The impact of learning theories, education programmes and culture on teaching and learning styles

To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.


On the basis of results of the first KOM1 paper2 (Topic: Cultural differences between India and Germany) the second KOM paper3 has presented the results of interviews on cultural differences regarding soft skills. In the next step it shall be analyzed 1) in which way the educational system/culture, respectively the national sections of education programmes, and 2) in which way the diverse development of learning theories do have an impact on teaching and learning styles. To do so the results of the OECD4 report and the Goldman Sachs BRIC's model5 on education shall be helpful for a deeper understanding of current activities in the area of higher education. The background to raising these questions is the possible interdependence between a) globalisation of (higher) education systems and b) different learning styles. In the first part of the paper, learning theories shall be discussed. On the one hand there are the behaviourists' theories - based on stimulus-response interaction. On the other hand there are cognitive approaches - based on the cognitive activity of the learner. The latter theories reflect the current shift from teaching to learning. Nowadays the focus is not so much on the lecturer but much more on the student. This development goes together with a rising importance of didactic approaches such as spiral curriculum, teamwork, project work etc. In the second part of the paper the impact of culture / politics shall be described. Current changes in the educational system, as for instance the "Bologna process" in the European Union, shall be depicted and current trends shall be outlined. In the third part of the paper hypotheses shall be derived from the synopsis in the first and the second part as far as the influence of culture on professor-student interaction and the influence of culture on the role of lecturers etc. is concerned. It might be assumed that the process of learning is not only influenced by culture, by the political environment and the national education system of one's home country (cf. part 2) but likewise by the history of learning theories in general - regardless of the cultural background one belongs to (cf. part 1).

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Full-text available
Problem-based learning is increasingly used in medical and paramedical education, both in physical and psychological science course components. Several studies confirm its value in helping students specifically to learn about applied issues such as the psychological aspects of illness and treatment. However, its relevance to the academic study of psychology at degree level has been largely unexplored. This article outlines some possible disadvantages of traditional approaches to undergraduate psychology teaching. The rationale of problem-based learning is described. Examples are given of how psychology is studied by occupational therapy students in a problem-based learning curriculum at Brunel University College, and suggestions are made for extrapolating such approaches to undergraduate psychology. Taking one ‘problem˚s as an example, comparison is made between the topics explored by different student groups, revealing the rich potential of the approach. Some evaluation is offered of the strengths and difficulties of this method of learning.
Full-text available
Problem-based learning, unbeknownst to many educators, has been around for two decades. A brief history of the evolution of PBL shows innovation comprised of four elements: an ill-structured problem, substantive content, student apprenticeship, and self-directed learning. Research evidence supporting its effectiveness is not numerous but tends to support that PBL is better than traditional instruction on a number of variables, including long-term information retention, conceptual understanding, and self-directed learning. PBL can be modified with integrity into elementary, middle, and high school classrooms for the gifted.
Management in higher education is a vital issue not only from the perspective of students or academics, but it is also important for the development of the whole society. Creating a university based on solid humanistic values, its further development, as well as the method of its management are some of the greatest challenges of modern times that have a significant impact on future generations. The article is written in the spirit of humanistic management, and the main focus is on values, as well as building human capital and increasing the social capital of an organization such as a university. As part of the quality assurance activities, a number of initiatives under the common name of Ars Docendi were launched at Jagiellonian University in Krakow (Poland) in 2005. They included for example 30-hours educational workshop for lecturers. Based on the experience gained and aiming at the formalization of the above mentioned initiative, on October 1st, 2014, the Ars Docendi Center of Excellence for Academic Teaching started to operate as a non-faculty related organizational unit. It is worth noting that JU CDDA is the unique unit at Polish general universities which, at a central university level, specializes in improving the competence of teaching staff as far as both the basics of academic teaching and subject education (humanities, social, exact and natural science) and soft skills (communication, teamwork etc.) are concerned. A true phenomenon is the fact that most of the JU Ars Docendi workshops are attended by doctoral students and lecturers. In addition, the diversity of scientific disciplines represented by the workshops participants makes it possible to demonstrate the broad spectrum of problems faced by academics, as well as to present the variety of solutions applied. The Center staff is composed not only of educators, psychologists and management specialists, which is typical for such units in Europe, but also of researchers in various subjects – Pedagogical Content Knowledge experts
In its use of complex, real-world problems to introduce concepts and motivate learning in an active and cooperative learning environment, problem-based learning provides a powerful alternative to the passive lecture tradition in introductory science courses in biology, physics, and chemistry.
Problem‐based learning (PBL) was employed for teaching analytical science theory and laboratory practice to a cohort of BSc Biomedical Science first year undergraduate students (n = 48). The course structure is outlined. Learning outcomes and experiences were monitored by in‐depth interviews, questionnaires and performance in coursework, examination and technical skills. Investigations indicated that students were very positive about the practical applications of PBL and that they related theory to practice. They valued the benefits of group work and improving their problem‐solving skills. However, they were negative about taking responsibility for their own learning and examination revision notes. A comparison of examination performance with the previous year, when a traditional didactic approach was used, showed a slight improvement in pass rate. Staff perceptions of PBL teaching centred on the challenges of changing from efficient teaching to effective learning.
Group size, teacher skills, problem types, and student behaviors are central concerns to PBL planners and teachers. In implementing problem-based curricula, decisions about each of these dimensions have implications for the others.
Implementing problem-based learning in a college science class: Testing problem-solving methodology as a viable alternative to traditional science-teaching techniques
  • T Arámbula-Greenfield
Arámbula-Greenfield, T. (1996), "Implementing problem-based learning in a college science class: Testing problem-solving methodology as a viable alternative to traditional science-teaching techniques." Journal of College Science Teaching, 26 (1), 26-30.
Dreaming With BRICs: The Path to 2050
  • Dominic Wilson
  • Roopa Purushothaman
Dominic Wilson and Roopa Purushothaman (2003), Dreaming With BRICs: The Path to 2050, Goldman Sachs, Global Economics Paper No: 99.
Joint declaration (Bologna-Declaration)
European Ministers of Education (1999), Joint declaration (Bologna-Declaration), Bologna, June 19.
Towards the European Higher Education Area, Communiqué of the meeting of European Ministers in charge of Higher Education in Prague on
  • Hochschulrektorenkonferenz
Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (2003), Towards the European Higher Education Area, Communiqué of the meeting of European Ministers in charge of Higher Education in Prague on May 19th 2001, ( download date 20.12.2006.
Teaching for Transformation: From Learning Theory to Teaching Strategies
  • Kelly Mcgonigal
McGonigal, Kelly (2005), "Teaching for Transformation: From Learning Theory to Teaching Strategies", Stanford University: The center for teaching and learning, Newsletter, Vol. 14, No. 2.
Lifelong learning for All
OECD (1996), Lifelong learning for All, Paris, OECD.
Education at a Glance
OECD (2006), Education at a Glance 2005, Paris ( download 20.12.2006.
Bringing problem-based learning to higher education: Theory and practice
  • S Seltzer
  • S Hilbert
  • J Maceli
  • E Robinson
  • D Schwartz
Seltzer, S., Hilbert, S., Maceli, J., Robinson, E., & Schwartz, D. (1996), "An active approach to calculus." In L. Wilkerson & W. H. Gijselaers (Eds.), Bringing problem-based learning to higher education: Theory and practice (pp. 83-90). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.