Cross cultural perspectives of teachers: A study in three countries

Christine Margaret HALSE, Neil L. BAUMGART

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In a shrinking world where globalization has blurred the boundaries across nation states and cultural divides, limitations on intercultural communication can readily give rise to glib generalizations and lack of understanding of diversity. Acknowledging the key role of teachers in shaping the views of future generations, this paper reports on the first stage of a research study on the intercultural understanding of teachers in Australia, Japan, and Thailand. Overall, the teacher participants had diverse cross-cultural experience, differing both in extent and nature of the contact. The methodology used a common survey instrument, except for its language of presentation. However, instead of using a traditional comparative approach to contrast responses of the three target groups, the study asked teachers to provide their perceptions of prevailing world views of people in their own AND the other two countries. The reciprocal nature of the observations provides a powerful methodology to explore perceived intercultural similarities and differences. The article also considers problems associated with response set in investigations of this kind. Three scales are considered — change through intervention, symbolic inner self, and independent thought and action — and the data reveal some similarities but also some striking differences in perceptions across countries. The differences signal a lack of intercultural understanding which is being explored further in a second, qualitative stage of the research. The findings indicate the need for increasing shared programs, exchanges and other opportunities for reciprocal relations that foster genuine dialogue, partnership and intercultural understanding between countries. Copyright © 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-475
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2000

Citation

Halse, C. M., & Baumgart, N. L. (2000). Cross cultural perspectives of teachers: A study in three countries. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 24(4), 455-475.

Keywords

  • Cross-cultural studies
  • Intercultural understanding
  • Comparative education
  • Values education
  • Intercultural relations
  • Globalization
  • Response set
  • Cultural identity
  • Intercultural understanding in education
  • Asia
  • Teacher attitudes

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