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ERIC Number: ED258716
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Oct
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Culture before Ethnicity.
West, Betsy E.
Cultural traits related to experiences of specific ethnic, religious, or racial heritages have received much attention in recent years. There are several broader cultural influences, however, which apply to children of several cultural groups and to teachers. These broader cultural influences color teachers' interpretations of students' behaviors and attitudes and deserve attention before and beyond attention to ethnic influences. The relative value placed on individualism and competition versus group loyalty and cooperation, the influence of locale or place of residence, and, importantly, the influence of social class are such broader influences. Student teachers frequently misinterpret as racial or ethnic those behaviors and attitudes which are in fact determined by social class. Important social class differences exist in attitudes and behaviors related to promptness, orientations toward present and future time, delayed gratification, the idioms and connotations of language, and tolerance for background noise and crowding, all of which have implications for effective instruction. The successful teaching of values unlike the cultural values students are used to requires that teachers understand why their own and their students' values differ. But, when information about the cultural background of a particular group is gained, care must be taken not to assume that all children of that group are alike or necessarily share the typical characteristics of the group. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A