Dissonance in the Educational Ecology


  • J. John Harris III University of Kentucky
  • Donna Y. Ford University of Kentucky


Metropolitan Universities, Diversity, Minority Students


An ecological point of view helps educators understand that significant experiential, contextual, and cultural differences exist between minority and white populations at their various stages of development. These differences tend to create dissonances in the educational ecology because many practices and policies are based on the norms, values, experiences, and opportunities of middleclass white students. Educators sensitive to the effects of context on minority students can help to reduce these dissonances by paying more theoretical as well as practical attention to designing strategies appropriate for the developmental patterns of racial minorities.