This study explores beliefs and classroom practices of teachers from collectivist nations through the lens of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. In this grounded theory study, an in-depth investigation of the ways in which six teachers from five different collectivist countries described their beliefs and classroom practices was carried out. Through the constant comparative method, the two authors grouped the findings into categories of beliefs and practices which were then examined through the lens of the six dimensions of Hofstede’s model of cultural difference. Six categories of classroom practices, Pedagogy, Interaction, Student Role, Teacher Support, Differential Assessment, and Behavioral Management and three major beliefs, Importance of Teacher-Student Relatedness, Teaching: a Social Responsibility, and Learning for Life Skills emerged from the findings. The comparison revealed a multi-dimensional structure of teachers’ practices with strong evidence of both traditional and constructivist practices. Our findings indicate that collectivist teachers will embrace individualistic practices of teaching which are congruent with their own cultural beliefs. Thus, the findings will add to the literature on cultural beliefs that affect teaching and learning. The findings will have implications for teachers, researchers, and policy makers in refining their perception of collectivist teachers.


Grounded Theory, Hofstede, Eastern Culture, Collectivist Culture, Collectivist Teachers, Classroom Practices, Teacher’s Beliefs, Teacher’s Practices

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Amrita Kaur is an Indian national who worked for more than a decade in Thailand in K-12 education and is presently working as a senior lecturer in a large public university in Malaysia. She holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology. Prior to working in the present university, she has been working as a head on a large public school in Thailand, has research interests in educational psychology, cross-cultural education and pedagogy. She was involved in teacher’s training programs and has conducted several workshops for teachers. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Amrita Kaur at, amrita@uum.edu.my.

Mohammad Noman is an Indian national, has worked as a school principal for 13 years in Thailand and is currently working as the principal of an international school in Malaysia. He is also pursuing his Ph.D. in educational leadership. Noman has worked as a senior lecturer in a public university in Malaysia for 2 years before he was assigned to lead the international school being set up by the university as its principal. Prior to this, he worked as the principal of an international school for more than 10 years in Thailand. He has been involved with all aspects of K-12 education and specializes in educational leadership, C&I, educational technology and professional development activities. He has worked with teachers from more than 30 countries including teachers from Europe and North America. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Mohammad Noman at, mdnoman@yahoo.com.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.