Conocimiento through Spiritual Activism: A Self-Reflexive Approach to Challenging Deficit Beliefs and Reimagining the Value of Teaching in Higher Education

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Texas Education Review


This testimonio, inspired by Anzaldúa’s (2002) seven stages of conocimiento, is written in second person to highlight a series of counterstories aimed at guiding readers through the challenges of facilitating teaching conversations in higher education where deficit assumptions about students’ potential are prevalent. Readers will gain insight into disparaging and derogatory commentary aimed at silencing voices and the harmful impact these words and behaviors can have on our well-being and students' holistic success in higher education and beyond. Through a journey of empathetic understanding and reciprocal learning, I share guided questions to encourage readers to self-reflect on the need for a shift in how teaching is valued in higher education. Ultimately, I advocate for a call to action that fosters a culture of collaboration and solidarity where student voices are at the center of teaching and learning innovations. Collectively, we can create opportunities where all students can succeed in ways that are meaningful to them while also creating a culture that values instructors’ self-reflection, growth, and self-efficacy in teaching.



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