Waikato Journal of Education


Cross cultural research
social justice
women’s leadership development
feminist research
action research


In this paper, we explore culture and its relationship to cross cultural research. The context for this research is Vanuatu, a small South Pacific Island nation. The action research process used was a collaboration between two New Zealand academics, two Ni Vanuatu women researchers and 13 participants over a two year period. The focus of the action research was the design and delivery of a culturally appropriate educational leadership development programme for women. The collaborative research process raised a number of ethical and methodological considerations, for example, the importance of mutually respectful relationships, working in partnership, collaboration, capacity building, transparent communication and consideration of the local context. Using stories from the Vanuatu context, we illustrate how we navigated culture to be able to research in socially just ways. Being involved in socially just, cross cultural research calls for a thoughtful, well-designed and culturally informed approach throughout all stages of the research process, from initial planning through to follow up and capacity building and finally, the sharing of research findings. 


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