Features of Framing Information in Different Cultures, Teaching Methods and Teaching Techniques
As information processing occurs, students form own semiotic frames. Moreover, we can assume that in one or more cultures, frames may be different. In didactics frame is defined as a recurrent way of educational material organization (frame as a concept) and teaching time (frame as a scenario) when dealing with educational information. In this connection, the frame-based approach reflects the national features of the approach to the study, the organization of knowledge and the problem-solving methods. In various cultures this approach is not unified, same applies to virtual education domain.
In her research, B.L. Leaver described some aspects of the relationship between cultural environment, didactic and cognitive features. The author differentiated Western approach from non-Western approach to study. The Western approach is characterized by such features as the dominant verbal auditory and visual style, deductive, analytical way of thinking, impetuosity (information processing is fast paced and is often accompanied by frequent change of activity and team work); assessment is conducted in the form of tests, there’s a focus on differences, on contrast and individualized approach. On the other hand, the Eastern approach is characterized by dominance in auditory and kinesthetic styles, dependence on the context, tendency for searching similar features, for viewing situation as a whole and using intuitive perception. Also, figurative and narrative way of expressing thoughts, as well as continuous focus on a single thought are typical for the eastern approach.
Knowledge of culture specific features
Knowledge of culture specific features will undoubtedly help improve education process. However, it’s necessary to mention the scale of growth of the integration processes that one way or another will be shown as a part of transformation of cognitive features, i.e. in polycultural education tradition learning frames will develop and acquire new semantic overtones.
Choice of effective teaching methods will be determined by culture specific cognitive and educational activity. When dealing with polycultural audience the following aspects are worth considering: content selection (culture codes, semiotic context); culture specific way or structuring learning activities (models acceptable in a culture); system of assessment (providing incentives for an individual as well as for a group).
Receptive and reproductive teaching methods based on paternalistic view of the world will dominate in collectivist cultures, whereas individualistic cultures predominantly use heuristic and problem-solving methods.
the practice of linear and non-linear education methods
Thus, the practice of linear and non-linear education methods presents particular interest. The linear methods are predominantly used in Eastern cultures, and nonlinear methods are typical for Western cultures. It should be noted that in the e-learning educational environment these features remain. In our opinion, dominant culture frames determine the choice of methods. Speaking of the linear method, it is necessary to admit that it is a linear sequenced data of presentation and a strong hierarchy.
But the nonlinear approach is often unpredictable with hypermedia and interactive presentation of content. Also, as mentioned above, the different educational cultures are dominated by different paradigms of information processing. For example, Western cultures have extensively been using interactive education that helped increase cognitive flexibility. In most Eastern cultures education methods are aimed at revisiting the existing context. Thus, we can see that Eastern cultures predominantly use structured or formal learning, whereas Western cultures prefer flexible, adaptive ways of working with educational information. It is also necessary to take into account both the specifics of the information processing and technological aspect of education process (attitude towards innovative educational methods in a given culture).