Inclusive and equitable teaching is essential to the University's mission to welcome all and exclude none. Understanding key terms is essential to fostering learning environments where all students experience a sense of belonging. The definitions below are drawn from the books What Inclusive Instructors Do (2021) and Inclusive Teaching: Strategies for promoting Equity in the College Classroom (2022). CTE encourages instructors to serve to reflect on the ways these principles form a foundation upon which to build diverse, equitable, and inclusive teaching practices. 

Diversity acknowledges differences between learners, with respect to various aspects of their social identities, perspectives, educational experiences, and other characteristics. Diversity alone does not lead to equity or inclusion. 

Equity
takes differences into account in order to help all learners succeed. It involves identifying sytems and structures that acts as barriers inhibiting certain learners more than others. Equitable learning experiences provide all learners with access, support, and opportunities to be challenged and succeed. 

Inclusion 
occurs when all learners feel welcome, valued, and safe to engage in the learning environment. Inclusion is intentionally cultivated with deliberate actions.  

 

Resources for Inclusive Teaching

Resources for teaching inclusively and equitably

Resources for inclusive and equitable teaching are available through CTE. You can 

Several centers and programs can provide resources for you and your students. The list below is not exhaustive, but provides a few resources to explore.  

The Center for Excellence in Diversity and Student Inclusion

Center for Women and Gender Studies

Office for Military and Veteran Students

University Counseling and Wellbeing Center

Disability Services

 

DEI Statement

CTE takes pride in contributing to the university's Spiritan mission of providing education as an enriching experience for all members of our community. CTE's commitment to fostering the development of the whole person means that our definition of diversity is intentionally fluid so as to allow for continued expansion and inclusion of all identities. That said, it is worth acknowledging that our definition of diversity currently includes (but is not limited to): race, ethnicity, color, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, class, religion, disability, age, military status, visa status, economic status, geographic location, language/linguistic ability, neurodivergence, and current/past involvement with justice systems. It is also important to note the complexities of identity that emerge when multiple diversity aspects intersect.

The staff at CTE consistently work toward developing and maintaining an acute awareness of our own personal identities and how those identities have informed our approach to experiences, situations, and other individuals. At CTE, we believe that understanding who we are (our historical social context, values, goals, and biases) informs every aspect of the teaching and professional development in our educational environment. As such, we encourage all instructors and students to reflect on their own context and positionality as well so that they can work toward addressing and eliminating (intentional and/or unintentional) endangering behaviors that imperil the richness that diversity can, and does, provide classrooms and departments.

CTE also recognizes the historical lack of diversity that has troubled universities, including our own, for too long. Interconnected with discussions of diversity, equity, and inclusion is a trauma-informed approach to education and learning environments. Trauma, defined broadly, is any event that causes bodily, emotional, mental, or spiritual harm and/or heightened distress. However, trauma is not limited to singular events like a car crash or the loss of a loved one; trauma can also be induced incrementally over time. Every person processes life's events differently due to a variety of factors, this means there is no way to put limits around "what counts as trauma." Consequently, trauma is whatever an individual reports as traumatizing. Many individuals are impacted by the cultural trauma of racism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and other forms of prejudice. Being aware of this trauma and creating educational spaces that can carefully and empathetically address and move through traumatizing content is central to creating inclusive learning environments that allow the diversity of each whole person's lived experiences to flourish through deep and meaningful engagements with course content. It is just as necessary to create these healthy and informed learning experiences for students as well as for ourselves and our peers.

Additional Resources

Explore these online resources to foster diverse, equitable, and inclusive teaching practices.

How to Make Your Teaching More Inclusive

This comprehensive guide from the Chronicle of Higher Ed offers a road map to make sure your classroom interactions and course design reach all students, not just some of them.

Reflecting on Your Practice

This resource from the University of Michigan's Center for Research on Learning & Teaching was designed to help instructors reflect on equity-focused teaching practices in order to reinforce practices already in use and identify new ones for exploration. It can be used for different modalities.

Disability Language Guide

Because words matter, this language and style guide can help instructors make sense of the terminology around ability and disability.

Working with Neurodiverse Students

The Neurodiversity Hub provides a range of resources to support neurodivergent students. The site provides information for faculty, staff, and students on a wide range of topics.