are not expected to actually do something. Japanese students are expected to sit in the chair and then... but here in Canada the students are expected to go somewhere and then learn there and then bring it back to the class and talk about it. That's a very 76 different thing. This student was in his last semester of four years at C.I.C. when he made this comment. He was obviously a thoughtful student, so why was he only now reaching this conclusion about C.I.C? Is there anything that teachers can do to assist students to realize the purpose of active learning sooner or is this something that students can only discover (or not discover) by themselves? The interview responses do not answer these questions, they only paint a picture of what students have concluded about active learning, having experienced its benefits for four years of study after having some strong intitial biases against it. Student responses in the group interviews generated two new categories related to active involvement. These were student leadership (14% of all interview responses) and involvement by students in the community (6.2%). Students expressed that a changing area of their student role has been taking student leadership, particularly as four-year students. They reported ways in which they encourage their classmates to be better students (some of which were mentioned earlier in this chapter) and also how they are leaders of younger students at the college. Leading by example, organizing events (such as English marathons with profits going to charity), making presentations, starting clubs, leading student discussions, or helping to orient new students to the Vancouver campus, are some of the ways that 77 students described their role as student leaders. Student leadership was often described as something that happened later in the student's academic life at C.I.C. When I was in first year the major thing I was thinking was to improve my English speaking and make Canadian friends and get into the community... play with them... learn something from them. That was the major thing. Here in Vancouver campus third and fourth years I'd rather look at different things like how to take leadership... what can I give and what can we do all together. Students also mentioned that in addition to contributing to other students by taking leadership, there were also positive benefits to themselves in doing it. Personal growth, confidence, and empathy with people in leadership were a few that were mentioned. In addition to taking student leadership, students also mentioned community involvement as a significant aspect of student role. Some of these comments have already been quoted under the previous categories. Student responses were somewhat polarized on this issue. Some students felt very positively about their community involvement and expressed puzzlement that all students would not be so enthusiastic about taking part in such things as community experiential placements. Other students expressed a desire to have more power in determining the kind of placement they should have. Interest in the type 78 of placement and opportunity to speak English and interact with Canadians were expressed as being desired characteristics in experiential placements. In the category of active involvement, there were no significant differences on the questionnaire between the responses made by students of different age, sex, campus, number of institutions applied to or academic performance. I would have expected that students in their first year on the Nelson campus would have reported the differences and problems created to be larger than the more experienced fourth-year students. This could be because students were surveyed later in the academic year so that they had made something of an adjustment to the Canadian classroom. It could also be, as previously stated, the result of systems in place in the students' first year which are designed to help them make the adjustment. Attendance and Homework Attendance was reported as the category of third largest difference, fourth largest problem and was the third most popular category discussed in the interview (10.23% of total responses). On questionnaires, F-l students reported themselves to be more conscientious class attenders than the F-4 students (F=5.38, p=.0234), as did younger students compared with older (F=5.96, p=.0173). This is probably because the younger students given the questionnaire are all in their first 78 of placement and opportunity to speak English and interact with Canadians were expressed as being desired characteristics in experiential placements. In the category of active involvement, there were no significant differences on the questionnaire between the responses made by students of different age, sex, campus, number of institutions applied to or academic performance. I would have expected that students in their first year on the Nelson campus would have reported the differences and problems created to be larger than the more experienced fourth-year students. This could be because students were surveyed later in the academic year so that they had made something of an adjustment to the Canadian classroom. It could also be, as previously stated, the result of systems