Because our values are such an integral part of our behavior, they can have a considerable impact on the classes we teach. Following are some examples of how the Anglo values discussed above can affect the entire class:
Personal goals are valued over the goals of the group. A teacher can attend more easily to the needs of a few "good students" and leave the rest of the class behind. However, this can also go in a more positive direction in which a few students who are struggling to keep up are helped along, even at the expense of the rest of the class.
Being "future oriented" clashes with the Hispanic tendency to live for today, but also models practical consideration of planning ahead.
Material comfort is highly valued. Sometimes other values which may be more important to the Hispanic student (such as family, religion) are overlooked.
Making communication skills a priority paves the way towards communicating facts in an objective manner, but can also lead to overlooking the more subtle levels of communicating (sharing feelings, nurturing, validating another's worth).
Using a person's name frequently may make some students feel awkward, but may also engender a sense of congeniality and connection.
Interrupting someone may make students feel threatened or that they are not taken seriously.
Man has power over nature. This makes it harder to accept commonly accepted beliefs held by other cultures (witchcraft, superstition, voodoo).
Competitiveness is good. The teacher's belief that competitive is good may feel strange to some Hispanic students, but it will prepare them for the reality of American life. This is only a partial list. What are some of your personal values? What are some of the possible effects these values can have on your class?
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