Nonwestern Immigrants in Continuing Higher Education: A Sociocultural Approach to Culturally Responsive Pedagogy
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Every wave of immigration to the United States has brought significant changes to the country and to its institutions. Unlike earlier waves that were drawn primarily from Europe, the majority of today's newcomers originate from developing nations, causing the United States population to be more diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, language, culture, and ways of knowing. Such diversity has implications for teaching and learning in continuing higher education. Drawing from the literature, this article advocates for more inclusive learning environments where immigrant learners can experience learning that is culturally relevant and that would meet their needs for acculturation and integration into the host society. It highlights the profile of today's U.S. foreign-born population who originate primarily from nonwestern cultures and the impact of cultural orientation on learning. Furthermore, using sociocultural theory as a guiding framework, the author provides recommendations for culturally responsive pedagogy that are particularly sensitive to students from nonwestern cultures. 2009 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.