in place in the students' first year which are designed to help them make the adjustment. Attendance and Homework Attendance was reported as the category of third largest difference, fourth largest problem and was the third most popular category discussed in the interview (10.23% of total responses). On questionnaires, F-l students reported themselves to be more conscientious class attenders than the F-4 students (F=5.38, p=.0234), as did younger students compared with older (F=5.96, p=.0173). This is probably because the younger students given the questionnaire are all in their first 79 year. That F-4 students would report themselves to be less conscientious than first year ones is a bit puzzling in view of their comments in the group interviews. Many students described themselves as more conscientious in their fourth year than in their first. The primary reason given was that in fourth year, with smaller classes and more demanding content, they simply could not afford to miss classes. Several students mentioned a fear of falling behind the class or feeling driven by seeing students around them improving in English. One possible explanation for this discrepancy may be that Nelson students, new from Japan, may be measuring their behavior against their perception of Japanese standards where Vancouver students may be measuring themselves against the Canadian expectation that students attend class. Hence, Vancouver students may be evaluating their own behavior more harshly. This idea was supported by the head of the F-4 program, whose records showed that, barring extreme circumstances, most students attended class all the time. I asked her if she thought it was possible that by the fourth year of the program, students might have internalized the college's expectation of attendance. She confirmed this by saying that the teachers worked very carefully to help students understand the four-year program's goals and expectations. Other teachers I talked to stated that they notice a change in attitude and behavior of students as they progress through the 80 third and fourth year of the program. I will comment on this more in the concluding chapter. Many F-4 students explained in the interviews that their shock in first year regarding C.I.C.'s attendence expectations stemmed from their understanding of the Japanese system where it is possible to miss classes because the teachers of large classes do not take attendance and most of the evaluation is based on the final exam. One student commented: of my friends said that he only attended one week in one semester. That happens in Japan but he's o.k. because he collected the information for that examination from his friends and then studied in his house and then passed the examination. Many other students also mentioned the exam as the most important feature of evaluation in Japanese post-secondary institutions. This may also explain why some students seem unconcerned about doing homework. Again, most groups reported that they were more conscientious now about homework than they had been in year-one, and for the same reasons as they mentioned for attendance. Kruskal-Wallis analysis found no significant relationships between age, sex, year, number of institutions applied to or academic performance and this aspect of student role (i.e., completing homework). 81 Studying, Reviewing Notes, High Marks, Exams, Paying Attention in Class and Copying The remaining aspects of student role were ones that students did not speak about very much in the interviews (4.95% or fewer of the total interview responses). With the exception of paying attention these were also the aspects that were reported as the lowest areas of differences between C.I.C. and Japanese post-secondary institutions, the lowest areas of conflict between C.I.C. teachers and students, and the areas of highest compliance by students. Interestingly enough, they were also the aspects of student role with which Kruskal-Wallis found the greatest number of relationships with student variables (age, sex, year, number of institutions applied to, and academic performance) which were significant. The significant relationships that were found will be briefly presented by student variable. Sex of Respondent Males thought there was a bigger difference between C.I.C. and Japanese universities and colleges in the area of studying than did females (F=5.79, p=.0189). They also reported themselves to be less conscienctious about reviewing notes (F=6.79, p=.0113), getting high marks or doing one's personal best (F=2.92, p=.0485), and studying for exams (F=9.96, p=.0026) than did the female respondents. This did not surprise me because I experience my female students, generally, 82 to have a more consciencious outlook than my male students toward their academic work. If anything, it surprises me that there were only these four relationships of significance. Age of Respondent Younger students (<19) thought there was a bigger difference between C.I.C. and Japanese post-secondary institutions in the area of paying attention in class (F=4.59, p=.0356) than did older students (>20). Younger students also reported themselves to be more likely to do their personal best (i.e., obtain the highest marks they could) than