The Role of Cultural Introspection in College Teaching
Edited By Susan Diana Longerbeam and Alicia Fedelina Chávez
Chapter Fourteen: Teaching Development
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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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