Engaging Difference Summer Institute


University of Delaware Engaging Difference Summer Faculty Institute

The Summer Institute June 1-4, 2015

The Engaging Difference track of the UD Summer Faculty Institute, is designed to involve ten UD Faculty who are interested in learning about and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusive teaching practices in their classrooms, departments, and throughout the university. The Institute aims to enhance faculty knowledge of issues around diversity, power, and pedagogies that effectively and intentionally engage difference and include all learners. In addition, it will provide time and resources for faculty to create a useful classroom product.

Dr. Shaun Harper, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Shaun Harper, University of Pennsylvania

Apply for the Engaged Difference track: http://goo.gl/forms/02NADti7Le

This Institute follows three Engaging Difference Teaching and Learning Conversations (TLCs) throughout the spring semester. Participants will attend shared events such as keynote addresses, sessions, and meals with all faculty. They also will attend specific community and knowledge building sessions that will delve into specific issues of diversity, theories of learning and inclusion, and inclusive and equitable planning, teaching, and assessment techniques. Participants will also will enjoy an exclusive working session with keynote speaker, Dr. Shaun Harper.

Shaun R. Harper is on the faculty in the Graduate School of Education, Africana Studies, and Gender Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also serves as Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education. His research examines race and gender in education and social contexts, equity trends and racial climates on college campuses, Black and Latino male student success in high school and higher education, and college student engagement. Professor Harper has published 12 books and over 90 peer-reviewed journal articles and other academic publications.

Attendees will gain:

  • A deeper understanding of the educational value of diversity
    • issues that exclude learners and hinder the learning process
    • how diversity enhances critical thinking and creativity
    • how diversity helps with students’ ability to live in a diverse world
  • An understanding of a range of pedagogies that engage diverse learners
  • Knowledge of how to change classroom climate for better learning outcomes
  • An ability to adopt and apply strategies for engagement for one’s own setting
  • A product that is useful and usable

This specialized track will model the practices it seeks to teach by engaging participants in supportive and cooperative learning activities. It will culminate with each attendee creating a syllabus, set of assignments, and/or resources for professional development that help other faculty infuse inclusive pedagogies into new and existing courses.

Funding and Support

A stipend of $500 will be awarded at the completion of the institute and submission of completed project materials–syllabus, assignments, or professional development resources.


All full-time faculty are eligible for the Engaging Difference Summer Institute. Scholars may be from any academic discipline represented on the UD Newark campus.


A complete application package will include: (a) a clear description of a project the meeting_16-150p-01candidate will pursue during the institute and how the project will be assessed (b) the particular strengths the candidate brings to the project, and (c) evidence of the proposed project’s contributions to issues of diversity, inclusion, or equity in the classroom.

The following criteria will be used to determine the most successful applications:

  • Clarity of project description: Projects must have well-defined objectives and outcomes.
  • Contribution of project: The proposed project should make a contribution to student engagement and learning. It should seek to expand inclusive and equitable pedagogical practices.
  • Sustainability: Projects should provide provisions for ensuring that resources developed from the project will be well documented and shareable.

Applications can be submitted here: http://goo.gl/forms/02NADti7Le


Applications for the Engaging Difference will be accepted until April 30, 2015 May 15, 1015. For more information, please contact Cheryl Richardson at 302-831-2914 or email cherylrr@udel.edu.

Issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity

Teaching to engage diversity, to include all learners, and to seek equity is essential for preparing civically engaged adults and for creating a campus and society that recognizes the contributions of all people. Teaching for diversity refers to acknowledging a range of differences in the classroom. Teaching for inclusion signifies embracing difference. Teaching for equity allows the differences to transform the way we think, teach, learn and act such that all experiences and ways of being are handled with fairness and justice. These ideas complement each other and enhance educational opportunities for all students when simultaneously engaged. Three imperatives make it essential for us to actively practice teaching for diversity, inclusion, and equity:

  1. Difference is an essential part of our history and current reality. Dealing with human diversity and differential status is intractable in America due to our national history of racism and tensions between individual freedom and the common good.
  2. Difference is an unstoppable part of our future. Classrooms are increasingly diverse and demography assures that this trend will continue.
  3. Diversity and inclusion improve teaching and learning. People learn and enrich their abilities to think critically and creatively as they engage in conversations across difference, especially when all learners’ abilities and attributes and embraced.

There are local and national appeals to close achievement gaps among diverse learners and to promote tolerance and civility on college campuses. UD has begun to respond to these calls by increasing the racial and ethnic diversity of its classes, by establishing the Vice Provost for Diversity, and through the work of the Center for the Study of Diversity and student life offices. This Faculty Institute is focused on working with faculty by enhancing their knowledge of diversity and pedagogies that effectively and intentionally engage difference and seek equity.

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