did older students (F=9.97, p=.0024). As with attendance, perhaps fourth-year students have internalized the expectations of their Canadian teachers with regard classroom attentivenes and striving to do the best one can academically where year-one students are still thinking with reference to Japanese standards for student behavior. Year of Respondent Similar to the response for older versus younger students, first-year students reported that there was a bigger difference between C.I.C. and Japanese post-secondary institutions in the area of paying attention in class (F=7.81, p=.0067) than did fourth-year students), presumably for the same reasons as did older versus younger students. First-year students also reported themselves to be more likely to copy on homework and 83 on exams than fourth-year students, although the means for first-year and fourth-year students are both very low (1.57 and 1.10 respectively) indicating a high level of compliance by all students. In the interview groups, students generally described themselves as being more intentional learners (i.e., having clearer goals and being more involved in their learning) in fourth-year than they were in year-one. If we assume that more active and intentional learners are less likely to copy just to pass a test or assignment then it would make sense that year-one students are more likely to copy homework or on exams than fourth-year students, as the questionnaire data indicates. The Aggregate Variable Graphs There were two aggregate variable graphs presented in Chapter 4 (i.e., Figure 3--Study Skills and Figure 4--Class Participation). For a full discussion of their composition, please refer to Chapter 3. Both figures show a comparatively large response for the Differences section of the exam than for the Problems section. In the third section of the questionnaire, Behaviors, students report a low aggregate score (which means a high level of compliance with the expected aspects of student role). Presumably, this means that even though students identify differences in student role between C.I.C. and Japanese colleges and universities, students do not experience many problems from that difference and they tend to comply with the expectation. From what the literature, detailed in Chapter Two, tells us about student role in 84 Japanese post-secondary institutions, it makes sense that C.I.C. students report a fairly large difference in expectations of student role between Japan and Canada. My teaching experience at C.I.C. (reading journals, talking to students in interviews, watching student skits about cross-cultural problems) also confirms that students are very aware of this difference. Teaching experience again corroborates the questionnaire data for the second and third sections (i.e., Problems and Behaviors). Teachers and students are moderately at odds with each other regarding the ten aspects of student behavior, and compliance by students is fairly good. This compliance comes with a price, however, as teachers and administrators are constantly teaching and reteaching expectations to students. In year-one, C.I.C. has a very thorough college-wide student-at-risk system designed so that students who do not understand or comply with the college's expectations know it, know it soon, know it repeatedly, and from several sources. Summary This chapter began with a rationale for the organizing of this chapter into groupings of the ten aspects of student role. Parametric, non-parametric, and qualitative data from the interviews and questionnaires were integrated under these thematic groupings from the ten aspects. The implications of this data will be discussed in the concluding chapter. 85 CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSION This chapter will discuss implications of the study's results for those who teach Japanese college and university students in North America. I want to focus on three points: that North American student role expectations must be tempered with consideration for who the student is in the context of his/her social group, that students do mature with respect to their student role, and that Japanese students in North American colleges may have to maintain a student role that is a hybrid between Japanese and Canadian academic values. Changing the Student's Role Within the Group When I first selected the ten aspects of student role, my colleagues and I seemed to be striking into the areas of greatest conflict or awkwardness with students. During the interviews, the students gave me a few more emergent categories to add to my original ten. In retrospect, I would like to lift two broad categories from the rest of the list and identify them as aspects of student role that change the Japanese student's identity within the group (and perhaps even sabbotage it) . We know clearly from Anderson (1993), Christopher (1983), Ohanian (1986), Taylor (1983), Wray (1992), and Young (1993) that Japanese students fear to look conspicuous among their peers and that if they choose to play the educational game the 86 way their Canadian teachers want them to (i.e., asking questions, volunteering answers, and stating opinions) they risk being ostracized by their fellow students. Interview data presented