The Hofstede model and national cultures of learning| A comparison of undergraduate survey data

by John Matthew Whalen

Institution: Colorado State University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Cultural anthropology; Educational sociology; Pedagogy
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2072488
Full text PDF: http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10149811


Researchers in cross-cultural pedagogy often invoke the work of Hofstede (1980; 1986) and Hofstede, Hofstede, and Minkov (2010) to explain variation in classroom behavioral norms across countries (e.g. Cronjé, 2011; Li & Guo, 2012; Tananuraksakul, 2013). Although Hofstede' s model of culture was developed from IBM employee surveys to facilitate cross-cultural management, Hofstede explicitly suggests that his findings can be generalized to student and teacher behavior in the classroom. The present study tests this suggestion by administering an online survey to university students (n=625) in the following countries: USA (n=181), South Africa (n=103), China (n=64), Turkey, (n=60), Russia, (n=59), Finland (n=58), Vietnam (n=52), and France (n=48). Although the number of countries included in this study is too low to produce globally generalizable results, a statistical comparison of national means on each item fails to support Hofstede's predictions about how national culture manifests in the classroom for these particular countries. Instead, provisional support is found for the creation of a new set of cultural dimensions for the specific purpose of studying classroom culture, with three such dimensions emerging from a principal components analysis of the present data set. The examination of national differences on individual items in this survey can also be useful for traveling instructors of English-speaking university classrooms.