Module 2

Module 2

Module 2 – Learning My Story


Cultural introspection through storytelling is a different approach than typically proposed to develop intercultural competence. Therefore, module 2 focuses on becoming familiar with this approach.

There is a growing body of research that recognizes the value of storytelling in developing intercultural competence (Chávez, Longerbeam, Montoya, & Lewis-Jose, 2020; Deardorff, 2020). This approach allows faculty to explore the aspect of their identity that relates to their teaching-selves, as well as considering implications for assumptions about and interactions with students. It provides an important bridge to the concept of teaching across cultural strengths (Chávez & Longerbeam, 2016).

Other relevant resources

Black, D., & Stevenson, M. (October, 2019). Befriending radical disagreement

Davies, D. (Dec 8, 2017). Why I, as a black man, attend KKK rallies.

TED Talk 18:53 minutes


It’s important to begin by reflecting on our professional practice. To get started:

  • read Balancing cultural strengths in teaching Chávez & Longerbeam, 2016, pp. 1-21.
    • look at Box 1.2 (p. 21) Reflective interlude, that invites you to look at the eight continua in the Cultural Frameworks in Teaching and Learning Model
    • place an X along the continuum where you believe you are in how you teach. 
  • read the article: Storied sketches: Making meaning of culture’s role in teaching. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 32(1), 125-137 (Chávez, Longerbeam, Montoya, & Lewis-Jose, 2020). Available at
  • watch ‘Introduction to Cultural Introspection’ Zoom Video: minutes 20:03 to 23:31 Alicia: learning is a learned behaviour.

To begin Cultural Introspective Practice:

  • choose an identity you would like to explore. This identity should be one that you were either born as or born into and have lived within for all or most of your life.
    • Born as – i.e. gender, sexuality, ethnicity/race, ability/disability, nationality
    • Born into and learned (prior to age 5) – i.e. culture, family size/type, socioeconomic class, religion or spirituality, nationality, geographic region, tribal traditions, or circumstance such as rural or urban upbringing etc.  This must be something you’ve lived with all or most of your life, views on education, social justice, etc.
    • explore different ways of introspection
    • make notes, draw pictures, or write a short story.
    • explore or other creative sites you know, to identify more ideas on creative reflection. It may include collage (paper, images, texture, mixed media), drawing (spontaneous, positive drawing, doodling, mandala) or writing (illegible, spontaneous, dialogue, non-linear), or a mix of techniques. (See handout: Metaphoric Expressions for examples.)

Using the Blackboard Learn Discussion Board, post a reflection based on ONE of the following topics:

  1. My feelings about approaching intercultural learning through reflective practices such as journaling, creative activities, and discussions (see examples provided)
  2. My feelings about approaching intercultural learning through the description of my cultural identity
  3. My feelings about approaching intercultural learning and how it impacts my teaching values and practices and / or in relation to a study abroad experience.


Chávez, A. F., & Longerbeam, S. D. (2016). Teaching across cultural strengths: A guide to balancing integrated and individuated cultural frameworks in college teaching. Virginia: Stylus Publishing.

Chávez, A. F., Longerbeam, S. D., Montoya, C. N., & Lewis-Jose, P. C. (2020). Storied sketches: Making meaning of culture’s role in teaching. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 32(1), 125-137. Retrieved from

Deardorff, D. K. (2020). Manual for developing intercultural competencies: Story circles. UNESCO. Retrieved from