in Chapter Five of this study corroborates this, as well. By expecting students to look conspicuous we attempt, as teachers, to change the student's identity with respect to the group. Is this a fair thing for a teacher to expect? Would it not be better to try to find creative ways in which students can show initiative and excellence without having to be conspicuous? In the last seven years of teaching Japanese college students in a variety of courses I have found one juxtaposition of behaviors consistently fascinating. Students who are too shy to show their excellence or their inability to understand in my Reading classroom have no fear to do so in my Computer class. Where some students will turn in only the minimum requirement of ten lines for a project assignment in Computer Studies, other students will submit four or five pages with experimental formatting and ingenious application of what they have learned in class or taught themselves after class. Clearly, this is "hot-dogging" but done in such a way as to not make the student conspicuous before the class. Once a student slips the assignment under my office door, only I see it. Similarly, a student can ask me a question one-on-one in the computer lab and get extra help without being conspicuous. It is an environment where students seem to feel quite safe to be 87 above and below average. Students are not afraid to be excellent. They are afraid to appear excellent to peers or in public. In the same way, I wonder if students really would be so afraid to ask questions, volunteer answers or state opinions in less conspicuous circumstances (in interviews or journals, for example). Rather than ask for someone to volunteer an answer, does it really compromise our educational objectives so badly to call upon a student by name, the way Japanese teachers do? We need to think about whether our expectations of students are ethnocentric and whether they are fair and adjust our expectations accordingly. A Turning Point in Maturity Several of the groups of fourth-year students mentioned in their interviews that they changed their idea of student role some time in the third or fourth year. They decided to be absent from class less and be more conscientious about homework. Active learning became more accepted and they became better student leaders and were more willing to be conspicuous in the classroom among peers (asking questions, volunteering answers, or stating opinions). Rather than feeling caught between expectations of peers and the expectations of teachers, everyone seemed to be working in the same direction. When I asked students what had happened to cause the change they listed such external factors as smaller classes, improved English skill and a closer relationship with the teachers and 88 the rest of the students. A fourth-year teacher hypothesized careful and thorough communication of expectations by the teachers to the students as being a possible explanation. These are all environmental factors, though, and factors that seemingly changed students over a long period of time. Is there, in fact, a moment when each student simply takes charge of his/her learning and becomes a more self-directed and self-motivated learner rather than someone being led through the system? Is this moment truly influenced by external circumstances, or simply a change that takes place, at a certain age in a maturing human being? Does this only happen to foreign students adapting to the educational expectations of a new culture, or do Canadian university students go through the same change somewhere in their third or fourth year? If the change to self-motivated/self-directed learning really is caused by something external, is there any way of moving this moment of maturity to the first or second year? Do all students reach such a moment of maturity? When do they reach it? Does the time at which they reach it depend on their personal maturity and depth of thought? Do students in the two-year program ever reach a point of being intentional about how they live life or do they simply get submerged in the expectations of life: company, spouse, children, extended family, finances, and never reach it. Anecdotal evidence from the teachers suggests that students gradually develop maturity and are unlikely to display it initially. Elizabeth Kennedy 89 (personal communication, 1994), a fourth-year teacher who worked very closely with this group of students, commented that teachers do see a noticeable change in students from their second to their fourth year. She was skeptical that a turning point in student maturity could be pushed ahead, though. One of the most important findings of this study is that students do change their minds and become more responsible and mature learners by the fourth year. This is of particular importance for those who teach in the first year of the program who receive new students from Japan each year and walk, prod, advise and in some cases threaten them through the adjustment to Canadian college expectations of what a student should be doing. It is an exhausting process and begins anew every year in April when the next batch of new recruits arrive and those finishing first year move to the Vancouver campus. It is like