The Influence of Contextual Factors on Afro‐American and Euro‐American Children's Performance: Effects of Movement Opportunity and Music

Brenda A. Allen, A. Wade Boykin
Published Online:
27 Sep 2007
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 26 Issue 3

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The present study sought to further establish that contextual factors informed by certain postulated cultural experiences could influence performance on a learning task. Towards this end, low income Afro‐American and Euro‐American children learned to pair pictures in an acquisition context that allowed for them to coordinate movement with music (High Movement Expressive [HME]) and in an acquisition context which allowed for little movement opportunity and no music (Low Movement Expressive [LME]). Children were subsequently tested for picture pair retention in a context where music was present or in a context where music was absent. The findings revealed that Afro‐American children's tested performance was superior with the HME acquisition context, while Euro‐American children's performance was superior with the LME context. In addition, music present at testing context seemed to have an independent enhancing effect only on Afro‐American children's performance. The cultural and educational implications of these findings are discussed as are recommendations for future research.

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