Faculty and Staff Development Session Focuses on Pedagogies of Inclusion

Six faculty joined Office of Teaching and Learning staff to discuss pedagogies of inclusion during a Thursday morning event on “Inclusive Pedagogies.” The conversation was rewarding, and lasted well past the session with instructors sharing their how they approach engaging as many students as possible.

Inclusive pedagogy is a method of teaching that incorporates dynamic practices and learning styles, multicultural content, and varied means of assessment, with the goal of promoting student academic success, as well as social, cultural, and physical well-being, and it often reflect the strategies we know work to engage all students.

All instructors are urged to begin to assess assumptions they have about experience, knowledge, ability, identify, and viewpoints.

Tips and takeaways from the session included the following, among others:

  • Recognize any biases or stereotypes you may have absorbed.
  • Rectify any language patterns or case examples that exclude or demean any groups.
  • Attend to student identities and seek to change the ways systemic inequities shape dynamics in teaching-learning spaces, affect individuals’ experiences of those spaces, and influence course and curriculum design.
  • If discriminatory remarks are made in your class, it is your responsibility to interrupt them and point them out as such. If you do not, students may think that you either approve of or are unaware of the impact of the comment or behavior.
  • Do not assume that all students will recognize cultural, literary or historical references familiar to you.
  • Convey the same level of respect and confidence in the abilities of all your students.
  • In class discussion, be wary of unfair patterns of communication (e.g., men interrupting women, a white student getting credit for a student of colors idea) and ensure fair access to class discussion for all students.
  • In courses in which class discussion is important, consider calling upon students rather than only relying on volunteers. Some students may be willing to participate but may not volunteer, for cultural or personal reasons.
  • Consider who comprises panels of experts or guest lecturers.
  • Use Universal Design for Learning (UDL) when preparing activities, materials, and presentations.

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