It might be trite to observe that every research study is framed within a cultural background. In this paper we argue that the description of the cultural background is important for discussing, evaluating and exploiting internationally the findings of local educational studies. This issue is fundamental in every study in mathematics education and, in particular, in the studies about mathematics teacher education. As an example, we present a local project (MMLab-ER, i.e. the Mathematical Machines Laboratory for Emilia-Romagna region) on mathematics teachers education and development, showing how the research design and implementation were biased by the cultural background.