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Diversifying Course Content and Pedagogy

Resources to support faculty who would like to make their course reading lists and teaching practices more inclusive.


Much of the content on this guide was originally developed by a team of librarians, Heller students, the Executive Director of the Center for Teaching & Learning, and the Associate Dean of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, and Director of Institute on Assets and Social Policy, including:

  • Francis Ojok, COEX, Heller School for Social Policy and Management
  • Pierrce Holmes, MPP'22, Heller School for Social Policy and Management
  • Abigail Sherburne, Social Impact MBA, Heller School for Social Policy and Management
  • Sandra Jones, PhD, Executive Director, Global Programs, Heller School for Social Policy and Management
  • Maria Madison, Associate Dean of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, and Director of Institute on Assets and Social Policy, Heller School for Social Policy and Management
  • Mary-Ann Winkelmes, Executive Director, Center for Teaching and Learning 

While the Heller Syllabi Project is still underway, we wanted to make these resources available to faculty heading into the Spring 2021 semester. 

Content from this guide has been adapted, with permission, from guides Tufts University's Ginn Library and the University of Minnesota Libraries.

How to Use this Guide

A course syllabus is the foundation of a transformative classroom experience for both the instructor and the students.  Course materials that reflect a diversity of thought and experience can lead to robust discussions and a deeper understanding of learning objectives.

It can be challenging to navigate the many articles, books, and multimedia options to ensure your syllabus has an inclusive and varied representation of perspectives. As you begin the process of exploring new course materials, consider the following reflection questions and equity-minded teaching practices.

Library Resources

Brandeis Library is here to support your teaching, and we strive to develop collections that support the curriculum of the University.  As you consider diversifying your syllabi, please suggest additions to our collections.

Subject specialist librarians are available through Brandeis Library to work with you on search strategies and to help you obtain the materials you've selected.

Whether you are creating a course from scratch or revising an existing course, we are here to support you as you design a more diverse and inclusive syllabus. 

The lists below points to some of our library databases which include content from underrepresented groups or locations. This does not represent the extent of our collections; you may want to browse our full list of databases to find sources in a specific area.  

Library Databases which index research about underrepresented groups

Examples of Library Databases that include perspectives from underrepresented groups

Content & Tools for Broader Representation on Your Syllabus