In alignment with Brandeis University’s Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Violence, the Heller School endorses a broad definition of diversity reflective of differences that include, but are not limited to:
This is not an exhaustive list, but is a good place to start as you think about ways to create more inclusive teaching and learning environments that can result in a transformative classroom experience for both the instructor and the student.
Self-Reflection - the examination of and attention to our own ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
Our upbringing and personal experiences inform our actions, values, beliefs, and assumptions and can shape our perceptions and expectations of others. This first part of the Multicultural Teaching and Learning project asks you to examine the ideas, thoughts, and feelings you have internalized and how they relate to engaging with diverse populations, sources, and materials, both in- and outside the classroom. Taking time to self-reflect can help you to:
This project gives all of us the opportunity to pause and reexamine how power, privilege, supremacy, oppression, and equity impacts us, our teaching practices, our students and their work. We can then turn a critical eye to readings and assignments we include in our courses to ensure that materials reflect a diversity of thought and experience. Together, we will create learning environments in which all students feel like they belong.
“[W]hen students are able to see themselves represented in course content and discussion, it signals to them that their identities (such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, immigration status, and disability) are valued and respected in the classroom.” [University of Utah, Developing an Inclusive Syllabus].
Some reflection questions to consider as you think about your syllabus:
From Tufts University: The Syllabus as a Tool for Setting a Climate
From The University of Kansas: Creating an Inclusive Syllabus