Angelica Gomes

University of Rhode Island



Mentor: Alison K. Esler, Assitant Professor of Psychology

Preferred Teaching and Learning Styles of African American and European American Undergraduate College Students at Howard University and the University of Rhode Island

The objectives of this study are to investigate which teaching and learning styles college students prefer and if a student's ethnicity, African-American or European-American, influences teaching and learning style preferences. The ethnic make-up of the student and faculty population will also be examined to see if such factors influence a college student's preference. Course grades will also be investigated to see if grades are influenced by courses taught in teaching styles that are responsive and unresponsive to students' individual learning styles.

Participants will be 150 female and 150 male undergraduate college students. One hundred females and 100 males will be undergraduates enrolled in courses at the University of Rhode Island (URI). Half of the subjects will be African-American and the other half European-American. The remaining 50 female and 50 male undergraduates will be African-American students enrolled in courses at Howard University. Data will be collected through the use of a demographic questionnaire, a preferred teaching style questionnaire, a preferred learning style questionnaire, and a course grade questionnaire.

Results are expected to support past research findings. Past research findings have shown that college students clearly prefer some teaching styles more then others (Beishline & Holmes, 1997). There have been few studies, if any, examining teaching and learning styles with regard to the specific ethnicities in question. It is expected that African-Americans and European-Americans will have different teaching and learning style preferences. Studies have shown that matching teaching and learning styles gives students greater course satisfaction (i.e., higher grades) than mismatching teaching and learning styles (Potter & Emanuel, 1990). Future studies should continue to investigate teaching and learning styles in order to assist educators in teaching in various styles that cater to the diverse learning styles of students.

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