Content-type: text/html Downes.ca ~ Stephen's Web ~ View of Relationships Between Cognitive Styles and Indigenous Student' Mathematics Academic Outcomes

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I have lots of questions about this article (17 page PDF), and in particular the tiny sample size (which is not resolved by the assertion that the topic must be studied qualitatively), but at the same time it highlights to me the need to consider cognitive styles (or learning styles) in an environmental or cultural context. In the current case, the context is three different groups of Indigenous West Papuan (New Guinea) students. "Higher education students' cognitive styles significantly influenced their learning outcomes," write the authors. "This may occur because of the way teachers deliver mathematics material that is not relevant to the students' environment. Yunkaporta (2009) argues that educators often focus on linear viewpoints, a part of Western-oriented pedagogy, within school practices, which further marginalizes Indigenous students by preventing them from reconstructing their own knowledge." Learning styles scepticism, it seems to me, erases the possibility of culturally specific learning needs, which seems wrong.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Jun 12, 2024 11:09 a.m.

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