The purpose of this study was to examine (a) factors that influence effective cross-cultural collaboration, and (b) challenges and issues that face researchers in cross-cultural collaboration. During the summer of 2010, 20 researchers and student interns from Ghana Education Service, Chicago State University (CSU-USA), Winneba University of Education, and Cape Coast University took part in a collaborative field study to assess the extent of use and impact of CSU Teaching and Learning Materials Program (TLMP) in Ghana. In small, mixed teams of up to five Ghanaian and US researchers, they were sent to different schools, in all 10 regions, covering up to four school districts per team, in all 14 school districts where the program’s teaching and learning materials had been distributed. In teams, they conducted research activities together—observing classroom teaching, interviewing parents and teachers, and collecting end-of-year assessments. They also conducted social activities together—visiting landmarks, shopping, eating, etc. Their collaborative experiences were collected through a review of daily journals that all had to keep, a review of the program assessment reports, and telephone and email interviews with researchers. The factors that influenced positive and harmonious group dynamics in cross-cultural collaboration included (a) respect for the host community, (b) balance in team composition, and (c) reliance on the paramount role of the host country researchers. Challenges and issues that researchers faced included (a) language differences, (b) conflicting research methodology styles, (c) limited knowledge of the host country’s social protocol.
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