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Learning Diversity Essay

After studying this chapter, you should be able to: 1. De? ne cultural diversity; 2. Describe the role of culture in shaping similarities and di? erences among individuals; 3. Recognise race and ethnicity as an element of micro cultural diversity; 4. Explain the educational implications of di? erences in students’ learning style; 5. Distinguish types of cognitive style; 6. Relategender di? erences and socio-economic status to individual di? erences issues; and 7. Describe teacher’s strategies in embracing diversity. Individual Differences 7 171i. CHAPTER 7 l INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES.

171 INTRODUCTION As teachers, we must be aware of about students’individual differences such as differences in culture, ethnicity, intelligent, languages, learning styles, etc. It is because it may enhance students’understanding or limit their opportunity to learn from the school environment. These factors should be taken into consideration when we plan teaching and learning process in the classroom. We begin by discussing the de? nition of cultural diversity and other factors that contribute to students’diversity.

Next, we examine the differences of learning styles and cognitive styles among students. This is followed by the explanation of gender differences that in? uence the students’ performance. In the ? nal section of this chapter, we will discuss how teachers can cope with the individual differences effectively in the teaching and learning process. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES l CHAPTER 7 172 “…Characteristics of an individual’s society, or of some subgroups within this society. It includes values, beliefs, notions about acceptable and unacceptable behaviour, and other socially constructed ideas that members of the culture are taught are “true”. ” (1994 in Tan 3003).

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“…Those human characteristics that have both the potential to either enrich or limit a student’s capacity to learn from the school environment. ” Henson & Eller (1999, p121) “ Individual differences are the variations we observe among members of any group in a particular characteristic, such as temperament, energy level, friendship patterns and parent-child attachment. ” Borich & Tombari (1997, p29) 7. 1 CULTURAL DIVERSITY 7. 1. 1 De? nition of Cultural Diversity According to Garcia, Culture refers to: Henson & Eller (1999, p121) posit that the term diversity mean: Whereas Borich & Tombari (1997. p29) posit that:

173i. CHAPTER 7 l INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 173 “Group membership can include racial identi? cation, but regardless of race, it can vary further in term of assumptions, values, language, religion, behaviour, and symbols. ” (O’conor, 1988 in Tan 2003). Figure 7. 1: Various races in Malaysia. In Malaysia we have different races such as the Malays, Chinese, Indians and others as illustrated in Figure 7. 1. Each of the races has their own culture. Culture is a broad and encopassing concept. Even though we equate culture with race or ethnic identity, the truth is that within racial or ethnic groups there can be cultural variations.

In short, culture governs how we think and feel, how we behave and how we live, and it is born largely of socialization. We often recognize national culture such as Malays, Chinese, Indians and others. We share Malaysian citizenship. So, differences in culture pertaining to Malaysia also mean differences in ethnicity and race. 7. 1. 2 The Role of Culture in Shaping Similarities and Di? erences Among Individuals Culture has impact on our student’s socialization. Some elements of culture including religion, foods, holidays and celebrations, dress, history and traditions, and art and music.

Cultural diversity also can manifest in our views of the life cycle, decorum and discipline, health and hygiene (Example: Explanations of illness and death), values, work and play, and time and space. All could be elements of a shared national culture or of additional family cultures. Each element shapes our students through socialization within their families, later through teacher, peers and environment. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES l CHAPTER 7 174 We need to keep in mind that our students’ membership in cultural groups signi? cantly in? uences their lives both inside and outside of school.

Therefore, we have to consider cultural diversities because honouring cultural diversities enhances classroom teaching and learning. As teachers, we have to understand these cultural diversities and try to accommodate to these differences. We have to honour other people’s beliefs and values because they have their rationale and that contributes to a harmonious society and peaceful nation. These have to start in school where the students are aware of their differences and teacher instil within them the espirit de core (spirit to live together peacefully), tolerance towards others, empathy and pro social behaviour.

