Learner centered higher education in East Asia: Assessing the effects on student engagement

Philip Hallinger, Jiafang Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The global expansion of higher education has brought about more ambitious educational goals that require new approaches to curriculum, teaching, and learning. While higher education in East Asia is no exception to this trend, it has been observed that both teachers and learners in the region have adhered to a strong tradition of lecture-based instruction. An underlying research question concerned the responsiveness of East Asian students to learner-centered education. The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which learner-centered education can be implemented successfully in the East Asian higher education context. Design/methodology/approach: This study presents a quantitative study informed by a description of the context for implementation. It adopts a quasi-experimental, multiple time series design and examines the process and effects of change in teaching and learning at a graduate school of business (GSB) in Thailand. The GSB implemented a variety of active learning methods that were explicitly designed to increase student engagement. Descriptive statistics, as well as mixed effects models, were used to analyze student course evaluation data over a several year period. Findings: Active learning methods could be implemented in the context of an East Asian high education institution and they entailed positive change in student engagement over time. Originality/value: The paper's results support assertions that Asian students respond positively to well-designed instructional methods that seek to foster active learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-612
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Business Schools
  • Change management
  • East Asia
  • Higher education
  • Learner-centred
  • Learning
  • Teaching
  • Thailand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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