Inclusive teaching is a method for enhancing instruction to meet the increasingly diverse student populations within higher education. The linguistic diversity both on our campus and in the region, make this practice especially important. The aim is to create a classroom environment in which the default approach is accessible to any student. This differs from traditional pedagogy in that educators assume a wide range of student needs and skills. Course materials are developed with this in mind. Through inclusive teaching, we improve the quality of education for all students. Many of the insights shared in the Faculty section of this website were developed by Gail Shuck, Coordinator of the English Language Support Program at Boise State University. Our thanks to Dr. Shuck and Boise State University.
So what might inclusiveness mean for higher education? According to the Association of American Colleges and Universities, inclusiveness in higher education strives to promote:
“The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity – in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect – in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge,cognitive sophistication, and empathetic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions.”
Why Inclusive Teaching Matters
Inclusive teaching serves our student population better. Not only does it help to make quality education accessible to our multilingual student population, it helps many other students at intersections of disadvantage. Furthermore, linguistically inclusive teaching helps faculty develop into better educators, as many of the changes made to the teaching practice benefit many students. You can learn more about how being inclusive will improve your overall teaching practice by reading “What I Learned From My International Students” from The Chronicle of Higher Education.
To learn more about how inclusive teaching works, visit the National Center on Universal Design for Learning. Their short video, UDL At A Glance, explains the purpose behind inclusive teaching and how it serves to benefit all students.
Getting Started With Inclusive Teaching
Building an inclusive course can be a challenging. But you are not alone! Contact the English Language Support Center to learn about workshops and one-on-one appointments that can help you get started.
Additional Resources for Inclusive Teaching
- Universal Design for Learning – A podcast episode by Teaching in Higher Ed.
- Thomas, Cornell. Inclusive Teaching: Presence in the Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2014. Print.
- Bean, John. Engaging Ideas. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2011. Print.
- S. Shapiro, R. Farrelly, and Z. Tomas. Fostering International Student Success in Higher Education Virginia: TESOL Press, 2014. Print.