175i. CHAPTER 7 l INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 175 To answer that question, Tan (2003), recognizes three ways in addressing cultural differences as illustrated in Figure 7. 2: Now let us examine all these approaches. (a) Assimilation Theory According to the assimilation theory, all students must conform to the rules of the Anglo- American group culture, regardless of their family culture or the rules of other groups to which they belong. “Anglo” culture is superior to all others, differences are threatening and rejected. Figure 7. 2: Three ways in addressing cultural differences INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES l CHAPTER 7.

176 (b) Amalgamation Theory According to Davidson & Phelan: Cultural differences are ignored. Through the years, many of us have been comforted by the melting pot view of our society’s institutions. But, it too has encouraged the loss of individual identity. (c) Cultural Pluralism According to Davidson & Phelan: Diversity is not feared or criticized or ignored. It is valued, even celebrated. An effective teacher holds this view of diversity and incorporates beliefs about multicultural education. Multicultural education is education in which a range of cultural perspectives is presented to students.

“The amalgamation theory is the “melting pot” approach in which elements of individual cultures are blended to become a “new”, synthesized American culture. ” (Davidson & Phelan, 1993) “ In “cultural pluralism”, we are encouraged to take multicultural view, in which we attempt to address the elements of both shared national culture and individual and/or family culture together. ” (Davidson & Phelan, 1993) 1. What is cultural diversity? Give few examples of cultural diversity in your answer. 2. Think of ways in which teacher can accommodate to the cultural diversity among students. 177i. CHAPTER 7 l INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES.

177 7. 2 RACES AND ETHINICITY DIVERSITY Race and ethnicity are factors contribute to students’diversity. Through race and ethnicity, we will be able to trace the students’root and cultural make up. Through this awareness then we can be fair in our treatment to all students in the classroom. As Ladson-Billings (1994) notes: “The notion of equity as sameness only makes sense when all students are exactly the same”. Ladson-Billings (1994) In reality we are different in race, ethnicity, culture and ways of life. Therefore we should take advantage of these differences by learning other languages, about food and dances.

Students would respect teachers who know about their students’languages other than their own because it enhances their knowledge about the students and make their communiaction with the students easier. In Malaysia, we have di? erent race that are Malays, Chinese, Indians, Eurasian and others. Within the races, we have sub-groups or ethnicity. Examples of the sub-groups or ethnicity are listed in table 7. 1. Table 7. 1: Races and it sub-groups or ethnicity in Malaysia. Race Malays Chinese Sub-groups or ethnicity ? •? Javanese? Malays? •? Bugis? Malays •? Kelantanese?? Malays •? Johorean? Malays •? Malaccan? Malays? etc.

Chinese come from many parts of China which contribute to ethnic di? erences such as: ? •? Hokkien ? •? Cantonese ? •? Hailam? and? etc. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES l CHAPTER 7 178 7. 3 LINGUISTIC DIVERSITY Linguistic diversity is one of the elements that contributes to student’s diversity. Your class will have language diversity, and you will have to realize that you need to be sensitive to this linguistic diversity and adjust accordingly. In Malaysia, we are lucky because the medium of instruction is in Malay or Bahasa Melayu for all subjects except for English. Furthermore, English is regarded as the second language andball students must pass the subject at the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia level or the form 5 national exam.

It moulds young generations of Malaysia to at least mastering three languages, namely Bahasa Melayu, the English language, and their mother tongue. With this capacity, it enhances the Malaysians to understand each other and to live harmoniously. Tan (2003) suggested two ways to teachers in addressing language diversity as shown in Figure 7. 3, which are Facilitating English, and Immersion and Transitional Methods. Indians ? •? Tamil? Nadu ? •? Hindustani ? •? Benggali ? •? Pakistani ? •? Bangla? (Bangladesh)? ? •? Bangla? (Sri? Lanka)?

and? etc.? These races and ethnicities also contribute to language differences. 1. What are race and ethnicity diversity? Give few examples of race and ethnicity in Malaysia. 2. Can you understand other race or ethnic language? List out the advantages for teachers if they know their student languages. Figure 7. 3: Two suggested ways in addressing language diversity by Tan(2003) 179i. CHAPTER 7 l INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 179 Let us examine those approaches. (a) Facilitating English Enhancing the mastering of the English language among students can help overcome the problem of communication with others in the school and outside the school.

