Inclusive teaching refers to a variety of teaching approaches that strive to address the needs of all students. Inclusive teaching provides a learning experience that allows students from all backgrounds, learning styles and abilities to be successful. Inclusive teaching strategies contribute to an inclusive learning environment in which all students feel equally valued. Inclusivity in the classroom implies that the classroom environment is one in which all students feel that their contributions and perspectives are equally valued and respected (Cal Poly).
Set Ground Rules
Establish ground rules for discussions with your students using a Libby Roderick “Start Talking” strategy that involves students in the development and implementation of the discussion rules.
Make it Personal
Provide opportunities for students to share their own experiences and perspectives. Students learn from each other and the various perspectives and existing knowledge their fellow students bring to the table. Activities such as a fishbowl activity or reverse circle discussion activity can encourage and direct these challenging conversations.
Include various perspectives
Include content from multiple perspectives in the course. As much as possible provide content from diverse perspectives or created by individuals from differing backgrounds.
Know your students
Get to know your students. Invest time to focus on getting to know your students. The impact may surprise you. The simple gesture of addressing a student by their name demonstrates care and concern. You can do this through icebreakers [link to list of icebreakers in FYFTA and group activities.
Watch for problematic assumptions
Problematic assumptions and implicit biases can manifest themselves in the classroom. Developing awareness of the assumptions and biases can help develop a positive classroom
- Beyond the Podium Podcast: Building an Inclusive Classroom
- Beyond the Podium Podcast: Rising Above Adversity
- Center for Teaching (Vanderbilt University): Increasing Inclusivity in the Classroom
- Center For Teaching Excellence (Cornell University): Inclusive Teaching Strategies
- Center for Teaching and Learning (Columbia University): Guide for Inclusive Teaching at Columbia
- Andrew Hibel and Dr. Shari Saunders (HigherEd Jobs): Creating Respect in a Diverse Classroom
- Carl Moore (Teaching in HigherEd): Proactive Inclusivity Podcast (27:49)
- American Association of Colleges and Universities: Reconsidering the Inclusion of Diversity in the Curriculum
- American Council on Education: Does Diversity Make a Difference? (pdf)
- Enrica Hubbs & Michelle Hibl (2012): Inclusion, and Cultural Awareness for Classroom and Outreach Education (pdf)
- Kimberle Crenshaw (TED Talk): The Urgency of Intersectionality
- Saleem Reshamwala (NYTimes): Peanut Butter, Jelly and Racism (2:26)