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How does national culture affect the teaching style in higher education and what are the implications for the student experience?

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Abstract

One of the effects of globalization in Higher Education is that teachers in institutions and faculties increasingly come from diverse cultural backgrounds. This study provides insights into implications of cultural differences in the Higher Education sector in Great Britain. A case study approach was applied in order to analyze the impact of culture on teaching styles and methods at a Higher Education institution with a focus on British and German students and teachers. The findings from three data collection methods revealed that German tutors are more likely to apply teacher-centered styles than British tutors, which confirmed Hofstede’s cultural differences particularly in terms of the dimensions uncertainty avoidance, power distance and individualism. Moreover, it was shown that cultural differences are not the sole determinant of teaching style and the authors were able to compile a framework of input factors which influence teaching style.

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Notes

  1. It should be noted that for the purpose of this study, the terms teacher, lecturer and tutor have been used interchangeably as is customary at ECBM.

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Both authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection and analysis were performed by Julia Hecht. The first draft of the manuscript was written by Julia Hecht and Dr. Marion Kahrens and both authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Marion Kahrens.

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Hecht, J., Kahrens, M. How does national culture affect the teaching style in higher education and what are the implications for the student experience?. Tert Educ Manag 27, 107–127 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11233-021-09068-2

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