Building an inclusive classroom is an iterative process. This guide seeks to support educators looking to put practical strategies into practice. Start by engaging with resources to which you feel drawn. The guide and materials are meant to support you and address the following questions:
If we seek to encourage critical thinking in our students, how can we meaningfully engage with anti-racism and social justice?
How can we incorporate anti-racism and inclusive pedagogy into our courses?
How can faculty design assignments and activities that engage students in thinking critically about anti-racism?
How can we help our students understand the relevance, depth, and breadth of anti-racism?
How can we help our students logically process statement and attitudes surrounding anti-racism?
How can a critical thinking approach help develop intellectual traits of humility, integrity, courage, empathy, and fair-mindedness in faculty, staff, and students*?
*from Broward College's Teaching Black Lives Matter Libguide
Read the article Anti-racist pedagogy: from faculty's self-reflection to organizing within and beyond the classroom by Kyoko Kishimoto.
Take this Introduction to Critical Race Theory course by Brown Professor Keene
Yale's Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning notes that "Implicit bias refers to unconscious attitudes, reactions, stereotypes, and categories that affect behavior and understanding.
In higher education, implicit bias often refers to unconscious racial or socioeconomic bias towards students...(Boysen, et. al 2009).
Instructors can hold assumptions about students’ learning behaviors and their capability for academic success which are tied to students’ identities and/or backgrounds, and these assumptions can impede student growth (Staats, et. al, 2017)."
Awareness of our own implicit biases is a step toward an inclusive classroom.
Read the article Do College Instructors Have Implicit Bias toward Latino-Accented English Speakers? or this one on Creating inclusive classrooms by engaging STEM faculty in culturally responsive teaching workshops.
Visit additional resources on self-reflection and bias from the Padlet below
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn. The UDL Guidelines are a tool used in the implementation of Universal Design for Learning. These guidelines offer a set of suggestions that can be applied to any discipline or domain to ensure that all learners can access and participate in meaningful, challenging learning opportunities. (From Cast: About Universal Design of Learning)
Use the UDL Guidelines as a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people
Explore Accessibility Across the Curriculum to discover how to increase accessibility awareness
Visit additional resources on universal design for learning (UDL) from the Padlet below
We want to get it right, but we need a strategy. As educators, how we manage a conversation or engage in "certain behaviors can close opportunities for learning and decrease students’ sense of belonging" ("Inclusive Classroom").
The following resources provide tools and strategies for engaging in and managing difficult conversations in the college classroom.
Read the articles Navigating Difficult Conversations in the Classroom and "Transforming Conflict in the Classroom: Best Practices for Facilitating Difficult Dialogues and Creating an Inclusive Communication Climate".
Watch Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo's Ted Talk: What It takes to be racially literate
Explore the Southern Poverty Law Center's Let's Talk: Discussing Race, Racism, and Other Difficult Topics with Students.
Suárez-Orozco, C., Casanova, S., Martin, M., Katisaficas, D., Cuellar, V., Dias, S., & Smith, N. (2015). Toxic rain in the classroom: Classroom interpersonal microaggressions. Educational Researcher, 44(3),151-160.
View additional resources on managing challenging conversations on the Padlet below
As so concisely stated in the UC Davis Just-In-Time Teaching Guide, "Creating inclusive spaces within the classroom is a vital enterprise that can help ensure that all students have equal opportunities to thrive."
Read this Tanner 2013 article on structuring the classroom.
Use the University of Michigan checklists as a guide to inclusive teaching principles.
The topic of race and racism with students can be uncomfortable- that's okay.
However, ignoring race and shying away from these conversations in the classroom can be harmful to marginalized students and faculty.
"Acknowledging the social construct of race and racism and the ideology of white supremacy recognizes the problem so that we are not harmful in our ignorance and so that, together, we can strive for solutions" (Dena Simmons).
Read Teaching Race, Racism, and Racial Justice: Pedagogical Principles and Classroom Strategies for Course Instructors by Harbin, et al. to gain an understanding of pedagogical principles, and for examples of course design strategies, and classroom practices.
Delve into the many resources in Vanderbilt University's Teaching Race: Pedagogy and Practice Guide.
For a deeper dive, explore the following eBbooks from the JWU Library: