Journal of Religious Education

, Volume 63, Issue 2–3, pp 65–77 | Cite as

Finnish teachers’ and students’ intercultural sensitivity

  • E. KuusistoEmail author
  • A. Kuusisto
  • I. Rissanen
  • K. Holm
  • K. Tirri


This article examines intercultural sensitivity of Finnish teachers (N = 1008) and students (N = 1000) with a 23-item Intercultural Sensitivity Scale Questionnaire (ICSSQ). The questionnaire is based on Bennett’s (Education for the intercultural experience, Intercultural Press, Yarmouth, 1993) Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity, which consists of three ethnocentric and three ethnorelative stages that reflect reactions to cultural differences. Items on the ICSSQ are based on authentic statements by 12- to16-year-old Finnish students in lower secondary school. The purpose was twofold: firstly, to test ICSSQ with adult respondents, i.e. teachers, and secondly, to investigate how teachers and students differ in intercultural sensitivity. The results indicate three orientations of intercultural sensitivity: ethnocentric, transitional and ethnorelative. Moreover, the data illustrate variance between teachers and students in intercultural sensitivity, with the teachers assessing their intercultural sensitivity higher than the students assessed theirs.


Intercultural sensitivity Ethnocentrism Ethnorelativism Teachers Students 


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Copyright information

© Australian Catholic University 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Kuusisto
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Kuusisto
    • 2
  • I. Rissanen
    • 3
  • K. Holm
    • 4
  • K. Tirri
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Teacher EducationUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Department of Teacher EducationUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.University of TampereTampereFinland
  4. 4.Helsinki normaalilyseoUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  5. 5.Department of Teacher EducationUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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