ERIC Number: ED215009
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Comparative Studies of Cognitive Styles: Implications for the Education of Immigrant Students.
Berry, John W.
Differences in cognitive styles or intellectual behavior can be attributed to different ecological and cultural influences on individuals. These influences, such as type of subsistence economy, social stratification, socialization, and role specialization, affect the development of a particular cognitive style which is determined by whether an individual relies on the external environment or works on it. Individuals who tend to accept the external environment are considered relatively more field dependent, while those who act on it are considered relatively more field independent. The style which develops under these traditional ecological-cultural conditions is subject to further alteration by acculturative influences, such as education, a shift from traditional economy to wage employment, and urbanization. Among immigrants, acculturative factors may encourage a tendency toward field independence and thus reduce large cultural variations in populations. In some cases, however, the traditional cognitive-adaptive style may persist and lead to numerous cultural differences in societies that are host to immigrants. In such societies, the implications of different cognitive styles for the educational process should be considered in planning educational services. To treat all students as culturally and psychologically identical is to interpret stylistic differences as deficits rather than qualitative, socially enriching variations. (Author/MJL)
Descriptors: Acculturation, Cognitive Style, Cultural Influences, Ecological Factors, Educational Planning, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Immigrants
University Press of America, P.O. Box 19101, Washington, DC 20036 (write for price).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Field Dependence; Field Independence
Note: Paper presented at the Conference on The Education of Ethnic Minority Immigrants (Miami, FL, December 13-16, 1981).