Bowing down and standing up: Towards a pedagogy of cultural humility

Noel Habashy, Laura Cruz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cultural humility is a critical skill for effective intercultural interactions. While common in other scholarly fields, the concept is seldom found in the literature of global learning and international education. Utilizing grounded theory, this study explores the development of cultural humility through qualitative data analysis of in-class assignments and reflection journals from a university course in the United States (n=18). Throughout the semester students worked in teams to write grant proposals for agricultural development projects in Kenya. Examining student work and reflections sheds light on differing avenues of global learning which has traditionally prioritized international travel as the core means of learning. This paper proposes a pedagogy of cultural humility to promote global learning through a variety of educational interventions. Prioritizing cultural humility can yield enhanced respect for others, focus on lifelong learning, more meaningful global understanding, and more fruitful intercultural relationships. In an increasingly interconnected globe, cultural humility provides a meaningful framework to provide substantive interactions between individuals across the globe or down the street.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-31
JournalInternational Journal of Development Education and Global Learning
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2021


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