weeding, tilling, planting, fertilizing, cultivating, and watering a plant that one will never see bear fruit. Sometimes, first-year teachers begin to doubt whether their efforts are wasted. These teachers need to know that many students do mature, but not within the range of sight of their first-year teachers. Not Japan and Not Canada but Somewhere In Between One of the biggest revelations for me in doing the literature review and conducting this study was that student roles at C.I.C. lies somewhere between Japanese and Canadian post-secondary stereotypes about them. The literature available about what Japanese post-secondary students do neither describes nor explains what C.I.C. students do. At best it offers points of enlightenment about what Japanese students may do, from time to time, that might startle their Canadian teachers. We know, for example, that in many cases Japanese post-secondary students are not expected to attend classes or pay attention in class (Schooland, 1990; Tasker, 1987; Tsuda, 1993). At C.I.C, however, students are expected to attend class and pay attention to the lesson. Some students resist this but, generally speaking, most do attend and participate. In year-one, teachers resort to many methods to see that this happens (such as placing the offending students on the college's "at risk" list or contacting their faculty advisors) but, ultimately, most students comply. Literature about attendance and paying attention in Japanese post-secondary institutions can offer an explanation for why such things might not seem natural to C.I.C. students but it but it does not describe what the C.I.C. student's role ultimately becomes. Students at colleges such as C.I.C. need effective orientation to the expectations of their teachers and the institution, particularly at the beginning of their programs. Teachers and administrators need to be aware of cultural factors which may affect how their students view their role. Anything that can be done to eliminate confusion about student role from the time the student considers applying to the 91 institution is also helpful (including clear orientation and role modeling by older students such as students mentioned in their interviews). It would be interesting to conduct this same study again, with the three years of improvements to our orientation process and institutional strategies that have happened since this study was first undertaken. Summary The study of student role of Japanese students in non-Japanese colleges and universities is not simple. An understanding of what college and university students are expected to do in Japan is helpful and important but leaves much to be explained. Canadian teachers of Japanese students should be aware of cultural differences and do their best to guide students into expected student roles while keeping the student's place with his/her peers intact wherever possible. Teachers should be aware of external influences which may help students conform to expected student roles but also remember that students change over comparatively long periods of time, not just in the first year of an international program. 92 References Anderson, F. (1993). The enigma of the college classroom: nails that don't stick up. In Paul Wadden(Ed.), A Handbook for teaching English at Japanese colleges and Universities (pp. 101-110). New York: Oxford University Press. Baker, D., & Stevenson, D. (1992). Shadow education and allocation in formal schooling: Transition to university in Japan. American Journal of Sociology, 97 (6), 1639-57. Beauchamp, E. (1987). The development of Japanese educational policy, 1945-85. History of Education Quarterly, 27 (3), 299-324. Becker, C. (1990). Higher education in Japan: Facts and implications. International Journal of Intercultural Relations. 14. 425-447. Benedict, R. (1946). The chrysanthemum and the sword. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle and Company. Berman, D. (1990). A case study of the high school entrance examination in Chiba prefecture, Japan. Theory and Research in Social Education, 18 (4), 387-404. Berwick, R. & Ross, S. (1989). Motivation after matriculation: are Japanese learners of English still alive after exam hell? JALT Journal 11(2) . 193-210. Bohnaker, W. (1990). The hollow doll (a little box of Japanese Shocks). New York: Ballantine Books. Christopher, R. (1983). The Japanese mind. New York: Linden Press. Costiniuk, B. (1988). Education in Japan. History and Social Science Teacher. 23(4), 148-50. Costiniuk, B. (1988). Japan's educational system: Emphasis on uniformity. Social Studies Teacher, 9(3), 6-7. Desjardins, C, & Obara, H. (1993). From Quebec to Tokyo: Perspectives on TQM. Educational Leadership, 51 (1), 68-69. Doi, T. (1981). The anatomy of dependence. New York: Kodansha International. Fararo, K. (1987, May 20). Japanese higher-education reformers weigh elitism, academic laxness, and "Exam Hell". Chronicle of Higher Education, 37-38. Feiler, B. (1991). Learning to bow: An American teacher in a Japanese school. New York: Ticknor and Fields. Gittelsohn, J. (1989, September 20). Japan's universities, taking a cue from national politics, now face their own crisis of complacency, analysts say. Chronicle of Higher Education, pp. 45, 48. Greenlees, J. (1994, January 7). Recession paves way for reform. The Times Higher Educational Supplement, p. 8. I toy, K., Strasser, S., & Takayama, H. (1995, May 29). Tokyo grabs the doomsday guru. Newsweek, p. 48. Kato, H. & J. (1992). Understanding and working with the Japanese business world. