In this day and age there is an increase in the number of students who travel to the United States for studying purposes. In other words, the United States faced a high inflow of students in recent years. Students study at numerous universities around the country, and they contribute to internalization and diversity in these classes, the campuses, and the communities they settle in (Wu, Garza, and Guzman, 2015).
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They present new and different perspectives in these classrooms, and promote the understanding of the various cultures around the world. To that end, it is important to include these students in American colleges and universities, given their positive contributions to student populations across the country.
The existence of international students in American colleges and universities made us realized the major differences between the cultures of American classrooms and those of other countries. These differences are identified in how students conduct themselves while in the classroom, the relationships shared by students and their instructors, and classroom communication and participation.
There are a lot of cultures in the United States, which means that classroom cultures attached to student conduct are rich in diversity. From my observation of a Calculus 1041 class session, these differences were evident. For instance, there were differences between the dress codes of Muslim female students and American students. While the Muslim ladies wore long dresses and hijabs, the American students wore simple t-shirts and jeans, as well as short skirts accompanied with knee-length boots. In addition to that, how students from each culture conduct themselves while in the classroom also differed greatly. For example, some students start scrolling their mobile devices once seated, while others sit on tables talking to their friends. Muslim female students tend to speak in low tones and only spoke to other females, and isolated themselves from the rest of the class. The contexts of the conversations differ, but they result in a lot of noise.
The relationship between the instructor and students plays a vital role in determining the culture of the class. Some cultures encourage the interactions between students and their professors while others do not encourage these interactions. For instance, in the Chinese culture students are trained to obey their instructors (Wu, Garza, and Guzman, 2015).
In an interview done on a Chinese student studying at Temple University, the result showed that the Chinese classroom culture do not encourage the interaction between students and their professors. Chinese students are not expected to disrupt their professors, and if they call their teachers using their first name it will considered rude. In contrast, American students can interrupt their professors in the middle of a class in order to ask questions. Moreover, they can call their professors by using their first names.
Classroom participation is another major difference between the American classroom culture and other countries. The reason why there are a lot of differences in how students participate in the United States classes is that these classes have a high level of diversity.
From my observation notes, I could tell that the behavior of the students while in the classroom was friendly and casual, characterized by smooth interactions between the students. The American students did not focus completely with the professor and some of them sleeping during the class. Furthermore, some Arabic students did not focus too and one of them used his smart phone during the whole class. On the other hand, the rest of the students were attentive and paid full attention to what was discussed and written by the professor. The issue of reduced attention in the American and Arabic students brings to light the difference in classroom participation between the American and Chinese classroom culture. In my interview with the Chinese student, issues of students not always participating in the classroom were true. In contrast to how American students are taught to have independent thoughts and approaches towards a subject, Chinese students are trained to memorize the instructor content. As such, it is normal to find Chinese students silent for the entire semester (Bista 2011). Likewise, when students wish to ask questions, they are encouraged to raise their hands and wait to be picked by the instructor.
To sum up, it is apparent that American classroom culture is different from other countries. The increased diversity in American classrooms creates diverse classroom behaviors. Arabic and Chinese students are more silent and attentive, while Americans students are not. Moreover, American student tends to participate more in classes unlike the Chinese students who some classes did not participate at all. Also, the relationships between students and their professor in the United States classroom are easier and more friendly than these in the Chinese classrooms.
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