Inclusive Teaching

Published in To Improve the Academy


Afolayan, Johnson A. The Implication of Cultural Diversity in American Schools. To Improve the Academy. 1994; 13: p 135-146.

The purpose of this article is to analyze the major factors responsible for the cultural diversity in America and their implications for professional educators. These factors include immigration, communication, linguistic diversity, cultural values, and desegregation. While some educators look to the demographics of the new student population, others consider historical clues as a method of understanding American diversity. Statistics about school achievement and dropout and graduation rates show the disparity among the ethnic groups. The new immigrants and ethnic groups may experience conflict as a result of cultural attitudes of teachers and peers. Individuals cannot be understood unless they are seen against the cultural history from which they have come and in terms of the situation in which they currently live. Because of the diversity in the American population, educators need to be sensitive to the cultural elements that may affect students' performance and self-esteem.

Awbrey, Susan M.; Scott, David K. Knowledge Into Wisdom: Incorporating Values and Beliefs to Construct a Wise University. To Improve the Academy. 1994; 13: p 161-176 Read more »

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When instructors strive to create inclusive college classrooms, they need to consider multiple factors, including course content, class preparation, their own classroom behavior, and their knowledge of students’ backgrounds and skills. The articles in this section offer concrete strategies to address these factors and improve the learning climate for all students.


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Adams, Maurianne; Bell, Lee Anne 1949; Griffin, Patricia S. (eds.). Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice: A sourcebook. New York: Routledge; 1997.

This edited volume provides strong and detailed attention to three critical areas of teaching for diversity and social justice: theoretical foundations and frameworks that guide pedagogical practice, curriculum designs to address six social justice issues (racism, sexism, heterosexism, anti-Semitism, ableism, and classism), and an overview of intra- and interpersonal as well as group dynamics that are relevant to social justice education (“Knowing Ourselves as Instructors,” “Knowing Our Students,” and “Facilitating Social Justice Education Courses”).

Fiol-Matta, Liza; Chamberlain, Mariam K. (eds.). Women of Color and the Multicultural Curriculum: Transforming the College Classroom. 1994: The Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 311 East 94th St., New York, NY 10128.

Note: 390 pp.

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Anderson, James A. Cognitive Styles and Multicultural Populations. Journal of Teacher Education. 1988; 38: pp. 1-8.

Differentiates between western and nonwestern worldviews and field-dependent and field-independent learning styles and how they relate to writing styles, classroom learning, and communication.

Bean, Martha S.; Kumaravadivelu, B.; Lowenberg, Peter H. Students as Experts: Tapping the cultural and linguistic diversity of the classroom. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching. 1995; 6(2): 99-112.

The challenges of the increasingly diverse U.S. college classroom may at first seem problematic. However, when educators become aware of the broad range of cultural and linguistic behaviors that can inform their particular classroom culture, areas in which students are expert, they can not only defuse incipient tensions but also experience such diversity as a rich resource for alternative models of teaching and learning. The dynamics of the culturally diverse classroom are outlined, and strategies are proposed for reducing miscommunication and expanding understanding of different educational practices and varieties of English that may emerge in the classroom.

Brown, Brenda Gabioud. Pedagogical Reality. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. 1994 Mar. Read more »

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Co-sponsored by Rackham School of Graduate Studies, CRLT, and The Program on Intergroup Relations, this series of six three-hour workshops provides foundational knowledge and practice in using a variety of models of group facilitation and dialogue for classroom settings. The program is usually offered once a year during Fall Term.

The program as a whole emphasizes interactive exercises, with the directors modeling and debriefing many strategies designed to elicit and engage participants in numerous forms of multicultural dynamics. The directors provide “mini-lectures” to frame exercises, lead discussions designed to elucidate core principles of multicultural teaching, and lead debriefing sessions about the goals and applications of facilitation techniques. Participants also receive short readings, handouts, templates for facilitation. Each session concludes by reviewing the mechanics of facilitation used during that afternoon.

The program is intended for GSIs who are teaching multicultural content, who want to enhance their ability to engage their students' social backgrounds, or who want to enhance their ability to teach students to work productively with diverse others. Participants will provide a brief statement of purpose before the start of the program. They will receive a certificate of training after completing all six sessions; no partial credit is available.

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