EDI Book Club Discussion Ch 15: Is your Teaching Inclusive

Chapter 15 of Equity and Inclusion in Higher Education focuses on how individual instructors can assess their own teaching practices in order to decide where and how they can become teachers that are more inclusive.

Hu and Deramu note that while a need for inclusive practices is noted in much of the literature about serving students who are systemically marginalized, and that studies show that there are many benefits, both socially and educationally, for students who learn in spaces and classes that center diversity. However, as Hu and Deramu note, many professional learning opportunities related to inclusive teaching are specific strategies that don’t present an overall understanding of what it means to be an inclusive teacher. Hu and Deramu turn to the Quality Matters Rubric and the set of professional learning opportunities and practices that surround the rubric. As the authors note, follow-up studies on the effectiveness of the rubric show that the processes tied to it lead to better learning outcomes for students. For that reason, Hu and Deramu argue that a rubric for inclusive teaching is needed. They share a version of that rubric in the chapter and on the books’ companion open access website.

The general standards of the rubric include:

  1. Faculty Awareness

  2. Learning Environment

  3. Course Overview and Syllabus

  4. Instructional Materials

  5. Assessment

  6. Institutional Strategies

This tool was designed as both a personal assessment and as an institutional tool for developing professional learning. In our discussion, we will focus on how this rubric might be applicable in our institutional and personal contexts.

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Here are some questions that we would love some community discussion about:

  • How do we differentiate between the individual need to change (critical self-reflection) and the community (institutional, group) need to change?
  • The chapter suggests setting group norms as a way to build inclusive learning environments. What other ways might you accomplish this?
  • What are some ways to have an inclusive, welcoming course overview without overwhelming students or losing the attention of students who feel confident in the learning situation?
  • Adapting, adopting, creating, and revising learning materials to be more inclusive is a key element to the practice of open education. What are ways that we can empower and incentivize people who want to diversify their instructional materials?
  • How have you assessed your students with diverse ethnicities, genders, and cultures?
  • How can you take what we read about in this book into your professional practice this academic year?
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