Cultural Influences

Different cultures organize their view of the world in different ways, each creating their own categories, rules and templates for ordering their universe.  Sometimes these differences are explicit and obvious and sometimes they are so subtle and implicit that they go un-noticed.  The four readings for this unit provide illustrations of different ways that culture influences how people make sense of the world around them.  Your task is twofold:

1.   Read each of the four articles and then write a one-page paper on each (for a total of four pages) in which you critique some aspect of the article in terms of how it relates to some aspect of your professional life.  Please keep each paper to one page.

2.   Write another one-page paper in which you reflect on your own knowledge system and how your behavior is influenced by the categories, rules and templates that you learned as a child.  Give examples to illustrate your points when possible.  When finished, you should be sending in a five-page document altogether.


One thing I noticed on the AKNK website is that when I went to retrieve some of the articles, there weren’t any dates for the articles that are provided as html documents. You can’t tell if they were originally printed for AKNK or repurposed or when they were published. Sometimes there was a date within the text of the document but often not.

I don’t recall that any of the readings were recent publications from the last five years. Most of the articles were published 20+ years ago. Since I’m not in the classroom, I’m assuming that the issues are the same but I would hope that some successes have been made in rural schools. It seems from some of the content I’ve found online, mostly through YouTube videos, rural classes are sharing their experiences and that there are successes.

I really missed not having any kind of discussion with other students or even knowing if there were others who were working at a similar pace. Having someone to confirm or conflict my ideas would have been a good learning experience and might have given me more insight. I felt I got some of that from the readings. As I worked through the assignments, it felt like some of the readings confirmed my thoughts so I felt I was on the right track. It would also have been nice to have more first-hand accounts. Audio interviews would have been great to listen to. I like to learn through storytelling and first-hand accounts can make a great impact.

Once I got going, it was easier to stay on track. Your feedback was helpful and timely so that really helped motivating me to finish up.


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