Teaching English to all students is regarded as a tool for cultural understanding and communication among students. We can emphasize comprehension in our classroom. If you can understand the student and the student can understand you, then achievement can continue. Increased student achievement should be our overall instructional goal, regardless of linguistic diversity issues. (b) “Immersion” and Transitional Method Traditionally, we believed “immersion” approach was the best way to move children to standard language usage. In this approach, from the beginning till the end, the instructor uses only the language to be learned.

It becomes, then, a “sink or swim” proposition. • Some children swim, they thrive under these conditions; they learn the language with few problems. • Other students, however, sink; they do not learn the language and suffer inside and outside of class. Similarly, linguistically diverse students can sink or swim in language learning. Conversely, teacher may use transitional or balance bilingual strategies for adding standard language as a shared communicative tool are being examined. These approaches start with the language the student brings into the classroom and build on family and cultural language to promote standard language usage.

Read on an example case below: Several? years? ago,? a? Massachusetts? teacher,? Gary? Simpkins,? attempted? to? move? his African-American students toward standard American English usage by developing? an? approach? called? “Bridge”? (Shells,? 1976).? He? used? transitional? strategies? whereby? the? students? learn? English? at?? rst? in? their? language-Black? English in reading, writing and oral communication. Midway through, he taught partly? Black? English? and? partly? standard? American? English.? By? the? end? of? the? instructional period, he taught all in standard American English but still aloud student? to? use?

Black-English? for? less? formal? communication. The implementation of approach above yielded “promising” results. 1. What is linguistic diversity? 2. Explain how teacher can help the students overcome language differences. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES l CHAPTER 7 180 7. 4 LEARNING STYLE OR COGNITIVE STYLE DIVERSITY 7. 4. 1 De? nition of Learning Style and Cognitive Style Kagan is one of the earliest psychologists who introduced the re? ective and impulsive cognitive style. Later, Witkin and Coodenough(1977) founded the concept of ? eld- independent and dependent cognitive style(Borich & Tombari, 1997).

Another earliest psychologist, Massick proposed the concept of cognitive style. According to Massick: “Cognitive style is stable attitudes preferences or habitual strategies determining a person’s typical modes of perceiving, remembering, thinking and problem solving. ” Messick (1976, p5) Later, there are various de? nitions for learning style or cognitive style by psychologists, depending on their views and perspectives as shown in Table 7. 2. Table 7. 2: Various de? nitions of Learning Style and Cognitive Style by psychologists. Tan et. al. (2003) Psychologist De? nition of Learning Style and Cognitive Style Henson and Eller (1999, p505).

“Learning? styles? are? biological? and? socialized? di? erences? or? preferences for how students learn. Where as cognitive style is students’most comfortable, consistent, and expedient ways of perceiving? and? making? sense? of? information. ” Tan et. al. (2003) ? “Learning? style? is? how? elements? from? basic? stimuli? in? the? current? and past environment a? ect an individual’s ability to absorb and retain information. ” Henson and Eller (1999, p505) •? In? this? de? nition,? Tan? stressed? the? in? uence? of? biological? and? socialization? in? moulding? students’? learning? style.??? •? Henson? and? Eller? stress? on? basic? stimuli?that? a? ect? individual’s? learning style. 181i. CHAPTER 7 l INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 181 Woolfolk (2004, p603), Sternberg (1997) ?

“Learning? preferences? is? preferred? ways? of? studying? or? learn- ing,? such? as? using? pictures? instead? of? text,? working? with? other? people versus alone, learning in structured or unstructured situation, and so on. Whereas a cognitive style is di? erent ways? of? perceiving? and? organizing? information. ” Woolfolk ? “Learning? and? thinking? styles? are? not? abilities,? but? rather? preferred ways of using one’s abilities. ” (Santrock, 2008, p132). •?

