Teaching Across Cultural Strengths: A Guide to Balancing Integrated and Individuated Cultural Frameworks in College Teaching

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Stylus Publishing, LLC, 2015 - Education - 272 pages
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Promoting learning among college students is an elusive challenge, and all the more so when faculty and students come from differing cultures. This comprehensive guide addresses the continuing gaps in our knowledge about the role of culture in learning; and offers an empirically-based framework and model, together with practical strategies, to assist faculty in transforming college teaching for alltheir students through an understanding of and teaching to their strengths.

Recognizing that each student learns in culturally influenced ways, and that each instructor's teaching is equally influenced by her or his background and experiences, the authors offer an approach by which teachers can progressively learn about culture whilethey transform their teaching through reflection and the application of new practices that enrich student learning.

The key premise of the book is that deepening student learning and increasing retention and graduation rates requires teaching from a strengths based perspective that recognizes the cultural assets that students bring to higher education, and to their own learning.

Derived through research and practice, the authors present their Model of Cultural Frameworks in College Teaching and Learning that highlights eight continua towards achieving the transformation of teaching, and developing more culturally balanced and inclusive practices, over time. They present techniques - illustrated by numerous examples and narratives - for building on cultural strengths in teaching; offer tips and strategies for teaching through cultural dilemmas; and provide culturally reflective exercises.

This guide is intended for all faculty, faculty developers or administrators in higher education concerned with equitable outcomes in higher education and with ensuring that all student cultural groups learn and graduate at the same rates.

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About the author (2015)

Alicia Fedelina Chávez is Associate Professor in Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of New Mexico. She served as collegiate leader, student affairs professional, and faculty member in universities around the country. Her scholarship is centered in facilitating understanding and balance between cultural epistemologies and ways of being in professional practice. She works from a belief that higher education institutions and societies benefit from garnering the strengths of many peoples, cultures, and nations.Dr. Chávez is published in areas of culture and college teaching as well as identity and collegiate leadership. Her publications include a co-authored book on culture and college teaching, Web Based Teaching across Culture and Age (Springer, 2013), as well as two co-edited books on identity and leadership in higher education, Identity & Leadership: Informing our Lives, Informing our Practice (NASPA, 2013) and, Indigenous Leadership in Higher Education (Routledge, in press). Her academic journal articles include: Clan, Sage, and Sky: Indigenous, Hispano and Mestizo Narratives of Learning in New Mexico Context; Toward a Multicultural Ecology of Teaching and Learning; and Learning to Value the "Other": A Model of Diversity Development.

Susan Diana Longerbeam is Associate Professor in Educational Psychology at Northern Arizona University, where she leads a graduate student affairs program. She served as a university health services director and interim dean of students at Oregon State University, and holds a Ph.D. in College Student Personnel from the University of Maryland, a masters in Health Services Administration from Antioch University, and a bachelors in Community Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She served on the ACPA Commission on Professional Preparation and the NASPA Faculty Fellows and Council.Dr. Longerbeam's scholarship focuses on culture, campus climate and student success in higher education. Recent publications include: "We cannot reach them": Chinese undergraduate student perceptions of the U.S. campus climate"(2013); Putting old tensions to rest: Integrating multicultural education and global learning to advance student development(2013); Developing openness to diversity in living-learning program participants(2010); and Contemporary college contexts: College environments for student learning and retention at a southwestern U.S. university(2010); and reflective work: Encounters with angels: A struggle to return home from study abroad(2015); One journey of compassion: My search for inspiriting leadership(2013); "You home? Meet me on the stairway:" Lessons of living together(2009).

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