Full Circle Moments: The Navigation of an Education Journey

Full Circle Moments: The Navigation of an Education Journey

Nicole A. Taylor (Spelman College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8321-1.ch002
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Abstract

This chapter reflects an education journey that has shaped the author's cultural ideologies of education and teaching. Even though the latter part of the author's education journey is the main focus, the beginning of the journey is also chronicled. Most of the journey that is discussed (in the latter part) took place among culturally different institutions of higher education. The pressures and practical lessons learned pertaining to education and cultural perspectives are discussed and emphasized. How the journey has impacted the author's thought process and engagement with students is also mentioned, as consideration is given to how different perspectives impact individuals' interactions with others in the learning process, especially as an educator. Overall, this chapter hopes to inspire women of color who strive to pursue a profession in the field of education by offering motivation through recollection of an educational journey and through mentioned practical implications for teaching.
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Background

I am aware that many ideas exist about how individuals navigate through cultural experiences specifically, within education. These ideas serve as a platform for this chapter. In the following section, I explore a number of these tenets, illustrating them with examples from my own experiences to demonstrate why having these concepts in perspective is invaluable in uncovering some of the tensions and dilemmas as women of color strive to navigate their way to higher education or through teaching.

According to Ladson-Billings (2007), “Culture is what people make. It represents their worldviews, symbol systems, art, language and their very well-being” (p. 322). I believe this statement to be true as I begin within my own story of how my education journey began. My story may not be considered unique, and my purpose is not to single myself out as an “exception,” my purpose for sharing my story is that one’s identify comes from their experiences and should be taken into account especially if they will be considered an “expert” in their classrooms or discipline.

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