Woolfolk? proposed? that? learning? styles?as? characteristic? approaches to learning and studying. •? She? also? equates? learning? styles? and? learning? preferences.?? •? According? to? Sternberg,? intelligence? refers? to? ability. •? Individual? vary? so? much? in? thinking? and? learning? style,? ? literally? hundreds? of? learning? and? thinking? styles? have? been? proposed by educators and psychologist. So from these de? nitions, we ? nd overlapping views on learning styles and cognitive styles. We can conclude that: Learning style and cognitive style cover many domains such as physical, psychological, audio, visual, kinaesthetic, etc. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES l CHAPTER 7.

182 7. 4. 2 Types of Learning Styles According to Butler, there are few types of learning styles(Butler, 1989 in Tan, 2003) such as explained below. (a) Psychological/Affective styles • One of the instruments to assess individual’s learning style for this type of learning style is Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). • This instrument will reveal how a student feel about him/herself and how self-esteem developed is linked to learning. (b) Physiological Styles • There are few instruments in this category such as: – Honey and Munford Learning Styles Inventory, – Kolb Learning style inventory, – Modality Preferences Inventory, etc.

• These instruments show individual of her/his consistent ways to facilitate learning through the use of the senses or environmental stimuli. • These instruments also show hemispheric specialisation (i. e. right or left brain), auditory, visual, kinaesthetic, olfactory preferences or preferences for environmental conditions. (c) Cognitive Styles • Students may utilize cognitive styles such as ? eld-dependent or independent, impulsive or re? ective, whole or serial, etc. • These instruments measure consistent ways of responding and using stimuli in the environment, how things are perceived and make sense, the most comfortable, expedientnand pleasurable way to process information.

7. 4. 3 Measurement of Learning Styles and Cognitive Styles Since students’ preferred styles of learning in? uence their achievements and teachers’ learning styles in? uence their instructional choices, it is suggested that teacher and students take the test we describe below. (a) Modality Preference Inventory Through this inventory, teacher and students can classify their learning styles such as auditory, visual or kinaesthetic. To assess an individual’s learning style, he/she has to respond to the questions shown in Figure 7. 4. 183i. CHAPTER 7 l INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 183 Learning Styles.

Modality Preference Inventory Read each statement and select the appropriate number response as it applies to you. Often (3) Sometimes (2) Seldom/Never (1) Visual Modality •? I? remember? information? better? if? I? write? it? down. •? Looking? at? the? person? helps? keep? me? focused. •? I? need? a? quiet? space? to? get? my? work? done. •? When? I? take? a? test,? I? can? see? the? textbook? page? in? my? head. •? I? need? to? write? down? directions,? not? just? take? them? verbally. •? Music? or? background? noise? distracts? my? attention? from? the? task? at? hand. •? I? don’t? always? get? the? meaning? of? a? joke. •?

I? doodle? and? draw? pictures? on? the? margins? of? my? notebook? pages. •? I? react? very? strongly? to? colors. •? Total Auditory Modality ? •? My? papers? and? notebooks? always? seem? messy. ? •? When? I? read,? I? need? to? use? my? index?? nger? to? track? my? place? on?? the line. ? •? I? do? not? follow? written? directions? well. ? •? If? I? hear? something,? I? will? remember? it. ? •? Writing? has? always? been? di? cult? for? me. ? •? I? often? misread? words? from? the? text? (eg,? them? for? then) ? •? I? would? rather? listen? and? learn? than? read? and? learn. ? •? I’m? not? very? good? at? interpreting? an?individual’s? body? language. ? •?

