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Distributed on Friday, October 18, 2019.

What is Inclusive Teaching? 

Inclusive teaching is a variety of teaching methods that create an educational environment in which all learners receive equal access and feel valued. To create that kind of supportive and inclusive educational environment, the instructors and students work together closely.  This allows the student’s own uniqueness to change their way of learning. Self-awareness is a key starting point of inclusive teaching. 

Cornell Center for Teaching Innovation posted useful questions to get the foundational concept of inclusive teaching strategies:

  • How might your own cultural-bound assumptions influence your interactions with students?
  • How might the backgrounds and experiences of your students influence their motivation, engagement, and learning in your classroom?
  • How can you modify course materials, activities, assignments, and/or exams to be more accessible to all students in your class?

Why should we use inclusive Teaching Strategies? 

Karten J. T (2015) introduced the “Affective Comparison” activity in order to respond to the above-stated questions from the Cornell Center for Teaching Innovation.

Here is an example of “Affective Comparison”:

  • Think of a time when you were excluded from an academic or social activity as a child or an adult and write down in an “exclusion column” your emotions you had as a result.
  • Now, think of a time of a time when you were included or allowed to participate with others, and list those emotions in the “inclusion column.” 
  • The list of your emotions will help you to sense and understand students’ feelings about the classroom and school who might have similar exclusionary emotions. At the same time, to think about how learning can happen while experiencing those exclusionary emotions. 

How to design Inclusive Teaching Strategies? 

Two different categories were classified by the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning (YCTL):

  • Incorporating diverse perspectives into course content by expanding reading lists beyond white authors, offering various ethnic and racial perspectives in case studies, ensuring PowerPoints and lecture examples offer a variety of human examples, and avoiding tokenizing particular individuals, students, or representations.
  • Creating an inclusive classroom climate where all students are encouraged to participate, by learning about students’ backgrounds and tailoring approaches, accordingly, establishing ground rules for discussing controversial issues, and developing (and helping students develop) deeper racial and socioeconomic awareness.

Based on research, the YCTL introduces 9 recommendations on Inclusive Teaching Strategies. The instruction on implementation is explained alongside with each recommendation.

References:

Cornell Center for Teaching Innovation (website)

Georgetown University - The Teaching Commons (website) 

Karten, T. J. (Ed.). (2010). Inclusion strategies that work!: Research-based methods for the classroom. Corwin Press.

Yale Center for Teaching and Learning (website)