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Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Values in Higher Education
Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, Illinois
July 27-31, 2011




Education is universally valued.  But what constitutes education is debated even by those who share similar backgrounds, ethnicities, language, and professions.  When teachers and students who migrate from other cultures or come from diverse backgrounds add their voices, teaching and learning become more complex.

Academic institutions in the U.S. are gateways to social mobility for their students.  The paths those students choose vary according to their family expectations, their personal experiences, and institutional responses.  “Assimilation” was the watchword in 19th and most of 20th century education.  Today’s small colleges, large universities, and community colleges need new philosophies and strategies to meet the world’s fluctuating national and cultural boundaries, interdependent economies and cross-pollinating intellectual and technological exchange.


In its July 27-31, 2011 Annual Meeting, the Society for Values in Higher Education (an interdisciplinary association committed to promoting citizenship, socially responsible values, and intellectual exchange) is organizing three afternoons of working groups for scholars, teachers, and thinkers to address issues of immigration, globalization, and education from various perspectives.


Papers may address questions such as:

  • Can we become a “Nation of Immigrants” that recognizes our hybrid identities and multiple cultural connections, that moves daily from the “familiar” to the “foreign,” from one linguistic mode to another? 
  • Can we develop an understanding of human migration without romanticizing immigrants of yesterday and problematizing those of today? 
  • How can we see immigration as a cultural process of reciprocal interpretation?  Can academic cultures with roots in 18th century European Enlightenment ideals, 19th century progressive thought, and 20th century scientific development accommodate and value differing ways of knowing and learning?
  • What strategies enable institutions to embrace bottom-up cosmopolitanism everyday cultural diversity and intellectual exchange? 
  • Can interdisciplinary teaching and research be a model for intercultural communication and learning? 
  • As multiple cultural values are negotiated across academic disciplines, can educators help students also negotiate conflicting cultural values among home, classroom, and campus life?  How can the Internet and social media further cultural adaptations and exchanges?


Presented Papers

Adrianne Aron
“The Closing of Borders, Schools and Minds”

Lisa Konczal
“Contextual Considerations in Education Trajectories of Immigrants:  A Study of Nicaraguans in Different Places and Among Different Compatriots”

David Liu and Booker T. Ingram
“The Rights of Non-Citizens: American Democracy and Illegal Immigration”

Mark Malisa
“Ubuntu as an Alternative to Western/Enlightenment Human Values”

Susan Montgomery
“The ‘Immigrant Experience’ of assimilation for People with Behavioral Health Diagnoses"

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