Pages? with? small? print? or? poor? quality? copies? are? di? cult? for? me?? to read. ? •? My? eyes? tire? quickly,? even? though? my? vision? check-up? is? always?? ?ne. ? •? Total Kinesthetic Modality •? I? start? a? project? before? reading? the? directions. •? I? hate? to? sit? at? a? desk? for? long? periods? of? time. •? I? prefer? to? see? something? done? and? then? to? do? it? myself. •? I? use? the? trial? and? error? approach? to? problem-solving. •? I? like? to? read? my? textbook? while? riding? an? exercise? bike. •? I? take? frequent? study? breaks. •? I? have? di? culty? giving?

step-by-step? instructions. •? I? enjoy? sports? and? do? well? at? several? di? erent? types? of? sports. •? I? use? my? hands? when? describing? things. •? I? have? to? rewrite? or? type? my? class? notes? to? reinforce? the? material. •? Total Total the score for each section. A score of 21 points or more in a modality indicates a strength in that area. The? highest? of? the? 3? scores? indicates? the? most? e? cient? method? of? information? intake.? The? second? highest? score indicates the modality which boosts the primary strength. Figure 7. 4:Example of questions should be responded by students to measure their learning styles.

INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES l CHAPTER 7 184 (b) Field-Dependent and Independent Teacher or student may utilize Field-Dependent or Independent Cognitive Style in percep- tion or information processing. Field-Independent learners perceive items as more or less separate from the surrounding ? eld. They are interested in concept for their own sake. They have self-de? ned goals and function successfully in self-structured situations and impersonal learning environments. For ? eld-dependent learners, their mode of learning is strongly in? uenced by the prevailing context or setting. They are more aware of their surroundings as they learn.

These learners value practical information. They can memorize human faces and social facts such as best friend’s birth date more easily than ? eld- independent learners. Garger and Guild(1987) have summarized the characteristics of ? eld-independent and ?eld-dependent learners. These are illustrated in Table 7. 3. From this table it is clear that, at least in the extremes, the two styles are very different. Table 7. 3 Characteristics of Field-Dependent and Independent learners. Perceives globally. Perceives analytically. FIELD-DEPENDENT FIELD-INDEPENDENT Makes broad general distinctions among concepts, sees relationships.

Learns material with social content best. Requires externally de? ned goals and reinforcements. Makes speci? c concept distinctions, little overlap. Learns social material only as an intentional task. Has self-de? ned goals and reinforcements. Experiences in a global fashion, adheres to structures as given. Social orientation. Attends best to material relevant to own experience. Needs organization provided. Experiences in an articulate fashion, imposes structures of restrictions. Impersonal orientation. Interested in new concepts for their own sake. Can self-structure situations. Learning Styles- Dependence and Independence Descriptions.

185i. CHAPTER 7 l INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 185 More a? ected by criticism. Less a? ected by criticism. Uses spectator approach for concept attainment. Uses hypothesis-testing approach to attain concepts. Teacher and students can assess their cognitive style using Embedded Figures Test (EFT) or Group Embedded Figures Test(GEFT). In this test, they have to recognize geometry ?gure, which are embedded in the picture or in the background. Those who can recognize the ? gure faster than the others are learners with the ? eld-independent style and those who take longer than a few seconds or cannot ? nd the ? gure at all, can be classi?

ed as ? eld- dependent learners. Figure 7. 5 illustrates an example of Embedded Figures Test (EFT). Recognize? the? geometry?? gure,? which? are? embedded? in? the? designs? picture.? INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES l CHAPTER 7 186 Answer: Figure 7. 5: An example of Embedded Figure Test (EFT) If you are a ? eld-independent teacher, you may be comfortable giving lectures and empha- sizing cognition. You may prefer offering corrective feedback, using negative feedback as warranted, and you may use grades and personal goal charts motivationally. If you are a ? eld-dependent teacher, you may prefer interaction and conversation with your students.

You may rely less on corrective feedback and little on negative evaluations. You also like to establish a warm and personal environment and prefer to motivate through external reward such as verbal praise. Many educational psychologist views that if the teacher cognitive style match with the student cognitive style, students? will? bene? t? most? and? vice? versa.? Student? learn? best when there is congruence between their preferred teaching style. Unfortunately, most teachers ignore student’s? cognitive? style? because? it? takes? longer? time? for? them to prepare lesson plan and devices or activities to ful? l their needs.

