Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2014


Many institutions of higher education have implemented local and global engagement opportunities as a way to expose both students and faculty to different cultures and further their knowledge of those cultures. One of the primary goals of these cultural experiences is for students and faculty to become more culturally competent. However, it is possible that our current way of thinking and promoting cultural competency within education specifically may not go deep enough and could be considered limiting in the ways we partner, collaborate, and interact with people groups different than ourselves. Cultural humility, a construct currently accepted in some professional preparation programs in the medical field, may be the foundation from which to shift our thinking and practices about cultural competence within education and provide a deeper meaning and understanding to our work around the globe. This article describes the experiences and reflections, as well as personal and professional applications of three faculty members from George Fox University as we have participated extensively in global engagement experiences. Each faculty member addresses three questions that we considered which directly related to our experiences and learning journeys: (1) How have we changed our perceptions or assumptions as a result of our interactions within the context of these opportunities? (2) Have we changed our practices or thinking? (3) Are we more culturally competent as a result of these experiences than before we embarked on our global engagement initiatives?

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