Danubius International Conferences, 5th International Conference The Danube - Axis of European Identity

Do Cultural Differences Matter in Development Education

Diana Bebenova-Nikolova
Last modified: 2015-05-22


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). Prior Work: 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. Approach: 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. Implications: 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. Value: Building teachers’ intercultural competence and awareness of interconnectedness is timely and necessity-driven, especially under the framework of DE goals.