Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Educators’ Insights on Culture Shock, Identity and Pedagogy
Chapter 5: Toward a Pedagogy of Interconnectedness
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TOWARD A PEDAGOGY OF INTERCONNECTEDNESS
Hyacinth was a 52-year-old white female who had been teaching English as a second language (ESL) at the middle school level for 11 years at the time of our interviews. She had also taught 13 years of ESL at the high school level in a U.S. city on the Mexican border following her Peace Corps service, and 2 years of teaching seventh- and eighth-grade language arts, 12th-grade remedial English, and ninth-grade Spanish at an inner-city school prior to joining the Peace Corps. For her Peace Corps service, Hyacinth taught English in a secondary school in a small town in the central highlands of Kenya for 2 years from 1984 to 1986. During her Peace Corps service, she met and married Richard, another Peace Corps volunteer who went to Kenya at the same time she did. At the time of our interviews, they had just celebrated their 25th anniversary.
My interviews with Hyacinth took place at her and Richard’s home in the city where they lived. I spent an enjoyable evening sharing Peace Corps and other stories with both Hyacinth and Richard the night before we began our interviews. What I remember most about the interviews was the active atmosphere in which they took place and the seeming ease with which I was ← 155 | 156 → integrated into Hyacinth’s busy schedule. Interspersed into our two days of interviews were: tending to two turtles that Hyacinth gleefully showed...
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