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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 Six: Tapping into the Roots of My Approaches to Geoscience

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CHAPTER SIX

Tapping INTO THE Roots OF My Approaches TO Geoscience

GARY WEISSMANN

Earth & Planetary Sciences University of New Mexico



I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, in a home with one older sister and three younger brothers. My extended family mostly lived in the Washington, DC, area, so I only saw my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins when they visited Denver or we visited them (this happened regularly, however). Many cultural identities influenced my upbringing and the person who I am today. Growing up in Colorado, I was immersed in the natural setting of the Colorado Rockies, and I still center myself by going into nature, preferring either high above tree line or in badlands country. I have a strong identity with others from the Rocky Mountain West. My childhood home was a moderately traditional Jewish household, and I was raised in the Conservative tradition of Judaism. I consider myself to be a spiritual Jew and participate in ceremonies and holidays, though I do not follow all of the strict traditions. My faith, however, has taught me to be aware of social issues, and I could be labeled as a “liberal” because of my interest in social equity and justice. Being raised in America, I took words about freedom and justice to heart, and I believe that the freedom of speech and religion as well as opportunities for education are critical for self-determination. So,...

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