Social Psychology of Education

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 363–380 | Cite as

Cultural values in the home and school experiences of low-income African-American students

  • Kenneth M. TylerEmail author
  • A. Wade Boykin
  • Oronde Miller
  • Eric Hurley


The present study examined the presence of specific cultural values within the preferred classroom and home activities of African-American upper elementary students. Written scenarios were constructed and used to determine whether students preferred their home and classroom activities carried out under specific cultural terms. Students also reported their perceptions of teachers and parents’ cultural value-based preferences for classroom and home activities. With analysis of variance techniques, it was shown that students and their parents have significantly stronger preferences for communal and vervistic activities at home and at school than for individualistic and competitive activities. Perceived teacher classroom preferences, however, were significantly higher for individualistic and competitive activities. Such findings underscore the presence of cultural mismatch in the classroom experiences of African-Americans and illustrate a need to enhance school-based efforts to appreciate and utilize cultural value variation.


culture African-American students cultural discontinuity 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth M. Tyler
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. Wade Boykin
    • 2
  • Oronde Miller
    • 2
  • Eric Hurley
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, College of EducationUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology, College of Arts and SciencesHoward UniversityWashington D.C.USA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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