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Kempner, K,. & Makino, M. (1993). Cultural influences on the 94 construction of knowledge in Japanese higher education. Comparative Education. 29 (2), 185-199. Leclercq, J. (1989). The Japanese model: School-based education and firm-based vocational education. European Journal of Education, 24(2), 183-96. Matsui, T., & Onglatco, M. (1992). Career orientedness of motivation to enter university among Japanese high school girls: a path analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 40, 351-363. McCormick, K. (1988). Vocationalism and the Japanese educational system. Comparative Education, 24 (1), 37-51. Mizuno, J. (1988). Human education at Reitaku University. Moral Education Forum, 13(2), 33-37. Nakane, C. (1970). Japanese Society. Berkeley: University of California Press. Nozaki, N. (1993). The Japanese student and the foreign teacher. In Paul Wadden (ed.), A Handbook for Teaching English at Japanese Colleges and Universities (pp. 28-31). New York: Oxford University Press. Ohanian, S. (1986-7). Notes on Japan from an American schoolteacher. Phi Delta Kappan, 68, 360-367. Ohta, T. (1986). Problems and perspectives in Japanese education. Comparative Education, 22(1), 27-30. Popham, W. (1967). Educational Statistics: Use and Interpretation. New York: Harper and Row. Reishcauer, E. (1988). The Japanese today: Change and continuity. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press. Schoolland, K. (1990). Shogun's ghost: The dark side of Japanese education. New York: Bergin & Garvey. Siegel, S. & Castellan, N.J. (1988). Nonparametric statistics For the Behavioral Sciences (2nd ed.). Montreal: McGraw-Hill. Stephens, M. (1991). Japan and education. New York: St. Martin's Press. Tasker, P. (1987). The Japanese. New York: Truman Talley Books. Taylor, J. (1983). Shadows of the rising sun: a critical view Of the "Japanese Miracle". New York: Quill. Tonegawa, K. (1991). In Japan: Quest for individuality and flexibility. School Administrator, 48(6), 27-29. Tsuda, T. (1993). The psychosocial functions of liminality: The Japanese university experience. The Journal of Psychohistory, 20 (3), 305-330. Tsukada, M. (1988). Institutionalised supplementary education in Japan: The Yobiko and Ronin student adaptations. Comparative Education, 24 (3), 285-303. van Wolferen, K. (1989). The enigma of Japanese power. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. White, M. (1987). The Japanese educational challenge: A Commitment to children. New York: The Free Press. Wray, H. (1991). Change and continuity in modern Japanese educational history: Allied occupational reforms forty 96 years later. Comparative Education Review, 3.5(3), 447-75. Young, M. (1993). The dark underside of Japanese education. Phi Delta Kappan, 75 (2), 130-132. APPENDIX A: ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE Japanese Students' Expectations of their Academic Role Section 1: Information about the Student. 1. My age is: ____ years old. 2. I am: a) a male student b) a female student 3. During my four years at C.I.C I have: a) passed all of my classes b) failed one class c) failed two classes d) failed three or more classes 4. Before I came to C.I.C. I: a) had applied to no other colleges or universities. b) had applied to one other college or university. c) had applied to two other colleges or universities. d) had applied to several other colleges or universities. Section 2: Differences in the college student's role between Japan and Canada. Is there a difference between what a Japanese college expects of students and what C.I.C. expects of its students in the following areas? 1. Class attendance no big difference 12 3 4 5 6 difference 2. Lateness for class no difference 1 big di fference page 2 3. Being actively involved in the class (i.e. doing classroom exercises) no difference 1 big di fference 4. Paying attention during the lesson (i.e. talking / falling asleep) no difference 1 big di fference 5. Asking questions and volunteering answers. no difference 1 big di fference 6. Handing in homework. no difference 1 big 6 difference 7. Copying homework or copying on exams. no difference 1 big 6 difference 8. Reviewing class notes and studying for exams, no difference 1 big di fference 9. Importance of getting good ma no difference 12 3 4 10. Importance of exams. no difference 12 3 4 Are there other areas of difference? (i.e.higher than a passing grade). big 5 6 difference big 5 6 difference page 3 2. Section 3: Problems between students and teachers regarding the student's role at C.I.C. Do you believe that differences in expectations between students and teachers at C.I.C. create a problem in the following areas? 