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Going Inward

The Role of Cultural Introspection in College Teaching

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Edited By Susan Diana Longerbeam and Alicia Fedelina Chávez

Going Inward is a pragmatic text for faculty in all disciplines who desire to deepen their reflection on teaching. Through the culturally introspective writings of faculty in a variety of academic disciplines, readers will gain a deeper understanding of faculty cultural influences on college teaching and student learning. This book introduces readers to cultural self-reflection as a powerful tool for insight into how our values and beliefs from our cultural and familial upbringing influence our teaching practice. Cultural self-reflection is a process for generating insights and empathy toward serving students from backgrounds and cultures both similar to and different from one’s own. The integrated design of the book’s three parts – cultural introspection, faculty culture and teaching autobiographies, and developing a culturally introspective practice – makes this book helpful to teaching faculty and academic administrators.
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Chapter Three: NXSW: Cultural Legacies in Education

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CHAPTER THREE

NXSW

Cultural Legacies in Education

MELISSA BIRKETT GREENE

Neuroscience and Behavior Northern Arizona University



Cultural legacies are powerful forces. They have deep roots and long lives. They persist, generation after generation, virtually intact, even as the economic and social and demographic conditions that spawned them have vanished, and they play such a role in directing attitudes and behavior that we cannot make sense of our world without them.

—GLADWELL, 2008, (p. 175)

One day, after lunch, next to the lockers in the hallway outside of Mrs. Simon’s fifth-grade classroom, Michelle Lawrence kicked me. Hard. I wasn’t sure why she did it, but I did what I thought was best in front the group of eleven-year-olds; I laughed and went out to recess. Six months later, Michelle and I shared a desk in Mrs. Anderson’s sixth-grade English class, our heads bent together on essays and vocabulary definitions. Twenty years later, we are casual Facebook friends.

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