Diversity and Inclusive Teaching
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:
- 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.
- Difference is an unstoppable part of our future. Classrooms are increasingly diverse and demography assures that this trend will continue.
- 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.
Inclusive teaching strategies are intended to ensure that all students feel supported such that they freely learn and explore new ideas, feel safe to express their views in a civil manner, and respected as individuals and members of groups. Intentionally incorporating inclusive teaching strategies helps students view themselves as people who belong to the community of learners in a classroom and university.
The University of Delaware has made Inclusive Excellence one of the 5 major priorities that inform our vision for the future of the University. CTAL is pleased to support all who teach at UD in their efforts to create learning environments where all students can succeed.
Learn more about UD’s
diversity and inclusion initiatives
and campus partners
- Engaging Your Students on Issues of Race and Supporting Student Outcomes
- Communicating through your syllabus: Statements to include
- Further Syllabus Statements for Difficult Dialogues in the Classroom (From Professors at Whitman College)
- Diversity and Equity in Learning (Inclusive Teaching Handout)
- Culturally Responsive Teaching
The Teaching Tolerance site provides classroom resources, articles, and digital content on issues of diversity and social justice. While the classroom materials are aimed at K-12 educators, many can be adapted for use in the college classroom.
Conversations across difference can be challenging for you and your students. Krista Tippet’s On Being radio program has many episodes that you can download as part of the Civil Conversations Project.
The Association of American Colleges & Universities has reports and articles related to diversity and higher education. These may be especially useful for chairs and program directors who are seeking strategies to support diversity initiatives within curricula broadly speaking.
University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching provides excellent resources on specific pedagogical issues related to teaching and diversity.
Books Available in CTAL’s Library:
- Adams, M., Bell, L., & Griffin, P. (2007, 2nd ed) Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice . New York: Routledge.
- Gay, G. (2010, 2nd ed.) Culturally Responsive Teaching: Theory, Research, and Practice. New York: Teachers College Press: New York.
- Ginsberg, M. & Wlodkowski, R. (2009) Diversity and Motivation: Culturally Responsive Teaching in College. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- Gross, B. (2009) Tools for Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
- hooks, b. (1994) Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. New York: Routledge.
- Ouellett, M. (2005) Teaching Inclusively: Resources for Course, Departments, and Institutional change in Higher Education. Stillwater, Ok: New Forums Press.
- Page, S. (2007) The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
- Steele, C. (2010) Whistling Vivaldi. New York: Norton.
- Sue, D.W. (2010) Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
- Yancy, G. and Davidson, M. (2014) Exploring Race in Predominantly White Classrooms : Scholars of Color Reflect. New York: Routledge.