1. What is cognitive style and learning style? 2. Give a few examples of learning or cognitive styles. 187i. CHAPTER 7 l INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 187 7. 5 GENDER DIFFERENCES Linguistic diversity is one of the elements that contributes to student’s diversity. Your class will have language diversity, and you will have to realize that you need to be sensitive to this linguistic diversity and adjust accordingly. In Malaysia, we are lucky because the medium of instruction is in Malay or Bahasa Melayu for all subjects except for English. Furthermore, English is regarded as the second language and all students must pass the subject at the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysialevel or the form 5 national exam.

It moulds young generations of Malaysia to at least mastering three languages, namely Bahasa Melayu, the English language, and their mother tongue. With this capacity, it enhances the Malaysians to understand each other and to live harmoniously. Tan (2003) suggested two ways to teachers in addressing language diversity as shown in Figure 7. 3, which are Facilitating English, and Immersion and Transitional Methods. In Asian society, being a girl or a boy has signi? cant impact. The people usually adore boys than girls.

It’s because most Asian country are rice bowl or dependent on agriculture where the man are more utilizable in manual jobs than ladies. But they forget, in terms of resilience and patience, the women are the winners! Now, let us examine gender-related student differences in several ways and explore their implications for teaching. Are you resent being a girl? You don’t have to. Accept things as it is. (a) Developmental rates According? to? Egan? and? Kauchak: “Di? erences exist in boys’ and girls’ developmental rates. Girls develop faster with? di? erences? in? verbal? and? motor? skills? appearing? at? an? early? age.?

Boys?and? girls? are? di? erent in other areas as well, and these di? erences appear as early as the preschool years. Girls tend to play with dolls and other girls and to gravitate toward activities such as? make-believe? and? dress-up.? Boys? play? with? blocks,? cars,? dinosaurs,? and? other? boys. ” (Egan and Kauchak, 1997). INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES l CHAPTER 7 188 We? can? observe? society? and? family,? school? and? work? place? treat? girls and boys di? erently. In the family, they are treated di? erently from the day they were born. •? Baby? girls? are? given? pink? blankets,? are? called? cute? and? handled? delicately. •?

Baby? boys? are? dressed? in? blue,? are? regarded? as? handsome,? and are seen as tougher, better coordinated, and hardier. Di? erences in treatment continue in later years. In high school, girls? become? cheerleaders? for? the? boys,? who? become? basketball? or? football players. (b) Family treatment (c) Expectation for school success (d) Academic area These di? erences also include expectation for school success. Parents? probably? communicate? di? erent? expectations? for? their? sons and daughters. Researchers have found that: Research on gender e? ects founded di? erences in boys and girls in di? erent academic areas.

According? to? Maccoby? and? Jacklin, “Parents’? gender-stereotyped? attitudes? toward? girls’? ability? in? math,? adversely? in? uence? their? daughters’? achievement? in? math? and their attitudes toward it. ” (Nagy-Jacklin, 1989 in Egan & Kauchak, 1997) “Boys? did? better? in? math? and? on? visual? and? spatial? tasks,? example? tasks? in? geometry.? Girls? did? better? in? on? verbal? skills? such? as? in? languages. ” (Maccoby & Jacklin, 1974) 189i. CHAPTER 7 l INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 189 Boys? and? girls? also? received? di? erent? treatment? in? school.? Both? male? and? female? teacher? treat? boys? and? girls? di?erently.??

They? interact? with? the? boys? more? often? and? ask? them? more? questions,? and? those? questions? are? more? conceptual? and abstract. (e) Treatment in school Gender stereotyping also in? uences career decisions. According to Kochenberger-Stroeher: Signi? cantly, when children choose non-traditional roles for males or females, their choices are based on personal experience. “Di? erences in students’ view of gender-appropriate careers appear as early as kindergarten. ” (Kochenberger-Stroeher, 1994) ?

