WEIRD Perspectives

Much of the science surrounding teaching and learning has occured in cultures that are white, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic (WEIRD). While I am not criticizing that focus, especially by researchers and practitioners who work in those cultures, I do suggest we must use care in extending what we “know” about teaching and learning from those studies.

Culture, we know, exerts deep influences on what we learn and how we learn it. Our culture affects our nutrition, exercise patterns, exposure to toxins, and many other factors related to our ability to learn.  If we argue that what is learned in WEIRD cultures are universally true, we are lying to ourselves and to others.