I'll try a quick Google search for "teachers as knowledge authorities". It produces four hits:
• The 1st is a report (via ERIC) about Agricultural Education:
The Nigerian Manpower Project, which placed large numbers of Nigerian students in American community colleges, did not alter the delivery of subject matter at one Illinois college. But difficulties arose from the Nigerian students' culturally-induced reliance on teachers as knowledge authorities, versus the faculty preference for independent student problem solving. (SK)
This draws my attention to the cultural differences between countries and the different status teachers hold in different countries. It also reminds me that access to the Internet varies a great deal and is poor in poorer parts of the world.
• The 2nd is a dissertation (2013), a pdf about student engagement. It mentions the literature that supports the cultural differences about how students see teachers (p. 13):
With Confucian heritage culture, in general, it is claimed that Asian students view teachers as knowledge authorities who have responsibility for content delivery and who are not to be questioned (e.g., Holliday, 1994; Pratt et al., 1999). It is also reported that Asian students perceive that learning is memorization of knowledge provided by teachers (e.g., Kennedy 2002, McKay and Kember 1997). Thus, in contrast to views on Western contexts, Asian classroom contexts are perceived as more authoritarian, expository, and focused on preparation for examinations. Thus students tend to use more surface cognitive strategies (Biggs, 1991; 1998). This study is not a cultural comparative study of cognitive engagement;however this dissertation will provide a discussion of Korean student cognitive
engagement according to various student variables and academic majors as compared
to the results reported in Western context.
So it's about Korean student cognitive engagement
• The third is a book review from 2010 of “Generation Einstein, smarter, quicker, more social-communicating with 21st century youth”. This falls into a broader take on my issue. The book is based on a generational argument according to the review. Some interesting ideas in the review that might help tweak my issue usefully. A search for "generation einstein" pulls up a site which has a link to a conference and a blog. The site looks derelict. I'll keep it though for the moment. It looks simplistic as the review suggests but places an emphasis on communication. Might be handy.
• The fourth is a PhD (PDF) from NZ in 2009: New Opportunities or Difficult Challenges? Self-regulation of learning in Chinese students in a Western university setting
Again, the cultural difference point and students from cultures with different attitudes to teachers learning in a Western setting.
So a few thoughts of where part of the issue may lie but not really what I want.
My next steps.