Based on Babies (2010) I have developed a study to assess the differences and similarities between how babies learn in America and Africa.
Among the many differences in the cultures is the fact that a collective society is exhibited in Africa. There the entire community is involved in raising the babies.This was exemplified in the movie by showing other children taking care of babies as well as one woman taking care of and breast feeding many babies. In comparison, American culture is more independent. This was shown in the movie by one parent, usually a mother, taking care of her baby by herself. Another distinct difference between the African and American cultures, as demonstrated in the movie, is differing levels of sanitation in the babies environment. In Africa, the babies were placed on the ground, free to roam around and able to put organic things in their mouth that were laying on the ground. In America, however, babies are closely monitored and everything around the baby was baby proof to ensure that the babies would not be able to go anywhere or swallow anything that could potentially be harmful. In addition, from what I observed in the African setting the process of learning during infancy was more of a product of nature. The babies learn from their environment in an unstructured way. In America, on the other hand, babies were observed taking part in organized classes to practice and experience leaning at a very early age. Lastly, the differences in clothing between the two cultures stood out. In the African cultures the clothing was minimum. Often the babies were diaper free and the women were exposed. In America the clothing was always worn and there was a very little amount of skin showing. Therefore, babies in America learn that ones body must always be covered and that it is inappropriate to show skin. As a result, Americans often have issues with their own body type as well as an overall judgement about what bodies should look like, due to their lack of exposure.
Based on my observations, I think that it would be interesting to design an experiment in which both cultures are examined for a long duration of time to asses the level of success (based on the given cultures standards) that the children experience in their life. To do this I would purpose that two groups per culture are created. The first group learns during infancy in the way that their culture is accustomed to and the other group learns in the way that the other culture experiences. After a few years the children’s success in learning is measures by examinations that determines their skills in comparison to what their culture deems as adequate.