ERIC Number: ED335175
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-May
Reference Count: N/A
American Indian/Alaskan Native Learning Styles: Research and Practice. ERIC Digest.
This digest reviews the literature related to learning styles of American Indian and Alaskan Native students. Several studies show that in some tribes, observation, self-testing in private, and then demonstration of a task for approval are essential steps in learning. Indian children often hesitate to participate in large and small-group recitations, but are talkative during interactions with the teacher or student-led group projects. Cherokee children prefer cooperation over competition, and will often hide academic competence to avoid seeming superior. These cultural styles of learning do not match the learning environment of the typical classroom. Although group characteristics may provide a basis for further investigation into individual characteristics, overgeneralizing group tendencies can have the ill effects of stereotypic notion, discriminatory practice, and inappropriate excuses for failure in teaching and learning. Teachers should observe students' preferred ways of learning and plan learning experiences accordingly. New ways of learning can be gradually introduced as children become more comfortable. Teachers also benefit from learning about students' backgrounds and values, and the norms of the community. Teachers must be aware of their own learning style and related teaching style strengths. Assessment tools are available to identify both learning- and teaching-style tendencies. (KS)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Rural Education and Small Schools, Charleston, WV.