chapter  15
32 Pages

The Motivational Roles of Cultural Differences and Cultural Identity in Self-Regulated Learning

Theories of motivation and learning are developed to understand and manage individual and group engagement in activities specifically related to work, social, and educational domains. Historically, most theories of motivation and learning were developed in Westernized developed nations, particularly the United States and Europe (Heckhausen, 1991). Theories of learning and motivation house within them core values reflective of the societies and cultures in which the theories are developed. This is natural as the essential elements of human learning and motivation in specific contexts reflect deeply embedded cultural values, and the theoreticians are themselves a product of these contexts. When motivational and learning theories are transported to new cultural and social settings to understand and manage individual and group behavior, there might be a mismatch. In other words, core values in diverse groups, as well as the meaning of the situations and contexts in which core values are salient, might vary to such an extent that they make the application, analysis, and practical outcomes of the theories problematic (see, e.g., Boykin et al., in press; Boykin & Bailey, 2000; Boykin, Tyler, & Miller, 2005; Delgado-Gaitan, 1994; Deyhle & LeCompte, 1994; Hollins, 1996; Rubie, Townsend, & Moore, 2004; Trueba, 1993). As Tyler, Anderman, and Haines (2006) put it, “What can be currently gleaned from

the research literature on culturally relevant pedagogy and achievement is when classroom instruction and activities do not incorporate or reflect the value-laden, culture-based behavioral preferences and tendencies of ethnic minority students, school difficulties emerge” (p. 66). Ferrari and Mahalingam (1998) believed that the manner in which learners meaningfully engage in school and other educational settings and benefit from the experiences presented reflects the cultural environment in which they are socialized. Personal, social, and cultural histories shape student engagement. These histories include gender, class, race, religion, and family.