This paper critically examines the compatibility of Brunei culture values with the assumptions of reflective practice. Cultural, political and educational institutions in Brunei are thoroughly embedded within a fusion of Malay-Islamic values. In an attempt to examine the issue of teacher effectiveness, reflective practice and allied concepts, such as action research, have been introduced into the teacher education curriculum at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam. Based on a juxtaposition of Brunei values/culture with the assumptions underlying reflection, the paper discusses why the cultural distinctiveness of Brunei poses serious obstacles to the implementation of reflective strategies in teacher education. The paper also underlines the need for teacher educators in non-western cultures to take cognisance of contextual factors when importing educational ideas and concepts from the `west'.