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Cultural Discontinuities and Education

This entry provides a brief look at cultural discontinuity in education, an explanation of various types of cultural discontinuity, responses to it and its use in practice, and an examination of the implications of cultural discontinuity for education. Researchers and educators refer to cultural discontinuity in education varyingly as cultural dissonance, cultural conflict, cultural mismatch, cultural incongruence, cultural misalignment, or a “lack of cultural synchronization” (Irvine, 2003, p. 7). Cultural discontinuity can be defined as disconnections and inconsistencies between school-based norms and values and those of some students, often from nondominant cultures. Cultural discontinuity can be used as an analytic or theoretical tool to explain educational practices that demonstrate such disconnections and inconsistencies. School-based norms and values are socially and culturally constructed by people, ...

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