Chinese Australians’ Chineseness and their mathematics achievement : the role of habitus

Mu, Guanglun Michael (2014) Chinese Australians’ Chineseness and their mathematics achievement : the role of habitus. The Australian Educational Researcher, 41(5), pp. 585-602.

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Large-scale international comparative studies and cross-ethnic studies have revealed that Chinese students, living either in China or overseas, consistently outperform their counterparts in mathematics. Empirical research has discussed psychological, educational, and cultural reasons behind Chinese students’ better mathematics performance. However, there is scant sociological investigation of this phenomenon. The current mixed methods study aims to make a contribution in this regard. The study conceptualises Chineseness through Bourdieu’s sociological notion of habitus and considers this habitus of Chineseness generating, but not determining, mechanism that underpins commitment to mathematics learning. The study firstly analyses the responses of 230 Chinese Australian participants to a set of questionnaire items. Results indicate that the habitus of Chineseness significantly mediates the relationship between participants’ commitment to mathematics learning and their mathematics achievement. The study then reports on the interviews with five participants to add nuances and dynamics to the mediating role of habitus of Chineseness. The study complements the existing literature by providing sociological insight into the better mathematics achievement of Chinese students.

Impact and interest:

4 citations in Scopus
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3 citations in Web of Science®

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31 since deposited on 15 Jan 2015
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ID Code: 80153
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1007/s13384-014-0152-1
ISSN: 2210-5328
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Springer
Deposited On: 15 Jan 2015 23:03
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2015 19:32

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