ERIC Number: ED292914
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
What Is Cultural Congruence, and Why Are They Saying Such Terrible Things about It? Occasional Paper No. 120.
Singer, Eliot A.
Certain scholars in anthropology and education have recently suggested as an approach to combat school failure for minority students the concept of cultural congruence--the idea that learning is best accomplished in classrooms compatible with the cultural context of the communities they are supposed to serve. Although this concept is yet to be fully articulated as theory or extensively realized in practice, it has already received considerable criticism for "blaming the victim," for denying the possibility of "breaking with experience," and for being too difficult for practicing teachers to apply. This paper attempts to clarify just what is meant by cultural congruence, and argues that most of these criticisms assume a far more total merger of community and school than the modest and limited model favored by proponents of cultural congruence, who are simply talking about minimizing differences in speaking and social interactional styles in the classroom. In this limited form, cultural congruence can be a useful addition to educators' repertoire for dealing with minority education. A six-page list of references is included. (Author/BJV)
Descriptors: Classroom Communication, Classroom Techniques, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Context, Cultural Differences, Elementary Secondary Education, Ethnicity, Ethnography, Experience, Intercultural Communication, Interpersonal Relationship, Minority Group Children
Institute for Research on Teaching, College of Education, Michigan State University, 252 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.; Michigan State Univ., East Lansing.
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Inst. for Research on Teaching.
Identifiers: Cultural Sensitivity