Learning & Teaching Topics
Meeting Diverse Student Needs
Dimensions of Diversity:
- Physical attributes
- Family educational background
- Past educational experiences
- Abilities and disabilities
- Learning styles
- Geographical – regional origin
- Religious belief
- Political opinion
- Sexual orientation
- English as a Second Language
- International student status
- Economic diversity
- Veterans status
Inclusive Teaching Strategies:
- Treat students as individuals and not representatives of a particular group.
- Respect varying communication styles. Realize that certain students are often overshadowed in the classroom as a result of communication differences rather than lack of knowledge.
- Notice how you address different groups of students (by first name, last name, etc.); strive for consistency.
- Do not allow inappropriate (sexist, racist, homophobic, etc.) comments to go unaddressed.
- Reflect diversity in course materials (such as gender-neutral textbooks) and use class examples that feature diverse people. If there are inequities in your examples (including visual examples), be sure to explain the reasons for these inequities.
- When using role-playing activities, take precautions against stereotypes and assumptions.
- When students work in groups, insist that each group be as heterogeneous as possible, even if students choose their own groups.
- Encourage students to sit next to people they do not know. Allow two to three minutes for students to introduce themselves.
- Make sure all members of a group presentation have speaking parts. Allow rotating leadership of groups so no one person or group dominates.
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Association of American Colleges and Universities. (2009). Diversity Web: An Interactive Resource Hub for Higher Education. Retrieved April 2, 2009, from Diversity Web Web site: http://www.diversityweb.org/
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University of Washington. (2008) Perspectives: What Excludes Students? Retrieved April 4, 2009, from CIDR Web: Inclusive Teaching Web site: http://depts.washington.edu/cidrweb/inclusive/condescend.html#faculty
University of Washington. (2008) Strategies for Inclusive Teaching. Retrieved April 4, 2009, from CIDR Web: Inclusive Teaching Web site: http://depts.washington.edu/cidrweb/inclusive/strategies.html
University of Washington. (2008) Inclusive Teaching Resources. Retrieved April 4, 2009, from CIDR Web: Inclusive Teaching Web site: http://depts.washington.edu/cidrweb/inclusive/resources.html