Thinking Styles of Australian, Chinese and Italian University Students

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This study discusses the thinking style of university students in three different countries and answers the key research question posed by the study’s design: is there a difference amongst the thinking styles of university students from Australia, China and Italy? Using the Thinking Style Inventory (TSI) designed by Sofo (2002) as the data collection tool, 450 students enrolled in universities in the three countries were assessed on their thinking style. The results reveal that the Chinese students had statistically significant lower scores than both the Australian and Italian samples on the Inquiring subscale of the TSI, yet significantly higher scores on the Independent subscale. Overall, Chinese students were found to have a significantly different thinking style profile compared to Italian and Australian students since there was no significant difference found between the Italian and Australian students. The findings of this study indicate a number of interesting points of convergence and similarly, two points of divergence in thinking style among the three samples of students. The opportunity exists for the study to be extended to include a comparative analysis of a wider selection of students (such as those from differing disciplines) or to explore the similarities and differences between post-graduates or those students in the second or third year of their university studies.

Keywords: Thinking Style, Comparative Analysis, Survey Questionnaire, University Students
Stream: Learning, Education, Training
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: Thinking Styles of Australian, Chinese and Italian University Students

Prof. Francesco Sofo

Faculty of Education

Dr. Michelle Berzins

Faculty of Education, University of Canberra
Canberra, ACT, Australia

Dr. Cinzia Colapinto

University of Milan

Ref: D08P0244