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Going Inward

The Role of Cultural Introspection in College Teaching


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 Fourteen: Teaching Development


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Teaching Development


Economics University of New Mexico

I was born and raised in Argentina and brought up in a C atholic household. The father in our local church, Padre Pablo, was a wonderful human being with a genuine love and commitment to others, and especially to those in need. Probably because of this influence, growing up I wanted to be either a teacher or a priest. Teachers were not paid well enough, and priests had to be celibate, so I became a professor. As a professor, though, my commitment to teaching and serving others could perhaps be traced to my early formative years.

I love teaching. I care about my students. I am passionate about economics. My area of study, development economics, is about improving the quality of life of human beings, and education is a fundamental component of it. I find that easy to be passionate about. Everything else flows from there.

In the mid-1990s I was a first-year student in college in Argentina when I started a backpacking trip through the Americas. What was supposed to be a summer trip became a yearlong journey that brought me to the United States. Just about everything I experienced on these travels was fascinating to me. But what perhaps struck me the most was the deep levels of underdevelopment and poverty. I grew up in an upper-middle-class family, went...

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