ERIC Number: ED284907
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Cognitive Styles: Sex and Ethnic Differences.
Jones, Dionne J.
This paper reviews the hallmark studies of field dependence-independence and considers the evidence for sex and ethnic differences in cognitive style. Research has traditionally linked females' early verbal superiority with field dependence and males' superior visuospatial skills with field independence. Studies challenging this picture cite factors that may be generating these performance differences, including noncomparable math background and divergent socialization of boys and girls. Cross-cultural studies indicate a relation of cognitive style differences to the degree of sex-role differences enforced in the culture. Various factors in the culture of black Americans are seen as promoting cognitive style differences and greater field dependence. These include kinetic-tactile rather than visual information processing emphasis and a person-oriented rather than object-oriented cue selection style. These differences may place black students at odds with the dominant style expected in school curricula, especially in math and science. However, black students are more likely to excel in math/science and choose science-related careers if they establish a strong relationship and perhaps role identifcation with a math/science teacher. The paper offers various ways to enhance learning environments by accommodating to cognitive style differences. (LPG)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Black Culture, Black Students, Cognitive Style, Cultural Traits, Field Dependence Independence, Higher Education, Learning Processes, Literature Reviews, Mathematics Education, Racial Differences, Science Careers, Science Education, Secondary Education, Sex Differences, Sex Role, Socialization, Spatial Ability
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Washington, DC, November 13-15, 1986).