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.