1. Class attendance. no big problem 12 3 4 5 6 problem 2. Lateness for class. no big problem 12 3 4 5 6 problem 3. Being actively involved in the class. no problem 1 big problem 4. Paying attention during the lesson. no problem 1 big problem 5. Asking questions and volunteering answers, no problem 1 big problem 6. Handing in homework. page 4 no problem 1 big problem 7. Copying homework or on exams. no problem 1 big problem 8. Reviewing class notes and studying for exams, no problem 1 big problem 9. Getting good marks (i.e. higher than a passing grade). no problem 1 big problem 10. Importance of exams. no big problem 1 2 3 4 5 6 problem Are there other areas that are a problem? 1. . 2. Section 4: My role as a student at C.I.C. 1. I attend all classes at C.I.C. agree disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 2. I am seldom late for classes at this college. 4. I usually take part in classroom activities. page 5 agree disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 3. I usually do my homework and turn it in. agree disagree 12 3 4 5 6 page 6 agree disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 5. I usually pay attention in class. agree disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 6. I ask questions and volunteer answers. agree disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. I do all my homework and exams myself without copying work from other students. agree disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 8. I regularly review my notes. agree disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 9. I believe that high marks (not just passing marks) are important, agree disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 10. I study very seriously for exams. agree — disagree 1 2 3 4 5 6 102 103 APPENDIX B: TRANSLATED QUESTIONNAIRE COMMENTS BY CAMPUS Neison Students Section Two N1 2-1 Nothing special N11 2-1 Participation in club activities. N13 2-1 For example, club, students' play, also teacher's attitude for students. N14 2-1 It's no problem if we took a good mark at last. N20 2-1 After school activity. N25 2-1 The value of existance of the university (Canadians have more choice not to go to college). In Japan people tend to think young people should go to university or college. N26 2-1 There is a difference in attitude between J. students who go to J. universities and those who go to CIC. N33 2-1 For Japanese students a part time job is part of their life. 2-2 Student activity is limited at CIC. N34 2-1 The size of classroom (Japan bigger). N39 2-1 Purpose of going to school. 2-2 Priority is playing and/or part time job. N40 2-1 Students do not think deeply about the purpose of going to school or college. Part time jobs are the centre of their, life. I cannot say everyone but play is more important and they only study a little before the examination or sometimes cheating. N42 "It's not 'area'. Everything is different from the foundation. 2-1 If you attend the classes you can graduate from J. university. J. university students play all of the time. They just want to have "name" (i.e. which university they graduated from). N45 2-1 nothing 2-2 nothing Section 3 \ 104 N1 3-1 nothing special N14 3-1 Some teachers don't understand our character. N26 3-1 At CIC all students are Japanese and all teachers are Canadian. That makes a big difference in expectations both ways (from student to teacher and teacher to student). (Students have more expectations to the school than the school has to the student). N33 3-1 We have to attend boring classes. N39 3-1 There aren't many communication opportunities with Canadians. N45 3-1 nothing 3-2 nothing N49 3-1 Many homework. In Japan don't have homework. Section 2 V2 2-1 The size of class. Japanese universities have large classrooms so that students can easily sleep. V4 "pupil" (until end of high school) "student" (university) 2-1 J. universities stick to/care about where the pupil work and CIC doesn't. V5 2-1 In J. universities not only work for their academics but doing some extra-curricular activity is more accepted and expected from J. soci ety. V6 2-1 Entering into high level university has become a purpose in J. and pupil does not concentrate on the classes. V13 2-1 There are discrepancies between what the student expects to receive from the college and what the college is offering the student. CIC's academics (classes?) are mostly required (i.e. no choice) and are easier than the students' academic level. V18 2-1 There is more emphasis on leadership 2-2 Personal character as globalist Section 3 V2 3-1 Most important one: cultural differences. Teachers expect students to ask more questions but Japanese usually hesitate. V6 3-1 I don't think there are so many problems for the student who graduated from high school but I think there are many problems for the pupil 105 who has experience in colleges. 3-2 Basically CIC students have understanding about N. American way of classes. V8 3-1 Teacher expect students speaking in English all the time. Students tend to speak in Japanese. V18 3-4 (re: sleeping in classes) Those are a problem in every school--not only at CIC. 3-1 Pupil's English ability and English ability that the teacher expects from pupi1. V20 3-1 Even in the same course, different teachers gave different evaluation (marks). 3-2 Sometimes there are frustrations because teachers and students do not communicate enough about class content and how to conduct a class. 


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