Art and the Culturally Different Child: A consideration of the functions of art with regard to the special needs of the culturally different school child in America today

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middle class teachers, culturally different children, culture, society, education, skills and abilities


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Elementary Education | Secondary Education | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


Most American public schools are middle class institutions--the teachers usually come from middle class backgrounds and the values which they espouse are those of the middle class. However, a child who comes from a different cultural background--i.e., one who is of a minority race and/or from the lower classes--does not share those same values. He finds that his background has not prepared him for the expectations of the school situation, and he usually performs far below his actual capacity for achievement. Because he has not received the same degree of perceptual and verbal training before he reaches school as his middle class peers, the culturally different child finds himself unable to successfully compete in the classroom. As a result of his failure experiences, he develops a poor self-concept and feels little cumulative deficit of communication skills grows greater each year, perhaps until he drops out. This is clearly a wast of talent and intelligence.

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