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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-Five: Reflecting into the Future


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Reflecting Into THE Future


I continue to learn from the lessons of my family and realized through cultural introspection that most of my teaching originates from the lessons of my family. … I am continually discovering underlying lessons and experiences of my cultures and family through introspection and through the catalyst of working with a diversity of students as people, learners, and professionals. This is a sacred responsibility and humbling reality of teaching. Through teaching, we ripple out through generations.


As an educator, I seek to deepen cultural understanding. I want for students the truth I lacked, so they will know from whence they come. The process of understanding this historical context has been a long one and will continue throughout my life. Uncovering a dominant culture that was presumed the only relevant one is complex, but with help from mentors, with education, and with courage, I am getting to the heart of the artichoke, my cultures of origin. Now I want to offer students a pathway to wisdom, authenticity, and well-being.


When we reflect into the future, we share a vision and we have some dreams. We envision creating a higher education culture of belief in students and the strengths they bring with them to learning. We dream of a time when...

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