How having an understanding of culture can impact student learning and instructional delivery.
Communication is a pertinent issue in learning. Communication is further affected by culture and drawing a consensus between the two is important to ensure that learning takes place effectively. Communication is both a verbal and a non-verbal affair. Different cultures have different non-verbal communication styles and understanding these cues is critical when delivering lessons. Burgoon, Guerrero, and Floyd (2016) agree that patterns of non-verbal communication vary across cultures and having an instructor or a teacher who is in a setting that has a different culture might have his/her communication misunderstood. This means that an instructor needs to be conversant with the culture of the students to deliver to optimum levels.
Understanding the cultural backgrounds of students is important in deciphering the assumptions, biases, and expectations that define specific groups of learners. Understanding culture helps instructors to get all the information that can be gained to assist a learner to become successful in their learning. According to Farkas (2017) coming to terms with the learning process forms the basis for decision making concerning the curriculum and instructional methodologies. Understanding a culture is critical in learning how to evaluate decisions related to students’ learning in accordance with the impact such a decision is having on each individual learner.
In the United States, where students come from both the majority and minority groups, culture can be very useful in explaining the persistent differences in achievement between the two broad groups. Understanding culture of both minorities and non-minorities is important in untwisting the generalizations about groups of people and this will be instrumental in undoing the naïve inferences about a given group of learners for their benefit an assertion put across by Finnan (2018). This understanding is important in helping learners appreciate each other.
Burgoon, J. K., Guerrero, L. K., & Floyd, K. (2016). Nonverbal communication. London; New York: Routledge.
Finnan, C. (2018). Accelerating the learning of all students: Cultivating culture change in schools, classrooms, and individuals. [Place of Publication unidentified]: Tylor & Francis.
Farkas, G. (2017). Human capital or cultural capital?: Ethnicity and poverty groups in an urban school district. New York: Routledge.
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