Does 'habitus' count in Chinese Australians' mathematics achievement?

Mu, Guanglun Michael (2012) Does 'habitus' count in Chinese Australians' mathematics achievement? In 2nd International STEM in Education Conference, 24-27 November 2012, Beijing, China.

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Large-scale international comparative studies and cross-ethnic studies have revealed that Chinese students, whether living in China or overseas, consistently outperform their counterparts in mathematics achievement. These studies tended to explain this result from psychological, educational, or cultural perspectives. However, there is scant sociological investigation addressing Chinese students’ better mathematics achievement. Drawing on Bourdieu’s sociological theory, this study conceptualises Chinese Australians’ “Chineseness” by the notion of ‘habitus’ and considers this “Chineseness” generating but not determinating mechanism that underpins Chinese Australians’ mathematics learning. Two hundred and thirty complete responses from Chinese Australian participants were collected by an online questionnaire. Simple regression model statistically significantly well predicted mathematics achievement by “Chineseness” (F = 141.90, R = .62, t = 11.91, p < .001). Taking account of “Chineseness” as a sociological mechanism for Chinese Australians’ mathematics learning, this study complements psychological and educational impacts on better mathematics achievement of Chinese students revealed by previous studies. This study also challenges the cultural superiority discourse that attributes better mathematics achievement of Chinese students to cultural factors.

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ID Code: 56862
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: habitus, Chineseness, Confucianism, mathematics, Chinese Australians
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Comparative and Cross-Cultural Education (130302)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Beijing Normal University.
Deposited On: 05 Feb 2013 00:07
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2013 11:49

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