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

Foreword by Joseph L. White
Paper: 978 1 62036 324 9 / $29.95
Published: January 2016  

Cloth: 978 1 62036 323 2 / $95.00
Published: January 2016  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 62036 325 6 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: January 2016  

E-Book: 978 1 62036 326 3 / $23.99
Published: January 2016  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
272 pp., 6" x 9"
18 figures & 16 tables
Co-published in association with

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 all their 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 while they 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.

Table of Contents:


1) Balancing Cultural Strengths in Teaching

2) Culture in College Teaching

3) Rewards, Dilemmas, and Challenges of Teaching Across Cultural Frameworks

4) Applying Cultural Introspection to Teaching and Learning

5) Strengths-Based Teaching in Cultural Context

6) Top 10 Things Faculty Can Do to Teach Across Cultures

7) Spreading the Cultural Word: Faculty Development on a Larger Scale

8) The Story of Our Work With Faculty

Final Reflections: Toward Learning Equity: Cultivating a Culture of Belief in Students

Appendix A: Guide to Writing a Culture and Teaching Autobiography
Appendix B: Resources


About the Authors



Reviews & Endorsements:
“Why aren’t student success rates in college even across cultural groups? Chavez and Longerbeam unpack this mystery with an insightful and very usable set of ideas for faculty who want to teach to student strengths and support success across cultures. They provide a comprehensive framework for understanding culture and pedagogy. This is an outstanding book that should be read by all faculty members who are puzzled by differences in their ability to relate to students from different backgrounds and by differential rates of success. A huge contribution.”
- Jane Fried, Professor , Central Connecticut State University
"Teaching Across Cultural Strengths is a shining star in a night sky of relative darkness on inclusive teaching in the academy. Through their practical yet creative approach, Chávez and Longerbeam make a pivotal impact on the ways culture plays out between and among students and teacher in postsecondary education. Its contribution to students of color and women’s learning is substantial, with clear application to these groups as well as others in all academic disciplines. In fact, by placing primary emphasis on culture, this book could bring about a movement to reform the relationship between student and teacher in higher education producing optimal learning in every field. The work presented by these authors can significantly transform teaching on any college campus with a progressive view of learning. Faculty in every academic discipline concerned about student learning and how it occurs through their teaching will find this book practical and insightful. Student affairs educators responsible for professional development, or with deep concern for out of class learning, will find this imperative reading to assist students in their learning, growth, and development. Chávez and Longerbeam get high praise for illuminating the place of culture in post-secondary learning."
- Florence M. Guido, Professor , University of Northern Colorado