Dr. Mvududu (2013) outlines some major considerations educators should account for when modifying or critiquing their curriculum and its delivery. First, she addressed how students are organized for instruction. Instruction in the typical White oriented mainstream classroom is usually centered around individual achievement and competition. Students learn and work on their own. Non-white students, on the other hand, are more used to a collaborative instruction style. This could be due to the fact that these minority cultures have had to ban together and support each other in a society that tends to “attack” them. Further, low income situations force non-whites into living in larger numbers and extended families. This communal living limits their exposure to individualistic experiences.
Second, Mvududu contrasted cognitive processing styles across cultures. Traditional schools that cater to White European tend to require a more linear and analytic fashion of processing information. Blacks have a tendency to process information more holistically, using open ended questioning strategies, and synthesizing several perspectives. These factors must be considered in order to deliver instruction that levels the playing field for all students.
As I read about the learning styles and instructional strategies that are better suited for non-white students I repeatedly conclude that these styles are better for ALL children. They agree with much of what I have learned in my teacher prep courses, professional development, as well as in my experience as a teacher over the years. The tendency to fall back on the lecture, linear, and analytical style of teaching could largely be due to the fact that it is easier to manage and requires that students remain composed and orderly. It is very teacher centered rather than student centered. This is not the best learning environment for any student.
Mvududu, N. (2013, February 27). Authentically Multicultural Instruction [lecture]. In Connect.SPU. Retrieved February 29, 2013