Culturally sensitive curriculum development in international cooperation

C.J. Gervedink Nijhuis

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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To assure high quality education in developing countries, curriculum development endeavours are often initiated as part of international cooperation projects. Since culture affects the educational context of the countries involved and the way in which curriculum developers from different countries are used to work and behave, influences of culture on curriculum development can not be neglected. Responding to the need to make curriculum development processes and outcomes more likely to be effective and sustainable, this study aims to clarify the influence of culture on curriculum development processes taking place in the context of international cooperation. A framework for culturally sensitive curriculum development is developed and cultural influences are identified on curriculum development activities, conditions, and outcomes as part of an extensive international cooperation project between Ghana and The Netherlands. In addition, four other international cooperation projects between Ghana and The Netherlands including curriculum development processes are analysed on influences of culture. The study outcomes show the usefulness of the developed framework and the extensive roles of the cultural dimensions High-Low Power Distance, Collectivism-Individualism, High-Low Context, and Polytime-Monotime in curriculum development processes. Based on the study outcomes, various guidelines are presented to ensure sensitivity and responsiveness to culture in curriculum development processes in international cooperation. International project teams are encouraged to conduct extensive context analyses and reflection activities to become acquainted with and adaptive to culturally shaped educational contexts. Strong involvement of local stakeholders (i.e. school managers, teachers, and students) is also recommended. By applying the conceptual framework for culturally sensitive curriculum development, curriculum developers are facilitated to create more cultural understanding and to discuss cultural misunderstandings among the project partners.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Pieters, Julius Marie, Supervisor
  • Voogt, Joke, Supervisor
Award date3 Feb 2012
Place of PublicationEnschede, The Netherlands
Print ISBNs978-90-365-3317-1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2012


  • METIS-292134
  • IR-79600


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