Inclusive and Equitable Teaching Approaches

button link for diversity equity and inclusion page link for for inclusive teaching challenge

CTE encourages all instructors to take inspiration from our Inclusive Teaching Showcase (which highlights the work of Duquesne faculty across multiple schools and centers) as well as participate in our monthly Inclusive Teaching Challenge featured in the newsletters (DORI log-in required). More concrete first steps can be found in our Inclusive Syllabus Design guide. There are also a wealth of internal and external resources that can be found on our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page.

Inclusive teaching practices such as representative reading lists, diverse assignments, and engaged perspective taking are central to fostering universal student engagement and developing rich learning environments. More and more fields of study are recognizing the value of being able to appeal to and engage with all forms of the human condition which leads to the implementation of many inclusive teaching practices. This shift in diversifying course content and teaching approaches is also tied to the realization that today's global environment demands a higher level of cultural fluency, as well as the need to foster more diverse participation in each field so as to expand this cultural fluency from within.

It's important to realize that any topic can and should be revised to be as inclusively engaging as possible. José Antonio Bowen wrote an article for Inside Higher Ed (2021) discussing inclusive approaches to teaching hard sciences that also includes five guiding concepts for making any class more inclusive. Stated briefly here in summary, those five concepts are:

  • Fostering a sense of belonging in both the field of study and your classroom/university.
  • Transparency in course expectations via thorough rubrics and assignment guidelines.
  • Framing your discipline as engaged with the everyday real lived world through examples or creative assignments.
  • Use of scaffolding in your assignments to help students identify common pitfalls and areas for growth early on in your courses.
  • Be a role model for the change you know your discipline and community needs -- it is worthwhile to talk about your own shortcomings and failures here! We're all human and make mistakes or have blindspots, but the goal of educators is to never stop improving. Share with your students and your peers what that growth looks like for you.

In addition to Bowen's article and the resources linked above, here are some suggestions for further reading: