The learning motivation and experience of students in the International Baccalaureate stream of a Chinese government school

  • Yumei CHEN

Student thesis: EdD Thesis


This study explores the learning motivation and experiences of students in the International Baccalaureate stream of a Chinese government school. It investigates why they choose the International Baccalaureate (IB) instead of the domestic courses, and what differences, challenges, difficulties and successes the students found in learning on the International Baccalaureate programme. The research employs a mixed-method case study design, where the qualitative paradigm has a dominant and the quantitative has a supplemental status. Surveys and qualitative interviews were used to answer the research questions the study explores. Data were collected via semi-structured questionnaires with all three senior grades (years) of students and open-ended interviews with a sample of participants. Four major motivational factors for taking the IB course were identified in the research: escaping the fierce domestic selection examinations, going abroad to university for further learning, dislike of the domestic school curriculum and attraction to the International Baccalaureate curriculum. The research also reveals the particular challenges and difficulties for Chinese students who follow international courses in government schools in which other students follow the domestic curriculum. These challenges include learning-related difficulties, such as language problems for the non-native English speakers, and management related difficulties, such as conflicts with the government part in school. These findings are discussed and analysed with the aim of shedding light on the further development of both the International Baccalaureate and Chinese domestic education.
Date of Award8 Jul 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Univerisity of Nottingham
SupervisorChristine Hall (Supervisor) & Lucy Cooker (Supervisor)

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