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African American Culture


Study/Differences Between African American & Caucasian Students on Critical ... 52 Caucasian & 51 African American students responded to Watson-Glaser Critical ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: African American Culture

African American Culture Learning
StylesStephenie Loney11/02/2007
  • The purpose of this research is to inform and
    educate teachers, students, parents, and
    professionals about the inherent differences in
    culture and learning styles there are between
    African American students. To create a deeper
    understanding and awareness that includes a
    deeper appreciation of the impact African
    American culture has on behavior, learning
    styles, and preferred teaching styles.

  • Definitions of Learning Styles Culture
  • Identify Different Learning Styles
  • Study/Differences Between African American
    Caucasian Students on Critical Thinking and
    Learning Style
  • Different Learning Styles of African American
  • Avoid Bias
  • How to Improve Programs and Break Down Cultural

Define Learning Style
  • Polce (1987) defines learning style as a way of
    perceiving, conceptualizing, and problem solving
    a preferred way of interacting with and
    responding to the environment (as cited in
    Willis 1992, p. 271).

Define Culture
  • Geertz defines culture as an historically
    transmitted pattern of meanings employed in
    symbols, a system inherited conceptions expressed
    in symbolic form by means of which men
    communicate, perpetuate and develop their
    knowledge about attitudes towards life.
    (Comprehensive Multicultural Education, p.43)

Dimensions of Traditional Black Culture
  • Spirituality
  • Harmony
  • Movement
  • Verve
  • Affect
  • Communalism
  • Expressive Individualism
  • Orality
  • Social Time Perspective

Three Basic Learning Styles
  • Visual Learners
  • Auditory Learners
  • Kinesthetic Learners

Elements of Learning Styles According to GSU
Master Teaching Program (MBTI)
  • Extroversion vs. Introversion
  • Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)
  • Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
  • Judging (J) vs. Perceptive (P)

Differences Between African American and
Caucasian Students on Critical Thinking and
Learning Style
  • Study of African and Caucasian students on
    critical thinking and learning style.
  • 52 Caucasian 51 African American students
    responded to Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking
    Appraisal and the Inventory of Learning Processes
    (a learning style inventory).
  • Analyses showed Caucasian students had
    significantly higher mean scores in critical
    thinking than African American students in four
    subtest scores
  • Deductions
  • Interpretations
  • Evaluations Arguments
  • Total Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking Defined Includesappraising,
reasoning, judging problems of everyday life
  • Research studies show that critical thinking
    skills can be taught (Gadzella, Hartsoe,
    Harper, 1989 Mckeachie, Pintrich, Lin, 1985)
  • Critical thinking skills and some learning
    strategies are predictors of academic success
  • Results of the Critical Thinking Inventory
  • Lower scores reported by African American
    students compared to Caucasian students
  • Difficulty in Reading, Comprehension, and Problem
  • No significant difference on how each group
    processed the information studied, retained facts
  • Goal develop effective learning strategies for

Learning Styles of African-American Children
  • The Overriding theme of the African worldview is
    harmony with nature (Kambon, 1996).
  • Thinking, Feeling, and behaving are
    interdependent phenomena (Boykin, 1983 Noble,
    1983 as cited in Willis 1992).
  • The 9 dimensions of Black culture are relevant to
    African American Learning Styles
  • Movement kinesthetic abilities developed
  • Value imagination humor
  • Express feelings and language traditions
  • People oriented
  • Resourceful
  • View the whole, not separate pieces
  • Use inferences
  • Alert, curious, good retention

Creating Learning Environments for
African-American Students
  • Learning in Cooperative Groups (Slavin, 1977)
  • No Reward System, intrinsic value only
    (Ladson-Billings, 1992)
  • Supplementary after-school and weekend
  • Black History Month to promote academic success
    and role models
  • Parental involvement and knowledgeable about
    children and their learning

Avoiding BiasTeachers must avoid bias
understand cultural backgrounds of each student
  • Demand equal levels of excellence
  • Capacity is different than what their cultural
  • Students are results of culture
  • Expand appreciation
  • Recognize understand cultural differences
    treat differences with respect
  • Intervene immediately
  • Value different experiences

Breaking Down Cultural Barriers
  • Goal
  • To learn about cultural differences in customs
    and beliefs to foster an atmosphere of trust,
    cross-cultural communication, and competence.
  • To create insights, not stereotypes
  • To create cultural competence

  • Teachers, students, parents, and educators must
    become keenly aware of African American culture
    learning the impact of culture on behavior,
    learning styles, and preferred teaching styles.
    The foundation teachers must appreciate is that
    there is a distinct effect culture has on
    learning style and as educators and parents we
    can facilitate the learning process by knowing
    the differences from culture to culture thus
    directly affecting the leaning styles and
    breaking down racial walls and teaching critical
    thinking skills.

  • HighBeam Encyclopedia, http//
  • The website contains a vast amount of information
    relating to news articles, student journals, and
    academic journals. The website is a productive
    resource for parents, teachers, and

  • West Virginia University, http//
  • The website includes avoiding bias, classroom
    strategies, discussion and interactions,
    activities, methods and materials, home and
    family, stereotypes, and references. The website
    provides a vast resource for parents, teachers,
    and professionals.

  • Learning Point Associates, http//
  • The website is a valuable tool and resource that
    references after school programs, school
    improvement, literacy, math science, teacher
    quality, technology, NCREL data. The website is
    primarily directed at teachers and professionals.

  • Instructional Technology Center College of
    Education-Georgia State University
  • http//
  • The website provides a vast amount of resources
    for parents, educators, students, and

Print Resources
  • Differences Between African American and
    Caucasian Students on Critical Thinking and
    Learning Style, Gadzella, Bernadette M., Huang,
    Jiafen, Masten, William G. Study of African
    American and Caucasian students determining
    critical thinking can be defined. The resource is
    beneficial to teachers and professionals in
  • Learning Styles of African-American Children,
    Carrie L. Francis. The learning style differences
    stems from the way African-Americans learn and
    express information. The document is useful for
    students, parents, teachers, and professionals.