Teachers’ cultural backgrounds can result in challenges in establishing positive teacher-student relationships in cross-cultural settings. The context for this study is based on the everyday practice of teachers and students in the classrooms of diverse Australian schools, where issues of cross-cultural teacher-student relationships have been raised. This study involved a group of Chinese-background Mandarin teachers who had one year of volunteer teaching experiences in Australian schools. Data were collected from focus group discussions at the point of the completion of their twelve-month teaching practice, in order to access their fresh memories of their experiences. It explores their “culture” in relating to their Australian students during their teaching practice. This research draws on Chinese cultural concepts for theorizing and finds that the cultural concepts of Guanxi/relationship, Dengji/hierarchy, Zunzhong/respect, and Hexie/harmony have had a significant impact on these teachers’ understanding and management of teacher-student relationships in their Australian classes.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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