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Learning is one of the most important aspects of life. As a result of this, scholars and researchers have been committed to finding excellent ways of disseminating knowledge and skills to students in an efficient way. In connection to this, there are various areas that have formed a backbone for these studies. These areas of learning include culture, instruction and assessment. The article ‘Culture, Instruction, and Assessment’ by Robert J. Sternberg represents one of the researches that examines the impact of culture on instruction and assessment in learning.
Briefly stated, this article begin by defining culture, how different cultures affects the performance of learners and different perceptions that are exhibited among learners from different cultures towards a particular issue in life or rather in a learning environment. In addition, this article focuses on how learning is enhanced in cases whereby what the students are learning has meaning in their lives, especially in regard to their cultural background. More important is the fact that this article begins by defining culture and goes ahead to propose different lessons that have learned from the study of culture in relation to instruction and assessment in learning (Sternberg, 2007, p.5-10).
The article by Sternberg acts as an eye opener to the much debated area of learning, i.e. the place of culture in learning and in this case instruction and assessment. To begin with, whereas different education systems have adopted various assessment tactics, they have failed to study the viability of these assessment methods. Therefore, the mere fact that this articles focuses on assessment as one of its core area of study acts as a strength that is embraced by Sternberg. In this regard therefore, the content itself of this article presents it as an important material in regard to tactics that are used in the learning environment (Easton, 2007, p.1).
It also combines instruction and assessment and how the two scenarios are affected by culture. It is important to note that both assessment and instruction have been affected by the cultural background of the learner in one way or the other. In line with this, the study that is carried out on these two aspect of learning as a whole in reference to culture remain as one of the most important achievement by the Sternberg’s article. According to McInerney, Brown and Liem (2009, p.299), the traditional view that the assessment of students’ achievement is separate from instruction and only comes at the end of the learning process is no longer tenable. With this in mind, the approach to include both instruction and learning with respect to cultural background remain as an important strength of this article.
The systematic grouping of lessons that had been learnt by Sternberg in this article is also an important element in passing information regarding a particular issue from one person to another. With this in mind, this article is easy to follow since the author does not integrate all his ideas in regard to what he had found out in one area but divides these ideas into digestible chunks. For instance, he creates headings that are important directional marks in any written work. According to Gopaul-McNicol and Armour-Thomas (2002, p.152), the emphasis on the process is an important aspect of the evaluation procedures. This is also true when one is preparing any written work on a particular issue of concern. The research that is carried out and the way these results are presented to the public form an important part of any study. Sternberg has been able to achieve this in this article as he arranges his research findings under specific headings to guide the reader or rather his audience.
On the other hand, whereas Sternberg manages to arrange his work in this article in a systematic way, there are a lot of materials that are involved. Similarly, there is a lot of focus on Africa and Asia as the main areas of study by Sternberg. In this regard, some of the conclusions that have been made may not necessarily apply to Europe and America. With this respect, whereas the issues that are under study are very important in the society especially in regard, to learning, the learning environments are totally different and thus no general conclusion can be made. In addition to this, there are students who have moved from Africa or Asia to the United States or Europe but have been able to perform well irrespective of the new cultures they encounter (Sternberg, 2007).
Sternberg also failed to include statistical analysis in this article. It is important for one to understand that this article focuses more on the importance of culture in reference to instruction and assessment. In line with this, the credibility of the findings in this article would have been more enhanced if there was an inclusion of statistical evidence. Therefore, this forms as one of the greatest weakness in regard to this article (Sternberg, 2007).
It can therefore be said that the article ‘Culture, Instruction and Assessment’ by Robert J. Sternberg is one of the most important articles in regard to culture and learning. It must be understood that culture plays an important role in instruction and assessment of learners. In connection to this, the article can be recommended as an important material on culture and learning in the society. Notably, lack of statistical evidence is a weakness in this article. Nevertheless, this could be used as a reason enough to carry out further research on culture, instruction and assessment in different learning environments.
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