Journal of Danubian Studies and Research, Vol 5, No 1 (2015)

Do Cultural Differences Matter in Development Education

Diana Bebenova - Nikolova


The article discusses the impact of cultural differences on the implementation of
Development Education (DE). Firstly, it presents dimensions of cultural differences and gives reasons
on the selection of Hofstede’s five dimensions model to be used for comparison between national
cultures. Then the article presents some findings on cultural differences based on surveyed school
practitioners’ perceptions on the main issues of DE (economic, political, environmental and social).
The evaluation survey, implemented in four EU countries (UK, PL, BG and Cyprus), is part of the
project ‘The world from our doorstep’, funded by EuropeAid . It was based on a self-assessment
questionnaire as well as on focus groups discussions, including multiple-choice activities. Using
Hofstede’s model, the paper draws certain suppositions and then compares them with the survey results.
Another applied approach is field observation on how DE was being implemented in the project
countries. The conclusions derived from the comparison between Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and
the project findings indicate some ideas on defining the content of the DE to become more culturally
open and thus more effective. Building teachers’ intercultural competence and awareness of
interconnectedness is timely and necessity-driven, especially under the framework of DE goals.


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