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ERIC Number: ED455855
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 38
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Culture, Style, and Cognition: Expanding the Boundaries of the Learning Paradigm for African-American Learners in the Community College.
McPhail, Irving Pressley; McPhail, Christine Johnson; Smilkstein, Rita
This paper presents research, theory, and practice that indicate different cultures have different cognitive styles and that culturally diverse students become more successful learners when these differences are taken into account in the classroom. This theory of "culturally mediated education" enriches the conceptual basis of the learning, or student-centered, paradigm, making it a powerful alternative to the widely used unmediated instruction, or teacher/content-centered, paradigm. The paper describes the Nairobi Method's successful culturally mediated approach to education, which purports that miseducated adults can be motivated through intellectual excitement, knowledge of the educational system, and their own history. African-American learners utilize strategies that are universalistic, intuitive, and person-oriented. This cognitive style contrasts markedly from that of learners who are most successful in the Eurocentric schooling process, and who employ an information processing strategy that is sequential, analytical, or object-oriented. American community colleges now support the learning paradigm and the vision of the learning college. However, if African-American learners are to benefit from this important paradigm shift in the community college, the following recommendations for classroom practice deserve careful consideration: each learning facilitator must explore his/her values, opinions, attitudes, and beliefs in terms of his/her cultural origin; and each learning facilitator must create an empowerment culture for learners in the classroom and beyond. (Contains 78 references.) (JA)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A