ERIC Number: ED198059
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov
Learning Styles: What Every Teacher Should Consider.
Gardner, Ruth C.
This paper explores the relationship between cultural background and individual styles of learning (cognitive styles) among elementary school students. The hypothesis is that, in spite of dangers inherent in generalizing about all children of a specific culture, there are customary methods of education and child rearing in each cultural group which strongly influence cognitive learning styles for children of that group. Literature on Native Americans, for example, indicates that their greatest strength in learning is through visual channels and that Native American students have a bent for subjects such as penmanship, spelling, and art. Chicano students, on the other hand, excel in cooperative rather than competetive behavior and achieve the most in situations involving peer instruction rather than task centered or analytical learning. Still other differences have been noted in learning patterns of Asian American students. For example, it was suggested in a 1972 study comparing Japanese and Chinese American second graders to second graders from other cultural backgrounds that the widely held Asian cultural values of perserverance, restraint, and patience seemed to result in a precise and accurate learning style which transferred particularly well to spatial and numerical reasoning and less well to verbal learning. The conclusion is that teachers will improve their ability to teach children from other cultures if they are aware of and attempt to work constructively with cultural differences. Suggestions for helping teachers recognize and deal with these differences include that they maintain close contact with parents and community groups, provide learning centers where visual and aural learning are encouraged, and give recognition to students for achievement in art, music, athletics, manual dexterity, and social skills as well as verbal skills. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Regional Conference of the International Reading Association (5th, Boise, ID, November 6-8, 1980).