Can you feel the distance? A cross-cultural investigation of the relationship between students’ individual beliefs on power distance and their perception of teachers
Heijkant, Kris van den
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This paper focuses on the relationship between the students’ individual beliefs on power distance, a cultural dimension defined by Hofstede (2005), and their perception of teachers. To investigate this relationship, research was carried out in a school in the U.S. and in a school in Hungary. Emphasis was put on the pioneering aspect of investigating the individual beliefs of the students, rather than the beliefs of a group of students. For the data collection, two instruments were used: the QTI (Questionnaire on Teacher Interaction) and the PDQ (Power Distance Questionnaire). The latter was constructed for the purposes of the present investigation. It was tested for reliability; the data that were proven reliable were used for further statistical analyses. The results of the statistical analyses indicate that there is no direct connection between the students’ beliefs on power distance and the way they perceive teachers. However, the sex of the participants seems to play a significant role in their beliefs on power distance. This paper offers a new methodology, a unique instrument (i.e. the PDQ), and important implications for future research.