Journal of Intercultural Communication, issue 14, June 2007

Junko Kobayashi & Linda Viswat

An Exploratory Study of “Fairness” in Educational Settings —American and Japanese University Students—


This paper deals with differences and similarities in the perception of "fairness" in e ducational settings between American and Japanese university students. First, data was collected through open-ended questionnaires and interviews as to the words and actions of Native English-Speaking (NES) teachers that Japanese students regarded as unfair, and those of Japanese students that American teachers found to be unfair. Based on the responses, a second questionnaire was prepared and distributed to 155 American students and 157 Japanese students. This paper specifically discusses the diverse viewpoints voiced by American and Japanese students, and suggests ways to reduce their respective discontentment in educational settings.
Keywords: fairness, students’ perceptions, cultural differences, individual differences, diverse viewpoints

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