Module 6

Module 6

Module 6 – Circling Back


Cultural introspection is a life-long journey. In completing these modules, we have explored both familiar, unknown and perhaps even unchartered territory. While this is the final step, for now, the journey of cultural introspection can last as long as we are willing to travel and is cyclical rather than linear.

This sharing of personal experience not only validates the perspective of each individual but also generates new understandings and insights. In the Story Circles, life experience is highly valued as participants make themselves vulnerable in sharing stories of joy and pain as well as struggle and triumph, which engages participants on many levels including emotional, mental, spiritual, and even physical levels. While participants can decide their degree to which they wish to share (through the experience they choose to share, which can be a meaningful or more surface-level experience), research has shown that vulnerability, based on mutuality, can be transformative (Brown, 2012). This begins with owning our stories and having the courage to share those (Deardorff, 2020, p. 15).

For now, we return to familiar territory.

  • Go back to your initial reflections in the earlier modules. Are there any additions you would now like to make?
    • Consider how will your story be different moving forward
    • Think about the main take-aways of engaging in this reflective experience
    • Using your preferred method, add notes, pictures, doodles, diagrams with any thoughts / reflections that surface when rediscovering your earlier reflections
  • Listen to the following podcast on teaching philosophies –
    • What was your teaching philosophy prior to engaging in cultural introspection?
    • Are there any elements of your teaching philosophy that you would change as a result of going through this process? If ‘yes,’ what would you change and why would you change that aspect of your philosophy?
    • Using your preferred method of reflection, make a note (or add a drawing etc.) of your thoughts
  • Using the Blackboard Learn Discussion Board, post a reflection based on ONE aspect of your reflection that you are comfortable sharing.
    • share your thoughts on the Blackboard Learn Discussion Board
    • find one person with whom you have not yet connected and share your thoughts
    • with your reflection partner, share on the discussion board what you both learnt from each other 

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

Stachowiak, D. (July, 2014). Episode 004 – Your teaching philosophy: The what, why and how with Dave Stachowiak. Retrieved from

Other relevant resources 

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

Chapter 2 – pp. 13-48

Werkland School of Education. Connecting land to teaching pedagogy: A land-based learning experience. Writing on stone. Retrieved from

Barrett, M. J. (2017). Teaching for epistemological difference: Decentring norms in environmental studies. Retrieved from