“One? of? the? most? powerful? factors? in? uencing? school? performance? is? socio-economic? status? (SES),?the? combination? of? parents’? income,? occupations,? and? level? of? education.? SES? consistently? predicts? intelligence? and? achievement? test? scores,? grades,? truancy? and dropout and suspension rates. ” (Ballantine, 1989 in Egan & Kauchak, 1997) 1. Why teacher treat boys and girls differently? 2. Give few examples of different treatment to boys and girls. 3. Think of ways in which teacher can accommodate to gender differences. 7. 6 DIFFERENCES IN SOCIO? ECONOMIC STATUS According to Ballantine; INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES l CHAPTER 7 190 Many? families? lack? in? proper? nourishment,? and? adequate? medical? care.?

Poverty? also? in? uences? the? quality? of? home-life,? unstable? work? conditions? increased? economic? problems? that? lead to parental frustration, anger and depression. These pressures? can? lead? to? family? scattered,? marital? con? ict? and? nurturing homes. The impact of SES is also transmitted through parental attitudes and values where their attitudes and values are different. Example is in interaction pattern. • Low SES parents are more likely to “tell,” rather than explain. • High SES parents, in contrast, talk more with their children, explain ideas and the cause of events, and encourage independent thinking.

Walbergs observed that: “High SES parents are more likely to ask “wh” questions (who, when, where, why) promoting language development, provide strong foundation for reading and vocabulary development. ” (Walberg, 1991) 191i. CHAPTER 7 l INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 191 The educational aspirations parents have for their children are probably the most powerful variables a? ecting achievement.? Parents? who? expect? their? children? to? graduate? from high school and to attend college have children who do well than parents who have low aspirations. These expecta- tions are communicated through dialogue betweenparents and children.?

Low? SES? parents? in? contrast,? allow? their? children? to? “drift” into classes and often got loss in the shu? e and failed in their lives. The differences between low and high SES families also re? ect the emphasis placed on student’s autonomy and responsibility. High-SES parents emphasize self-direction, self- control, and individual responsibility while low-SES parents, in contrast, place greater emphasis on conformity and obedience. 1. What is meant by parents’ SES differences? 2. Give few examples impact of SES on student’s aspirations, attitudes and values.

3. Think of ways in which teacher can accommodate to SES bdifferences. 7. 7 WAYS IN EMBRACING DIVERSITIES To be a good teacher, you should know the ways to embracing diversities among your students. Below are the discussions on how to handle your student’s diversities in the gender differences, cultural, race and ethnicity, learning style, socio–economy and linguistic differences. (a) Gender differences It is not easy to eliminate gender differences in the class, but to make teacher cautious and not gender bias, Figure 7. 6 shows some recommendations warrant that need to be considered. Avoid stereotypical language. (Example: “Okay, guys lets get work”)

Provide equal opportunities for males and females. (Example: club membership). INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES l CHAPTER 7 192 In eliminating race and ethnicity, we move toward moulding one Malaysian nation with the same identity and characteristics such as same language and same spirit. One of the ways to unite Malaysians is through education system where all races study in the same school, same college and same university. All Malay- sian? know? and? appreciate? the? same? food? like? nasi lemak, roti canai, the tarik, tosay,mee teow, mee suah and etc. In coping with students with learning styles diversity, teacher may use multi-approach in instruction such as cooperative learning which is suitable for ? eld-dependent students and doing experiment and also suitable for ?

Eld-independent students. During instruction, teacher may use diagram and charts which is suitable for visual learner, using records and video tapes? which? is? suitable? for? auditory? learners? and? utilize? hands-on experience such as experimenting for tactile learners. Reduce or oust gender-typed activities. (Example: Girls have to cook, boys wash the car). Figure 7. 6: Some recommendations warrant that need to be consider to eliminate gender differences in the class. (b) Cultural diversity In eliminating cultural diversity, teacher may utilize assimilation, amalgamation or cultural pluralism approach.

In Malaysia we are encouraged to utilize cultural pluralism approach. (c) Race and ethnicity (d) Learning styles diversity 193i. CHAPTER 7 l INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES 193 Teacher have to help students from poor family to excel by motivating them to learn, give extra-class to help them catch up? with? the? other? students,? maybe? organizing? charity? work? to? earn? money? that? can? be? donated? to? the? poor? students.? Later,? teacher? can? also?

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