This study examined incidental recall of a folktale told to 91 Tohono O'odham American Indian children (average age 9 years) who either were directly addressed or had the opportunity to overhear the telling of the folktale. Learning from surrounding incidental events contrasts with learning through direct instruction common in Western schooling, which was familiar to all the children and their families. We hypothesized that Tohono O'odham children who have greater cultural engagement in traditional Tohono O'odham practices (Tohono O'odham language, activities, and storytelling) would have greater incidental recall of the story, especially in the overhearing condition, due to the emphasis on learning through listening to others in this community. Cultural engagement significantly predicted incidental story recall for both overhearing children and those who were directly told the story. Further, cultural engagement explained additional variance in the number of story events recalled in the overhearing group.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies