Accepted Conclusions About Culture and Learning Styles
Those who study culture and learning styles agree on at least five points.
1. Educators agree that students, no matter age, will differ in their ways of learning. both fact-based research and experiences confirm these learning style differences, as in their cognitive, emotional and behavioral dimensions, help us to understand and talk about individual learning processes.
2. Most researchers believe that learning style depends on both nature and nurture. While other researchers downplay the innate aspects of learning to focus instead on the impact students have of the environment around them. Many place great importance on the early socialization that occurs within the family, immediate culture, and wider culture.
3. Most researchers also believe that the different learning styles are neutral. Each learning style can be used successfully, but can also be an obstacle if you use it the wrong way on the wrong students. For example, active students have fewer opportunities to use their talents in school than a student with more academic skills.
4. In both observational and data-based research on cultures, one consistent finding is that within a group, every student is different in their learning styles. Therefore, no one should be forced on a particular learning style.
5. Finally, many authors acknowledge the cultural conflict that exists when a student have to change their way of being/learning because of the differences in their learning styles and the schools.
In Sweden, the most schools don’t adapt the learning styles to different cultures. I don’t say that this fact applies to every school but it does to the most of them. I think that all the schools should adapt to the cultural learning styles, so all the students can get equally treated.The different cultures would feel more at home in school. I believe it would be hard for the teachers to adapt to all the different cultures, but it would probably do more good than harm.
Ascd.org. (2017). Educational Leadership:Educating for Diversity:The Culture/Learning Style Connection. [online] Available at: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may94/vol51/num08/The-Culture~Learning- Style-Connection.aspx [Accessed 2 Feb. 2017].
Cultures & Ways of Learning
There is a disagreement that exists in society, between the child's culture and their preferred way of learning. This is directly related to success in school. In general, have researchers studied and come up with three types of information about the culture and learning styles.
The first learning style is observation-based descriptions of cultural groups of learners. The aim is to sensitize people outside the culture. Scientists have identified the typical learning patterns between African Americans and Mexican Americans. They found that Mexican Americans value family and personal relationships as important and makes them more comfortable. Therefore, Mexican students often seek a personal relationship with their teachers.
Research on African-American culture showed that student value oral experience and loyalty in the interaction between people. The student’s characteristics requires that students receive classroom activities. For example, use methods as discussion or cooperation. In general, the group “perceives by sight”. The imagery helps them perceive the world and have a reflective thinking pattern. Using the imagery also help they to value and develops the discrimination and skills.
However, white Americans describe as the opposite. They value independence, analytical thinking, objectivity, and accuracy. These values are converted into a learning experience. They among other focus on competition, tests, and grades. This learning pattern occurs in the most US schools.
The second way of learning styles that are linked between culture is data-based descriptions of specific groups. Researchers have administered learning style instrument to produce a profile of a culture group. The instrument measure learning styles and find differences in two general ways. An example of such an instrument is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The instrument can be used in different ways. One way the model can be used as a basis to reflect on learning styles, that increase people's skills in dealing with persons with a different personality style. What this instrument do, is to look for the style preference.
Another type of instrument, are looking for style strengths. It is about the ability to do tasks with a certain method. One example of such a method is, The Swassing-Barbe Modality Index. For example, they ask test persons to repeat patterns along the hearing memory, visual memory and by touch. Different assessments can provide conflicting results. For example, some prefer to learn in a certain way and still be tested in a different way on a task involving forces. These inconsistencies do not invalidate the usefulness of each of the methods to assess learning styles.
The third way we know about the relationship of learning and culture is through direct discussion. For example, Shade (1989) talks about how perceptual development differs within various ethno-cultural groups. The perceptual development, are an aspect of cognitive development that allows a person to start translation and understand emotional input. Therefore, it is wrong to teach all children in the same way, because everyone learns in different ways. For example, when a teacher shows something on the whiteboard, does all the children perceive the information different.
However, if we only teach according to the ways we learn the best, it is also likely that we will prevent successful students. Students who can share our cultural background but whose learning styles differ from our own.
Sweden does not have cultural education, which I think is a problem. I don’t know any school in Sweden that adapts to the learning styles of different cultures. I think this is something that needs to be changed immediately because all the students should receive equal treatment. As it was mentioned in the text above, do many students feel more comfortable when they learn how they prefer. All people learn in different ways, and so it will always be. We can make a difference by adapt to the cultural learning styles, it would make the best of teaching and the student. I think it is needed now in Sweden because it comes in so many people from other countries. It may be hard for the teachers to adapt to the cultural learnings styles, but it is about the students best.
Ascd.org. (2017). Educational Leadership:Educating for Diversity:The Culture/Learning Style Connection. [online] Available at: http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may94/vol51/num08/The-Culture~Learning-Style-Connection.aspx [Accessed 2 Feb. 2017].