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Integrating Chinese Students Into An American Classroom: Lessons Learned

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Engineering Without Borders: Programs Involving Students

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Page Count


Page Numbers

12.915.1 - 12.915.8



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Paper Authors


David Myszka University of Dayton

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Dave Myszka is a Professor of Engineering Technology at the University of Dayton. Dave is a Registered Professional Mechanical Engineer in Ohio and is actively involved in applied research with industry, specifically in the areas of intrumentation and computer aided design analysis. Dave received a B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo . He also received an M.B.A. degree form the University of Dayton.

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Scott Schneider University of Dayton

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Professor Scott Schneider joined the Engineering Technology faculty at the University of Dayton in 2004. He holds degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Dayton and the Ohio State University.

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Scott Segalewitz University of Dayton

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Integrating Chinese Students into an American Classroom: Lessons Learned

The Engineering Technology Department at the University of Dayton, UD, has entered an articulation partnership with Shanghai Normal University, SNU. After six semesters of study at SNU, three semesters at UD, and a final semester at SNU, Chinese students are able to complete Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology degrees from both institutions.

At UD, the Chinese students have been integrated into standard courses, including lecture, laboratory and blended format classes. In many cases, the classroom has nearly an equal balance of Chinese and American students. The obvious differences of language and culture have been evident from the start. Different techniques have been used to unite the two groups of students.

This program has numerous learning opportunities, many challenges, and some limitations. This paper will review the pedagogical approaches and teaching techniques used to address the new mix in the classroom, specifically in the laboratory. Quantitative and qualitative performance data of both groups of students will be shared. Additionally, survey results of the perceptions for each group will be revealed.


Study abroad programs provide students opportunities to broaden their education, develop a global view of their profession, and provide personal growth. Aware of these benefits, an increasing number of students are taking advantage of international education experiences. The Institute of International Eduation1 documents that over 2 million students are currently studying in a foreign country. With over half a million international students, the United States is overwhelmingly the largest host country. It attracts more foreign students than the three largest competitors (the United Kingdom, Germany, and France), combined.

The largest majority of foreign students in the U.S. come from developing and newly industrializing countries, most notably China2. Many students believe that the prestige of a degree from a foreign, especially an American, degree is greater than one from a local institution. Also, with the tremendous growth of U.S. companies setting up manufacturing facilities in China, a technical degree from an American university is extremely desirable3.

In the classroom, many performance studies have been completed. Oakland4 documents that Chinese students are more organized than American counterparts. Chinese students exhibit higher achievement in mathematics than their American counterparts. However, Turner5 found that aptitude in critical thinking skills is below their American peers. Additionally, Oakland4 reported a study that shows Chinese students to be less imaginative.

Success in mathematics and science can be attributed to the Chinese teaching methods, which tends towards Confucian pedagogy. Tweed and Lehman6 outlined that those teaching methods that value effort, respect, and pragmatic acquisition of essential knowledge. Han7 indicates that a

Myszka, D., & Schneider, S., & Segalewitz, S. (2007, June), Integrating Chinese Students Into An American Classroom: Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2697

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