Employing Pedagogies of Inclusion

Pedagogies of inclusion enable all students to feel known, seen, and valued to encourage learning and growth.

In What Inclusive Instructors Do, Addy, Dube, Mitchell & SoRelle (2021, chapters 3-5) propose that inclusive instructors:

  • Incorporate diverse content
  • Value student diversity
  • Encourage and create conditions for student engagement and participation
  • Set expectations and provide resources and rationale for success
  • Build positive relationships inside and outside the classroom
  • Provide welcome statements and/or videos
  • Engage with students inclusively (using names, waiting for responses in discussion, and calling on students equitably)
  • Provide a clearly organized and structured course
  • Consider the length and timing of assessments

Many of these strategies are important to clear course design, fostering belonging, and implementing UDL. That is to say, these are strategies that instructors may already be using, and can use them more intentionally and openly to cultivate inclusion.

Here are some other inclusive pedagogies:

Discussion protocols can deepen conversation and raise intellectual engagement. Professor Patricia Virella (Educational Leadership) offers rationale and strategies for using protocols to discuss equity.

Culturally responsive teaching (CRT) cultivates awareness of the identities and dynamics that shape educational experiences and impact learning, provide efficacious and responsive accommodations for equitable and optimal learning and assessment, and effectively leverages diversity in the course environment. A useful resource to begin with is available at New America. Gloria Ladson-Billings coined the term culturally relevant pedagogy in the 1990s and identified its three pillars: student learning, cultural competence, and sociopolitical consciousness. Developed for K-12 educators, the rationale remains applicable to higher education.

Anti-racist pedagogy involves questioning course materials for biases and opportunities for diverse representation. It also involves questioning assessment practices, offering students multiple forms of assessment, and also interrogates the processes of grades. Inoue (2015) exposes the potential for unintended racism in assessments.

Resources and References

Addy, T.M., Dube, D., Mitchell, K.A. & SoRelle, M.E. (2021). What Inclusive Instructors Do: Principles and Practices for Excellence in College Teaching. Stylus.

Inoue, Asao B. (2019). Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom. The WAC Clearinghouse; University Press of Colorado. https://doi.org/10.37514/PER-B.2019.0216.0

University of Birmingham. (2016). LGBTQ-Inclusivity in the Higher Education Curriculum: A Best Practice Guide.

Young, V. A. (2018). Should Writers Use They Own English? Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies, 12, 110–117. https://doi.org/10.17077/2168-569x.1095

For more information or help, please email the Office for Faculty Excellence or make an appointment with a consultant.

12.14.22 CK

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