The textbook speaks of a cultural “mismatch” that may interfere with a student’s ability to succeed in a traditional classroom. Describe the types of mismatches that might occur related to each of these traditional educational practices:

a. The daily school time schedule

b. The use of Standard English

c. Whole-class question-answer sessions

Traditional Education Essay

d. Classroom competition

Many people regulate their lives by the clock: Being on time to appointments, social engagements, and the dinner table is important. This emphasis on punctuality is not characteristic of all cultures, however; for example, many Hispanic and Native American communities don’t observe strict schedules and timelines.

Not surprisingly, children form these communities may be chronically late for school and have difficulty understanding the need for school tasks to be completed within a certain time frame.

To succeed in mainstream Western society, students eventually need to learn punctuality. At the same time, we must recognize that not all of our students will be especially concerned about clock time when they first enter our classrooms.

Certainly we should expect students to arrive at class on time and to turn in assignments when they are due. But we must be patient and understanding when, for cultural reasons, students do not develop such habits immediately.

Even when children speak English at home, they may use a form of English different from the Standard English that is typically considered acceptable in school. More specifically, they may speak in a different dialect-a form of English that includes ome unique pronunciations and grammatical structures.

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For example, some African American children speak in an African American dialect. At one time, researchers believed that the African American dialect represented and erroneous and less complex form of speech than Standard English and urged education to teach students to speak “properly” as quickly as possible. But we now realize that African American dialects are, in fact, very complex language systems with their own predictable grammatical rules and their own unique idioms and proverbs. Furthermore, these dialects promote communication and complex thought as readily as Standard English.

Most educators recommend that all students develop proficiency in Standard English because success in mainstream adult society will be difficult to achieve without such proficiency. At the same time, we should also recognize that other languages and dialects are very appropriate means of communication in many situations. For example, although we may wish to encourage Standard English in most written work or in formal oral presentations, we might find other dialects quite appropriate in creative writing or informal classroom discussions.

Teachers frequently ask questions of their students and then wait for an answer. But exactly how long do they wait? Research indicates that most teachers wait a second or even less for students to reply. Research also indicates that when teachers wait for longer periods of time-for two to three seconds or even longer-students, especially those from ethnic minority groups, are more likely to answer teachers’ questions and participate in class discussions. Not only does such an extended wait time allow students to show respect, but it also gives students with limited English proficiency some mental “translation” time.

Yet we should also be aware that some native Hawaiian students, rather than wanting time to think or show respect, may have a preference of negative wait time: They often interrupt teachers or classmates who haven’t finished speaking. Such interruptions, which many might interpret as rude, are instead a sign of personal involvement in the community culture of those students.

School achievement in a traditional classroom is often a solitary, individual endeavor. Students receive praise, stickers, and good grades when they perform at a high level, regardless of how their classmates are performing. Sometimes, though, school achievement is quite competitive: A student’s performance is evaluated in comparison with performance of classmates. For example, some teachers may identify the “best” papers or drawings in the class; others may grade “on a curve,” with some students doing well and others inevitably failing.

Yet in some cultures, it is neither individual achievement nor competitive achievement that is recognized, but rather group achievement: The success of the village or community is valued over individual success. Students from such cultures (including many Native American, Mexican American, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander students) are more accustomed to working cooperatively than competitively, and for the benefit of the community rather than for themselves. They may therefore resist when asked to compete against their classmates. They may also be confused when teachers scold them for helping one another on assignments or for “sharing” answers. And they may feel uncomfortable when their individual achievements are publicly acknowledged. Group work, with an emphasis on cooperation rather than competition, often facilitates the school achievement of these students.

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Educational Psychology Essay. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

Educational Psychology Essay
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