The Role of Cultural Introspection in College Teaching
Edited By Susan Diana Longerbeam and Alicia Fedelina Chávez
Chapter Two: Place, Tension, Service, Difference, and Strength: How Culture Influences Teaching
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Place, Tension, Service, Difference, AND Strength
How Culture Influences Teaching
SUSAN DIANA LONGERBEAM & ALICIA FEDELINA CHÁVEZ
As part of our yearlong faculty development project, participants wrote a culture and teaching autobiography. Due to the nature of culture as a complex mix of values, underlying assumptions, beliefs, and behaviors, deep work through cultural introspection is helpful to developing greater consciousness and understanding. This is even more helpful when cultural introspection goes beyond the personal to include analysis of how our cultural worldviews and ways of being manifest in our teaching practice. Further, when we begin to compare and contrast our cultural norms with those of our students, we are able to illuminate both ways we are similar and ways we are different. This assists us to gain deeper understandings and to further recraft our teaching practices with a greater balance across cultural mores. When we begin to incorporate and balance cultural strengths in addition to our own, we are on our way to balancing college teaching across cultural strengths.
WORKING TOGETHER ON CULTURE AND TEACHING AUTOBIOGRAPHIES
Through our work on these culture and teaching autobiographies, we stayed focused on supporting one another through the challenges of writing about our cultures of origin. We encouraged faculty participants to engage in this introspective process with a spirit of exploration and to consider the strengths originating in their cultures. We often reiterated our...
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