Inclusive teaching practices improve student success metrics and help each student feel welcomed, valued, heard, and supported. While these strategies help all students succeed in their learning, they are especially important for the success of students from minoritized backgrounds (e.g., students with a range of abilities, students of color, English language learners, etc.) and can help close equity gaps in student success.1 To build off of the Equity in the Classroom statewide event, we are sharing innovative practices for inclusive teaching within three core areas, below.
Toolkit of Inclusive Teaching Practices:
We all receive cues about whether or not we belong in a particular space, community, or environment. These cues can come from someone’s body language or tone of voice. They can come from imagery that shows the type of people who belong within the space (e.g., white women depicted in nursing textbooks) or the types of resources that are available (e.g., welding equipment that only fits male students). Ultimately, these cues and our sense of belonging affects our behavior, happiness, health, well-being, and performance. Thus, to help our students succeed, we need to foster belonging across our campuses and in our classrooms.
To learn more about two steps you can take to help foster belonging, see the Foster Belonging page.
Engage Growth Mindsets
Mindsets fall along a spectrum from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Students with a fixed mindset view intelligence and academic achievement as something that they are born with that does not change, whereas students with a growth mindset believe that they can improve their mastery of a subject by engaging in the material and their learning. These differences in mindsets shape student success. Students with growth mindsets perform better in school and even have greater brain activity when receiving feedback on their academic work. Fortunately, mindsets are malleable, and incorporating lessons about mindsets in class can help encourage growth mindsets in your students (Mindset Kit, PERTS).
To learn more about two steps you can take to help engage growth mindsets, see the Engage Growth Mindsets page.
Employ Universal Design for Learning
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) focuses on providing multiple accessible ways and modes for students to engage in class. Whereas traditionally, educators react and respond to accommodations requests to adapt course material, this UDL framework is proactive in that the course is designed to be accessible for all kinds of learners. No matter who the students are and what accommodations they may or may not need, they can engage in the class and demonstrate their learning in a way that best suits their needs. In addition, this course design helps all learners. For example, providing transcripts of recorded lessons for hearing impaired students, also allows all students to easily search transcripts using key words to find content that they need to review.
To learn more about a few steps you can take to implement UDL, see the Employ Universal Design for Learning page.
For more information, see:
- WTCS System-wide Equity Report
- 60 Forward resources & youtube channel of WTCS videos on diversity, equity and inclusion
- Inclusive Classroom Strategies Webinars (delivered Fall 2020)
- Equity in Higher Education: Seeing You, Understanding Each Other, and Creating Equitable Opportunities
- Diversity in Children’s Literature
- Humanizing the Migrant Experience Through Culturally Competent Approaches in First Year Writing
- Infographics and Intersectionality: Promoting Equity and Inclusion in the Introduction to Sociology Classroom
- Community through the Camera Lens
- Adapting Equity Projects to the Virtual Environments
External toolkits, webinars and resources on inclusive teaching
- Teaching Tolerance and the Equity Matters webinar series (developing empathy, confronting implicit bias, equity literacy)
- Equity Toolkit from Colorado
- Inclusive Teaching Practices Toolkit from the Association of College and University Educators
- Creating Inclusive College Classrooms from the Center for Research on Learning & Teaching at the University of Michigan
- Eliminating Barriers through Culturally Responsive Teaching from National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity
- The Center for Universal Design in Education from the University of Washington
- Reflecting on your practice: Applying inclusive teaching principles assessment from the Center for Research on Learning & Teaching at the University of Michigan
For questions, please contact:
- Faculty Quality Assurance System (FQAS) and Professional Development Education Directors:
- Disability and Student Services:
- Instructional Services: