Page 10 - Transformations The Diversity Academy Magazine for IU Southeast Faculty

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The Skin You’re In
At IU, I was taught to
approach the diverse
issues inherent in language
education in a way that
students can relate them
to personal experience and
examine them through fair-
minded logic.
In Korea, students must
learn what the professor
believes they should know.
American education is
quite different. I was never
praised for self-expression
growing up.
At IU, I was encouraged to
reason through evidence
and to challenge others,
including the teacher, to
find the best answers to
hard questions.
Korean students don’t
challenge their teachers;
the ability to challenge
authority and to defend
a position are points of
learning in the United
Also there, I learned that
to move readers beyond
boundaries of culture, they
must be able to recognize
and disrupt stereotypes by
connecting on a personal
level with those who differ.
So the ability to consider
multicultural points of view
on social issues has become
a critical part of my teaching
focus. This knowledge
has moved me beyond the
boundaries of traditional
Korean education, which is
I will use teaching methods
from America to lead my
Korean students to question
me as a teacher, and I will
pursue a different kind of
teacher-student relationship.
Korean professors do not
discuss issues relevant to
students’ personal lives.
Although American faculty
are professional, they allow
students to communicate as
To hone my skills as that
kind of educator, I decided
to spend another year in the
United States after earning
my Ph.D. at IU Bloomington.
In order to teach and do
research on multicultural
teaching and learning, I
accepted a postdoctoral
position at IU Southeast as
a Fellow of the Diversity
In the summer of 2010
here, I conducted research
in different disciplines
on how faculty approach
multicultural curricula,
including Art History,
Communication, American
History, Sociology, and
Biology. That fall, I formally
presented my study at the
Indiana Symposium on
Diversity Teaching and
Research, which honored me
with an award for the best
interdisciplinary proposal.
Through 2010-11, I was
mentored by Annette
Wyandotte, Interim
Associate Vice Chancellor of
Academic Affairs, who was
also an Associate Professor
of English, accustomed
to teaching language and
literature with multicultural
aims. Learning that we
shared experience in action
research – assessing one’s
own or others’ curriculum
and methods of teaching and
the results of student learning
– we began to collaborate.
Supported by the ILTE
and the Diversity Academy,
a new Faculty Learning
Community on Curriculum
Transformation was offered
in the spring and fall of
2011. I was fortunate to
assist with it in the spring
until returning to Korea. (See
“Coming Together” in this
issue for the larger story of
the FLC’s work.)