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Socio-Cultural Values in Education
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Research studies on the impacts of socio-cultural values in education have revealed that societal cultures are key players in shaping education systems (Strouse 2). The American education system, for instance, has greatly been influenced and shaped by cultural values of the American society. The culture’s influence on the society’s thinking style has been profoundly reflected in the American education’s inclination towards practical methods of learning rather than theoretical methods (Stewart 29). In addition to the pragmatic approach to knowledge, the American society’s sources of motivation and its loose concern about social class can be accredited for success of its education system.
Approaches to thinking vary from culture to culture. For Americans, the focus is much on a functional, pragmatic way of thinking where concepts are analyzed and their validity is determined by their practical consequences and values (Stewart 30). The concepts are examined on their practical application rather than abstract application. This style of thinking has been given dominance in the American education system in which more emphasis is put on experimental methods of learning rather than intuitive mechanisms of learning (Strouse 4).
This functional approach to thinking by the Americans inclines them to focus more on learning that is directed to solving problems and accomplishing tasks (Stewart 32). This results in earlier professional specialization among the Americans. The students are educated in the fields that are directly relevant to their future professions, instead of being subjected to broader fields of knowledge which might not be directly relevant to them.
Education as tool of shaping people’s minds, through structured systems, should embrace socio-cultural values as a major determinant of peoples’ style of thinking. It’s only after the realization of this cultural effect on education that educators can frame its systems to be in tandem with the society’s needs (Elliot 119).
In addition to this, the learning assessment methods and teaching methods should also be in line with the society’s cultural values (Elliot 233). The American pragmatic style of thinking would consider a concept right, so long as its practical consequences prove helpful in problem-solving, regardless of its theoretical background (Stewart 32). American educators therefore should be keen on examining learners’ practical intelligence rather than abstract intellects.