One Size Fits All? Faculty Professional Development Workshops in a Multicultural Context

  • Lois Smith


This chapter looks at the influence of national and ethnic culture on educational development (professional development for those teaching in higher education). An introductory teaching programme for faculty in a Middle Eastern (United Arab Emirates) offshore campus of an Australian university is described as a means of exploring the effects of culture on training faculty in a multicultural context. I discuss my experience during the implementation of the teaching programme in relation to my own cultural background, which is different from that of most of the participants in the programme, as well as to the cultural setting of the institution. Some of the issues raised include dealing with differing concepts of teaching and learning, power distance, gender, and appreciation of student diversity. Although these issues relate to the specific context of the programme, they have significance for the kind of multicultural settings that are increasingly becoming part of modern transnational higher education.


Host Country International Student United Arab Emirate Power Distance Educational Development 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2007

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  • Lois Smith

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