Middle East meets West: Negotiating cultural difference in international educational encounters

Goodall, Helen (2014) Middle East meets West: Negotiating cultural difference in international educational encounters. International Review of Education, 60 (5). pp. 603-617. ISSN 0020-8566

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Abstract

This paper sets out to evaluate a proposed twelve-month programme of development aimed at academic staff at a new university in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The author uses a model of cultural difference proposed by Dutch social psychologist Geert Hofstede as her starting point. Reference is also made to the work of other researchers and to the views of a number of people with first-hand experience of education in Iraqi Kurdistan. Cultural differences between the Kurdish participants on the proposed programme and its British facilitator are a likely challenge in this kind of project, in particular those associated with collectivist vs. individualist traditions. Focusing on this divide, some marked differences emerge in terms of how learning is viewed and approached in the two different countries. Whilst acknowledging that cultural difference is not confined to national boundaries, the author argues that the degree of collectivism or individualism within a society can be regarded as one of the many significant components of the complex concept of “culture”. She does not attempt to offer any empirical evidence to support a “best way” to approach international educational encounters. Rather, the author’s aim is to draw some conclusions to inform and facilitate the design and delivery of the proposed programme. At the same time, this paper may also offer some useful insights to those who find themselves in similar situations requiring them to deliver programmes in environments which are culturally removed from their own.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Cultural differences, Individualism, Collectivism, International educational encounters, Iraqi Kurdistan
Divisions: ?? UniversityCollegePlymouthMarkJohn ??
Depositing User: Mrs Wendy Evans
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2017 09:34
Last Modified: 22 May 2019 11:43
URI: http://marjon.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/15325

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