Between Puerto Rican Culture and U.S. Majority Culture
According to Saville-Troike (n.d.) there is likely to be
confusion when children who learn in one culture must then
learn in the modes of another:
“They are unfamiliar with the school structure,
the expectation of the teacher, and the classroom procedure.
They may encounter very different values, which are being
considered essential for learning (e.g., attendance and punctuality).
They may find behaviors, which they have been taught to follow
suddenly, and inexplicably penalized or rejected. All of this
is in addition to the communication problems they may be facing
and the social stress and culture shock they may be experiencing”
Communication is considered a very important part of Puerto
“It goes beyond being proficient
in either Spanish or English but reflects the ‘language
of the culture.’ ” To communicate in a harmonious
manner within Puerto Rican families means to engage people
according to the values of respeto and personalismo, with
both verbal and non-verbal expressions. This entails being
welcoming, inviting interactions and creating alliances.”
(Giammanco & Bartolomei 1995).
The word “respeto” is the consideration
given to an individual based on a person’s status, especially
with deference to elders, and within a relationship; it is
mutual (Giammanco & Bartolomei, 1995, p. ?). “Personalismo
involves the initialized form of engaging someone in a friendly,
but respectful, and dutiful manner” (cite).
This research is attempting to identify general patterns
of conduct that may assist teachers in classrooms to understand
their students’ knowledge base and learning styles,
so as to be able to recognize and distinguish learning differences
that can be attributed to cultural factors from those that
are genuine disabilities.
The contents of this website are NOT intended
to create stereotypes, and each child should be considered