ERIC Number: ED368017
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov-18
Reference Count: N/A
Cultural Perspectives and Thinking: The African American Thinker in the Classroom.
Educators who neglect to adapt teaching strategies to different cognitive styles may be placing some students at risk. A literature review suggests that elements of African American culture heavily influence African American students' communicative and cognitive styles. Research indicates that African American cultural values are organized around unique ontological, epistemological, and axiological assumptions. Five characteristics are essential features of African American communicative style: (1) assertiveness; (2) forthrightness; (3) ethical awareness; (4) interpersonal responsiveness; and (5) group identification. African Americans tend to display elements of a field-dependent cognitive style that emphasizes holistic perception, verbal tasks, and an interpersonal orientation or social cognitive skills. Understanding cultural and cognitive differences should be especially important to educators, for if the educational system is oriented around field-independent cognitive styles, those who utilize field-dependent cognitive styles are placed at a severe disadvantage. As a starting point for a planned ethnographic study of African American cognitive styles, this review validates the evidence that diverse cultures and cognitive styles are key elements in educational success. (An appendix comparing cognitive styles and comparing the form and function of symbolic imagery between disparate cognitive processes is attached. Contains 37 references. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: African Americans; Communicator Style
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (79th, Miami Beach, FL, November 18-21, 1993).