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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Bridging the Gap: Cross-cultural Teaching in Cambodia

Marsha Barber.

This paper presents research findings based on a survey of journalism students in Cambodia.

Students from six Cambodian provinces undertook a three week course with Canadian journalism professors. They were then asked a number of questions ranging from their preferred learning styles to their understanding of the role of journalists in Cambodia.

The goal of the research was to help overseas educators better understand how to tailor their teaching to the needs of students from another culture. The author's hypothesis was that overseas educators need to better understand the learning styles, cultural differences and differences in approaches to the practice of journalism in other cultures. This is especially crucial in fledgling democracies such as Cambodia.

The survey results bore out this hypothesis. Students indicated that there is indeed a gap between overseas' trainers expectations and pedagogy and the expectations and preferred learning style of Cambodian students.

Survey results indicate that overseas educators must take a number of cultural and pedagogical factors into consideration when designing their courses.

This was the first survey of its kind done in Cambodia.


Marsha Barber  (Canada)
Assistant Professor of Journalism
The School of Journalism
Ryerson University

I have been on faculty at Ryerson University for the past four years. Before that I worked as a journalist with Canada’s public broadcaster including work as a senior producer and documentary producer. I train journalists for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and also train journalists internationally.

My academic work includes research into cross-cultural education and an on-going study of the attitudes and values of news directors across Canada.

  • Cross-cultural education
  • Global cultural diversity
  • Role of education in social transformation

(Virtual Presentation, English)