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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 Twenty-Two: Strengthening Our Teaching by Honoring Our Culture


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Strengthening Our Teaching BY Honoring Our Culture


Educational Leadership & Native American Studies University of New Mexico

My name is Robin Starr Williams, and I recently acquired Minthorn. My birth name was given to me by my grandma Toni, my father’s mother. My Kiowa name is Zapetahholaw (sticks with bow), given to me by my grandma Roxie Kodaseet Tsotigh, who gave me her mother’s Kiowa name, Bessie Catherine Kokoom. I am an enrolled member of the Kiowa tribe of Oklahoma but am also of Apache, Umatilla (and Cayuse), Nez Perce, and Assiniboine tribal descent. My father’s side of the family is from Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. My father grew up on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) in Mission, Oregon. His name is David Williams and his parents were Donald Bruce Williams and Antoinette (Toni) (Conner) Williams. My mother’s name is Rita Joyce Tsotigh (now Brewer); she is ¾ Kiowa and ½ Apache, from Oklahoma. She grew up in the southwest part of Oklahoma, where my grandfather Jacob Sherwood Tsotigh Sr. was a United Methodist pastor in the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference (OIMC), a predominantly Native American conference. He married my grandmother Roxie Kodaseet after his first wife Josephine passed away from tuberculosis. My grandmother grew up in the area by Carnegie, Oklahoma, called Zole-tone (stinking water in Kiowa). My mom, aunts, and uncles grew up in a household where...

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