Beliefs About Learning Among Children and Parents in Taiwan, China, and the US

Project PIs

Dr. Jin Li is Professor of Education and Human Development at Brown University. Originally from China, she received her B.A. in German from Guangzhou Institute of Foreign Languages in 1982. She earned her first Ed.M. in education from the University of Pittsburgh in 1988, her second Ed.M. in Administrative Planning and Social Policy in 1991, and her doctoral degree in human development and psychology from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1997. Dr. Li’s research focuses on East Asian virtue-oriented and Western mind-oriented learning models and how these models shape children’s learning beliefs and achievement. She has studied children and families from Chinese, Taiwanese, Chinese American, European American, and other cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The age groups range from early childhood, middle-childhood and adolescence to college students. Her research has been published in leading professional journals. She has delivered talks in a dozen different countries. Her 2012 book Cultural Foundations of Learning: East and West synthesizes related research over the past decades and offers new perspectives on the indispensable role of culture in human learning. Dr. Li was one of the six inaugural Fellows selected by the Berggruen Philosophy and Culture Center 2015-16 and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University and at Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University, China, 2016-17. She was a Guest Lecturer at Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University, China 2016-2018.

Heidi Fung is a research fellow at the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. She received her doctoral training in psychology and human development at the University of Chicago. After teaching in the Department of Psychology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, she returned to her native Taiwan in 1996 to assume her current post. She was a visiting scholar at the Yenching Institute and the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University in 2000-2001. Dr. Fung has long been interested in how to situate human development in socio-cultural contexts. Her research involves the socialization of emotion, daily disciplinary and moral training practices, and child-rearing beliefs across cultures. Recently she conducted multi-sited fieldwork in Taiwan and Vietnam to explore how socialization and family ties are practiced across borders and generations by Vietnamese marriage migrants to Taiwan. 


Li, J., Fung, H., Bakeman, R., Rae, K., & Wei, W.-C. (2014). How European American and Taiwanese mothers talk to their children about learning. Child Development, 85, 1206-1221. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12172 

Li, J., Fung, H., & Chen, E. C.-H. (2013). Taiwanese parent-child conversations for moral guidance: Uncovering the ubiquitous but enigmatic process. In C. Wainryb & H. Recchia (Eds.), Talking about right and wrong: Parent–child conversations as contexts for moral development (pp. 71-97). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Li, J., & Fung, H. (2014). 由親子對談窺探關於學習信念的文化詮釋框架: 台灣與美國學童之比較 [Cultural interpretive frame for mother-child conversations about learning: Comparing European American and Taiwanese dyads. In F.-W. Liu (Ed.), 同理心、情感、與互為主體 [Empathy, affect, and intersubjectivity] (pp. 261-298). Taipei, Taiwan: Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica.