Thursday, September 15, 2005

Pommes et étudiants

Thanks to my lovely mother who sent apples right off the trees from home. :)

I propose that we need more Navajo and Pueblo values in college classes today.

At the University of New Mexico, a typical class may include several Navajo or Pueblo students. They are unlikely to ask questions during class sessions or to volunteer answers to the teacher's questions. To do so would be culturally inappropriate; it would not be the Native American way. When a teacher calls on one of the Native Americans with a question, there is usually a pause of several seconds. The impatient teacher is likely to call on another student rather than wait for a response. From the Native American student's viewpoint, an important question should not be answered immediately, without carefully thinking out the answer.

-- Rogers & Steinfatt, Intercultural Communication

Or maybe I'm just biased. Maybe no one else finds it difficult to rapidly generate good responses for classroom interaction.

I wonder, is extrovertedness a characteristic of personality, or of culture, or of both?


votre chère maman said...

I think it depends on both, AND on who or what is in the immediate vicinity.

If one is surrounded by "know-it-all's," there may not be the opportunity to speak. If one is surrounded by people one deems more wise than oneself, there may not be the desire to speak.

(this having to speak without "you" is a killer....)

Also, it really helps to have a big mouth :-D

Ryan Rahn said...

Hmm...sounds like an interesting way of doing things...I like it.

I would have to answer "both" to your last question. It's the whole nature v. nurture argument. You also must remember that personality can change...perhaps not from introvertedness to extrovertedness completely, but personalities do develop (if I'm not mistaken), guided mainly by the their environment.

Wilson said...

In some situations, I am extremely difficult to coax into a discussion. When I do speak, I speak slowly, quietly, and tentatively.

In other situations, I speak up frequently, rapidly, and authoritatively. This ability came to me recently; a few years ago, I expected never to be able to carry on any kind of public discussion at all.

The answer is "both."

Thainamu said...

I'm certainly no expert, but I have heard stories from my colleagues who work with Amerindian language groups of just that sort of thing--long pauses between responses, and long periods of sitting in silence.

Sharon said...

Thanks, everyone. I appreciate your comments.