Inclusive Teaching & Learning in the Classroom
“We believe that inclusion and diversity are fundamental to the success of the university…
we strive to nurture a culture of inclusion that respects the humanity of all peoples.”
– Office for Inclusive Excellence (OIE)
As our campuses become increasingly diverse, many higher education institutions are promoting inclusive teaching strategies to support learning for all students. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical values in education, but they must also be supported by a commitment to action. The majority of bias incidents reported to the Office for Inclusive Excellence (OIE) are located in the classroom. The Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence (CTLE) and OIE are dedicated to engaging with faculty and instructors on creating inclusive classrooms, while simultaneously respecting academic freedom.
This website is intended to be an evolving and active space for faculty and instructors to access a range of educational resources around inclusive teaching and learning in the classroom.
The Office for Inclusive Excellence also offers extensive resources around issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in this Educational Resource Toolkit.
Our working definition of inclusive teaching
Inclusive teaching involves intentionally creating an equitable classroom environment that actively engages all students in meaningful and relevant learning, values the contributions of students’ diverse backgrounds, and acknowledges systemic and institutional challenges.
Principles and strategies of inclusive teaching
- Inclusive teaching is a mindset and continually evolving process.
- Classroom environment impacts student learning as much as academic content.
- Diversity of perspectives provides a more enriched educational experience.
- Many consider inclusive teaching to be synonymous with excellent teaching.
Students experience positive learning outcomes and are more willing to participate in the classroom when:
- They are given opportunities to learn from each other’s diverse backgrounds.
- They feel a sense of belonging, and that their identities are valued in the classroom.
- They can connect course content to their lived experiences and prior knowledge.
- Instructors and students engage in self-reflection.
- Instructors and students have awareness of social and systemic inequities that affect students’ educational experiences.
Inclusive classrooms are supported when instructors:
- Incorporate diverse content and perspectives into courses.
- Maintain high expectations for all students.
- Use multiple methods of instruction and engagement.
- Seek and providing student feedback.
- Integrate transparent expectations, learning outcomes and assessment.
- Create accessible course and classroom design.
- Be prepared to facilitate challenging discussions in the classroom.
- Diversity & Complexity in the Classroom (University of California, Berkeley)
- How to Make Your Teaching More Inclusive (Chronicle of High Education)
- Inclusive Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: A Synthesis of Research (EvidenceNet)
- Inclusive Teaching Blog (Saint Louis University)
- Increasing Inclusivity in the Classroom (Vanderbilt University)
- Guide for Inclusive Teaching at Columbia (Columbia University)
- The Case for Inclusive Teaching (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
- University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT). For information about the research behind these strategies, see http://crlt.umich.edu/node/90467.