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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 Ten: Keeping Contradictions as a Teaching Tool: Cultural Intelligence in Content and in Practice

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CHAPTER TEN

Keeping Contradictions AS A Teaching Tool

Cultural Intelligence in Content and in Practice

MJR MONTOYA

International Management University of New Mexico



The village of Mora is located approximately 45 miles on either side between Taos and Las Vegas, New Mexico. During the early 20th century, it was known as an important stop for the trade of hides and furs, and it was also a significant ranching and packing area. One can find many buildings that are reminiscent of late Victorian-styled Western boom towns. The old, vacant general store serves as a reminder of a time when commerce and business thrived in the region. I was reminded by my grandparents that when they grew up, they could remember a lot of traffic coming through Mora. The way they recount it, it was a fleeting glimpse of the possibilities and limits of American progress. For them, it was bookended by a life of poverty. While much was happening in Mora in the early 1920s, it was only happening for a few people, and the rest lived a much simpler life in the hills and the higher country. Most people raised sheep, or they were hardworking carpenters and masons, responsible for keeping the village from falling into the hard marshland that surrounded the river valley. My grandparents were one and the other. Francisco (Pancho) and Dolores (Lola) Martinez were both raised in families of carpenters and...

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