Inclusive teaching refers to teaching which supports meaningful and accessible learning for students of all races, ethnicities, genders, socio-economic classes, sexualities, disability/ability statuses, religions, nationalities, ages, and military statuses. Teaching inclusively means celebrating the diverse strengths students and instructors bring to the learning environment, as well as recognizing how systems of power and privilege may play out in the classroom.
How to implement it
Inclusive teaching doesn’t occur automatically. It requires planning and promoting across a spectrum of teaching practices (from course design to assessment) with the aim of creating a learning environment in which all students can engage, regardless of discipline and course content.
Try the following steps to move towards more inclusive teaching:
- Design your course with inclusivity in mind: Include perspectives from groups traditionally absent in the field of study; this
gives a more accurate portrayal of an issue and communicates to students that multiple
views are valued.
- Maximize the different backgrounds/experiences of students: Not all students learn the same way; one of the best ways to know how to approach
students is to ask them what works best for them.
- Create a respectful and productive learning environment: Not all students are familiar with the institutional practices of the field or even
college itself; build a common vocabulary as a group, inviting questions and concerns
- Gather student feedback: Periodic check-ins with students help tailor the course to better fit their needs;
this can be feedback gathered regarding the scope of the entire class, specific lectures,
or even assignments and activities.
- Reflect on teaching practices: Self-assessment is critical to continuing to develop, refine, and improve teaching practice.
Inclusive Teaching Strategies, Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Washington
Cultural Variations in the Classroom, Carnegie Mellon University
Inclusive Strategies Reflection Checklist, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan
Setting the Tone for Inclusion, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan