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Being Across Homes

by Olga M. Hubard - 2011

Background/Context: This essay is a part of a special issue that emerges from a year-long faculty seminar at Teachers College, Columbia University. The seminarís purpose has been to examine in fresh terms the nexus of globalization, education, and citizenship. Participants come from diverse fields of research and practice, among them art education, comparative education, curriculum and teaching, language studies, philosophy of education, social studies, and technology. They bring to the table different scholarly frameworks drawn from the social sciences and humanities. They accepted invitations to participate because of their respective research interests, all of which touch on education in a globalized world. They were also intrigued by an all-too-rare opportunity to study in seminar conditions with colleagues from different fields, with whom they might otherwise never interact given the harried conditions of university life today. Participants found the seminar generative in terms of ideas about globalization, education, and citizenship. Participants also appreciated what, for them, became a novel and rich occasion for professional and personal growth.

Purpose: My inquiry is driven by the following questions: How is our sense of self influenced by the place where we live? And what happens when our lives take place in two different homes, two cultures?

Research Design: I explore the guiding questions through the unique perspectives of three individuals whose lives straddle Mexico City and New York City. I share these perspectives as much for the ideas they embody as for the ponderings they provoke. Thus, my reflections, often in the form of questions, are interwoven into the three accounts.

Conclusions/Recommendations: The three accounts and their juxtapositions make evident how the experience of being across cultures can be fraught with opposing experiences, with tensions and contradictions that are, in too many cases, unresolvable. The challenge, then, is not to try to eliminate the tension altogether, but to find ways to become more at home in a world of ambiguity and confusion.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 113 Number 6, 2011, p. 1255-1274
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 16141, Date Accessed: 6/13/2021 12:59:19 AM

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About the Author
  • Olga Hubard
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    OLGA HUBARD is assistant professor of art education at Teachers College. She holds an MA and EdD from Teachers College, an MFA from the School of Visual Arts, and a BA in art history from Universidad Iberoamericana in her native Mexico. Olgaís writing focuses on meaningful art inquiry and the spaces that promote it. She has worked as an educator and consultant with numerous museums in New York City and maintains an active art practice.
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