This study is to explore answers to the questions, ‘Can Cultures be Separated from Ethics in Education?’ And ‘What should educators do to ensure the connection of these important elements in teaching contexts in the globalisation era?’ The questions were raised when I conducted courses of Master’s in Education where students from different countries and cultures studying online. They brought their different cultures as well as behaviours to online sessions, where ethics were not always followed. Some colleagues thought that was because of the cultures, but others, including me, believed this was a story of ethics in education. A survey, individual and group interviews with 30 Australian and international students in different courses were conducted. The educational policy documents were also collected and analysed in order to obtain a deeper and more reliable results. The initial findings show that most of students coming from Western cultures followed their ethics more strictly than those from the Eastern cultures, while the latter prefer acting based on their first cultures and more likely to ignore or less consider to the ethics. This challenges lecturers and requires them to be interculturally proficient. Recommendations have been made so that educators can take advantages from these students’ perspectives and persuade students to connect this both important determinant of the learners. The study is meaningful to those who are working in multi-cultural teaching contexts and students themselves. It is also helpful to managers and programmers to set up rules of ethics and cultures for all education stakeholders.
Thi Phuong Lan Nguyen, The University of Newcastle, Australia