Cross-Cultural Perspectives and Education

EDU527 │ Elective Subject │ 10 credit points


The aim of this course is to assist teachers to reflect on their worldview assumptions and then consider the implications of education in cross-cultural contexts. This is accomplished through a brief study of theory related to comparative and international education, reflection and discussion, combined with practical experience of education in other settings. These other settings may include cross- cultural sites within the student’s country or, preferably, visiting another country.

The focus of the subject is not on development studies, research, or global perspectives, nor is it intended to be imperialistic in intent or attitude. Instead, the subject will guide students to develop a framework for considering cultural and worldview assumption differences (across cultures, ideologies and religions) and from these to be able to see their own culture and worldview assumptions— particularly as these may apply to their own calling as classroom teachers. Both the assumptions and practices observed in the second culture and the student’s own assumptions and practices are to be considered from a biblically grounded perspective with regard to their appropriateness to their
particular cultural situations.


EDU400/400a Biblical Foundations of Education and EDU501/501a Worldviews and Educational Practice

Teaching methods

Online Semester
Directed online learning and independent learning

Learning outcomes

Student who successfully complete this subject will be able to:

  1. Explain an understanding of cultural differences and how these may influence school leadership practices, curriculum development and classroom environments. Select and plan culturally appropriate professional development material.
  2. Demonstrate a substantial engagement with the issues involved in education across cultures through in-depth discussion
  3. Critically evaluate the issues involved in education across cultures through indepth discussion
  4. From a biblically-grounded perspective, appraise and critically reflect on classroom teaching, curriculum development and educational leadership in cross-cultural settings.


Essay and Multimedia Presentation40%
Reflective Journal10%
Analytical Essay50%

Subject content

  1. Education definitions and the purpose of education in societies—from the enculturation of children in tribal village contexts to the highly structured systems of industrialised countries.
  2. Comparative education and comparative educational leadership in international contexts: comparisons made between schooling systems, pedagogies and leadership or governance in another culture and the student’s own culture, including biblical perspectives.
  3. The identification of hidden the hidden curriculum or the hidden leadership curriculum: cultural undertones in pedagogy or school leadership.
  4. The structure and development of lifeworlds, worldview assumptions, and psycho-epistemological priorities in different cultural and community settings, and the influence these have on educational education or leadership theory and practice in those settings.
  5. The comparative process: how and why there needs to be the effective making of comparisons between education systems in different cultures.
  6. Practical application: Biblical reflection and analysis as tools to facilitate the transformation of teaching or leadership practices in the light of perspectives gained during the study of the subject.

Prescribed text and reading materials

Lingenfelter, J. E., & Lingenfelter, S. G. (2003). Teaching cross-culturally: An incarnational model for learning and teaching. Grand Rapids: Baker Pub. Group.

Livermore, D. A. (2013). Serving with eyes wide open: Doing short-term missions with cultural intelligence. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

Marshall, J. (2019). Introduction to comparative and international education (2nd ed.). Los Angeles: SAGE.

A list of reading materials will be available in the Subject Outline on eLearning Portal.