Reflections on university teaching in China: a personal narrative inquiry

lcj 18 coverShuling Li & Greg Shaw

LCJ: Special Edition: Narrative Inquiry, 18, pp. 4-17

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Li, S., & Shaw, G. (2015). Reflections on university teaching in China: a personal narrative inquiry. Learning Communities: International Journal of Learning in Social Contexts [Special Issue: Narrative Inquiry], 18, 4-17. DOI:



University teaching academics who want to better understand and develop their teaching for improved student learning can often benefit from experiences in a completely different culture and setting. When university academics travel to another country and participate in teaching there they are often confronted with challenges to their assumptions and approaches to teaching. This paper explores through a narrative enquiry approach the cross-cultural experiences of two university lecturers; one from China and one from Australia. Through their stories here and their reflections on these and reflection on literature they examine their beliefs and practices, and through this try to better understand the assumptions that they hold and how to challenge these in order to be better teachers. The paper provides some other insights into teaching and learning practices within Australia and within China and in particular how the significant changes of higher education in China are both having impact on teachers and learners and are requiring changes of both teaching and learning approaches, Finally, in sharing these experiences the authors provide an opportunity for the reader to similarly engage in processes of personal reflection, and they open up the possibility for other dialogues in this Learning community.


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