However, changes and advancements in economic relationships, political systems, and technological options began to break down old cultural barriers. Business transformed from individual-country capitalism to global capitalism.
Our ability to give every child a chance to succeed in school depends upon a full understanding of culture and learning styles. After all, effective educational decisions and practices must emanate from an understanding of the ways that individuals learn.
Consequently, knowing each student, especially his or her culture, is essential preparation for facilitating, structuring, and validating successful learning for all students. This imperative leads to three critical questions.
Do students of the same culture have common learning style patterns and characteristics? If they do, how would we know it? And most important, what are the implications for educators? These questions are both important and controversial.
They are important because we need all the information we can get to help every learner succeed in school and because our understanding of the learning process is the basis for decisions about curriculum and instruction.
One reason that the linkage between culture and learning styles is controversial is that generalizations about a group of people have often led to naive inferences about individuals within that group.
Although people connected by culture do exhibit a characteristic pattern of style preferences, it is a serious error to conclude that all members of the group have the same style traits as the group taken as a whole. A second source of controversy is the understandable sensitivity surrounding attempts to explain the persistent achievement differences between minority and nonminority students—it is all too easy to confuse descriptions of differences with explanations for deficits.
Finally, the relationship between culture and learning styles is controversial because it brings us face to face with philosophical issues that involve deeply held beliefs. Debaters in the uniformity versus diversity dispute, for instance, differ over whether instructional equality is synonymous with educational equity.
Another debate concerns the ultimate purpose of schooling. A highly public example of how sensitive these issues are occurred in when the state of New York published a booklet to help decrease the student dropout rate.
A small section of the booklet described the learning styles typical of minority students and identified certain patterns associated with African-American students. These descriptions became the subject of intense scrutiny and animated debate. Eventually, the descriptions were deleted from the booklet.
How We Know That Culture and Ways of Learning Are Linked There is very little disagreement that a relationship does exist between the culture in which children live or from which they are descended and their preferred ways of learning. This relationship, further, is directly related to academic, social, and emotional success in school.
These conclusions are not as simple or definite as they seem, however. Though many syntheses and surveys have discussed the interdynamics of different cultures and ways of learning, each comes from a very distinctive approach, focusing either on a specific learning style model or a particular cultural group.
No work, to my knowledge, claims to be comprehensive on the topic of culture and learning styles. In general, researchers have reported three kinds of information about culture and learning styles.Making broad-sweeping generalizations about a particular culture's parenting style is a mistake, though, because many factors, including family traditions, personality and Founded: Jun 17, Effective leaders recognize that choosing the right leadership style for the current situation tends to improve the likelihood of success.
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