Cultural-bound elements of ethical sensitivity: case studies from the Netherlands, Finland, and Iran

Elina Kuusisto, Khalil Gholami, Ingrid Schutte, Marca Wolfensberger, Kirsi Tirri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter provides insight into the culturally-bound nature of ethical sensitivity by examining three case studies from different educational contexts: the Netherlands (n = 622), Finland (n = 864), and Iranian Kurdistan (n = 556). Ethical sensitivity was investigated with the Ethical Sensitivity Scale Questionnaire (Tirri & Nokelainen, 2007, 2011), and a four-factor model was found to capture the essential aspects of ethical sensitivity across culturally diverse contexts. Subsequently, the relationships among the four dimensions were examined in each case study. The analyses reveal that caring by connecting to others was a central dimension of ethical sensitivity across the three cases. Given the other dimensions of ethical sensitivity, the dimension of taking the perspective of others seemed particularly dependent on culture. The consequences of these results for moral education are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on comparative and international studies in education
EditorsDonald K. Sharpes
Place of PublicationCharlotte, NC, U.S.A.
PublisherIAP, Information Age Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-68123-678-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-68123-677-3
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

SeriesInternational perspectives on Comparative and International Studies in Education


  • education
  • ethics


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