Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 185–205 | Cite as

The influence of culture on teacher commitment

  • Nordin Abd Razak
  • I. Gusti Ngurah Darmawan
  • John P. Keeves


Culture is believed to be an important factor that influences various aspects of human life, such as behaviour, thinking, perceptions and attitudes. This article examines the similarities and differences in the influence of culture on teacher commitment in three types of Malaysian primary schools. Since commitment to teaching has rarely been investigated in the field of education, it is necessary to identify initially the dimensions of teacher commitment and their interrelationships that are likely to operate in schools. Each of the three types of schools in which this study is conducted is related to one of the three major cultural groups in Malaysia, namely, the Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures. An investigation is undertaken of the similarities and differences between these three groups with respect to cultural orientation with school leadership, in-school working conditions and teacher commitment as the criteria. The statistical analysis, conducted at the teacher level, is path analysis with latent variables using partial least squares regression to estimate the direct and indirect effects for the different ethnic groups of the main variables on teacher commitment. The differences reported between groups are of sufficient strength to argue that analysis with pooled data are largely inappropriate and consideration needs to be given to separate analysis for the various cultural subgroups both within a country and between countries where the effects of culture are largely different.


Culture Cultural orientation School leadership In-school working conditions Teacher commitment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nordin Abd Razak
    • 1
  • I. Gusti Ngurah Darmawan
    • 2
  • John P. Keeves
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Educational StudiesUniversiti Sains MalaysiaPenangMalaysia
  2. 2.School of EducationThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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