Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion in Education: A Cultural Analysis of TALIS 2018

Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion in Education: A Cultural Analysis of TALIS 2018

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-9013-6.ch007
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Researchers and policymakers have increasingly recognized the importance of studying diversity, equality, and inclusion in education. These studies can help identify how cultural values influence the learning outcomes of immigrants and inform evidence-based policymaking. This book chapter aims to scrutinize the diversity, equality, and inclusion practices in schools within the scope of Hofstede's cultural values in the sample of the countries participating in the TALIS 2018 survey. The sample consisted of 13,730 schools from 44 countries participating in both studies. The study found that only the masculinity dimension was negatively associated with teachers' diversity beliefs. The study found that DEI beliefs were in many points unrelated to Hofstede's cultural dimensions. Future research could explore multilevel models that include cultural dimensions and diversity and equality beliefs, as well as results from international assessments.
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Due to the rapid technological changes, the development of transportation vehicles, pandemic problems and wars in the last half-century, the migration transitivity of individuals between countries has increased considerably in the globalizing world. In a rapidly changing world, the interaction of people from different cultures is increasing, and “cultural diversity” - which can actually be counted as wealth - is sometimes seen as a barrier to be overcome at the personal and organizational level by some individuals and institutions.

Especially in developed countries, due to the high living standards, it has triggered the immigration mobility of individuals who desire social and economic welfare. This mobility which can be seen as humanitarian, can negatively affect the existing systems of the countries exposed to immigration and cause social conflicts and incompatibilities. On the other hand, it is seen that the policies and social approaches of some countries towards immigrants are more egalitarian and respectful of cultural diversity. In the background of these social moulds or prejudices and dominant mental structures of individuals, it is a current field of study developed by Hofstede in order to compare the cultural elements of the countries and how it relates to the widely used cultural dimensions. In the context of Hoftsede's study, previous determinations of collectivist, feminine, high-power distance, uncertainty avoidance and high tolerance tendencies indicate that cultural diversity in education which is discussed in the TALIS study may be important in the perception and preference of equality and inclusion mechanisms.

To cope with social inequality and procure social inclusion towards cultural diversity, many educational systems attempt to develop and perform initiatives to improve the status of disadvantaged groups (e.g., immigrants, gender, and racial/ethnic minority groups). Such diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies are controversial because people disagree about whether they are necessary and what extent impacts could be. However, research evidence has revealed that people who are in advantaged groups that are fueled by the cultural status quo and mental structures have the potential to be opposite to DEI policies and practices. The dissenters of DEI can consider that the success of the national education policies, corporate psychology and organizational image may undermine the ineffectiveness of human and substance resources. In fact, if the mentioned cultural diversity is managed well, it can be said that the most important power of states to benefit from the advantages of DEI is education. Therefore, the issue of intercultural diversity issue has always been the focus of attention of researchers.

School leaders have a critical role in the practices of DEI policies at the school level. On the other hand, school leadership practices vary among cultures and although these practices contain many similarities, the duties and responsibilities of principals can differ from each other. The authority of school leaders may, in one context, be based primarily on legitimate, referent, or expert power, while in others, it may be based on reward and coercive power. Therefore, school principals' authority stills are unlikely to be the same in all cultural contexts. Accordingly, it is interesting to explore school principals' and teachers’ beliefs and practices about diversity, equality, and inclusion by making a general comparison with other TALIS 2018 participating countries under consideration with Hofstede's cultural dimension. In this context, it will be easier/occasion to improve the basis of authority that the countries will give to school principals by clustering the similarities and differences referencing the behavior of school principals towards foreign students according to cultural characteristics.

The Purpose of the Study

This study focuses specifically on how diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) beliefs, attitudes and practices are linked with Hofstede’s cultural values such as individualist/collectivist, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity/femininity of the countries. In this section, first of all, the definition, theoretical framework and importance of the concepts of diversity, equality and inclusion in education have been mentioned. In the second part, Hofstede's determinations on cultural studies and its dimensions have been presented. In the third part, according to the TALIS 2018 study, the relationship between teachers' beliefs and practices regarding diversity and equality and Hofstede's cultural dimensions have been examined. In the last part of the section, a general evaluation has been explored in the context of Türkiye which hosts the highest number of immigrants among the countries participating in the TALIS 2018 study.

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