Blog 2 – Inclusive Pedagogy

Fostering an environment that is inclusive and accepting for all generates a safer and more productive atmosphere for learning. Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique while inclusion refers to the behaviors and social norms that ensure people feel welcome (Source: https://builtin.com/diversity-inclusion). Diversity without inclusion does not work. If one does not create and maintain an equitable environment for all types of people, isolation, and exclusion occurs.

Before I came back to University to pursue my Ph.D. I was working in the industry for five years. I worked as a Human Factors analysis and we ran hundreds of studies to evaluate the usability of systems. Three years into my career I had a life-changing experience that changed me as a researcher. I was conducting a research study in Michigan with a coworker. We were halfway done running participants for our study. There comes a point after you run dozens of participants that the sessions become monotonous. You get into this pattern – a routine – and it becomes hard to break out of it. Right before our next session was set to start we received a call from the front desk that our next participant had arrived, and needed help getting out of his car. My coworker and I were confused so we both went to his car to help. When we arrived, Bob (not his real name) asked us to get his wheelchair out of the trunk and to physically lift him out of his car. He was a paraplegic who has paralysis in his lower body and limited motor capabilities in his left hand. We lifted the participant out of the car, into his wheelchair, and we headed to the testing room. The test was being conducted in a BUC, so we had to lift him out of his wheelchair into the BUC seat. He was required to use controls on the driver’s door during this study and he completed all tasks and provided us with excellent feedback. This was a life-changing moment for me because I feel like it woke me up as a researcher. Before meeting Bob, all the participants I had ever interviewed (I interviewed 1,500 different people at this point) did not have any type of physical disability and we (us researchers) considered them average users. I was so incredibly wrong, there is no such thing as an average user. We need to design and create systems to make interactions easy for any type of user. Especially as a Human Factors Engineer, it was my job to ensure I fixed these systems to be inclusive and accessible to all types of users. I felt like I failed, but it took me a few weeks to understand that I had to share this experience and ensure I continued to create systems that provide all people the opportunity to travel without barriers.

After this experience, I did a lot of research and began to take courses on Diversity and Inclusion. Over time and experience, I learned things to keep in mind to create an accepting environment. In order to create an inclusive atmosphere, several factors need to be considered. First is communication and the language you speak. Without communication, strategies for creating the most inclusive environment are not possible. However, the language we use makes a difference. For example, using people-first language. Make sure to put the person first, not the disability, so say “the person/child with a disability” not “disabled child”. Additionally, consider using words that are more inclusive of other people’s backgrounds. For example, instead of saying house, you can use house/apartment/where you call home, instead of Mom and Dad you can use parents/guardians/those who cared for you, and instead of a car you can use car/bus/train/means of transportation. Another factor is accessibility. Fun fact: revolving doors were made specifically for people who use a wheelchair, and currently it is so integrated into our everyday environment that the purpose is often unknown. One thing to keep in mind that many disabilities are hidden. One does not necessarily know what people go through and what they are comfortable sharing, so it is important to be proactive. Being proactive means checking that facilities are accessible, provide reasonable accommodations, and even when advertising for events or flyers ensure the information is clear, and easily understandable.

 

Ethics Blog Post

I reviewed a case summary about a doctor who charged with the misconduct of research conducted at a children’s hospital. The investigators found the researcher guilty of falsifying and fabricated data that was published in papers (one paper) and submitted in a few grant applications (four grant applications). Specifically, they “fabricated image data for enterobacterial infection-induced intestinal epithelial cell injury in a neonatal murine model to falsely represent results using images from unrelated experiments.” (The Office of Research Integrity, 2020).

As a result of this verdict, a settlement agreement was agreed to by the plaintiff and the defendant. This settlement included supervision of all research for four years, and the respondent must a plan of supervision for ORI approval prior to any participation in any proposed PHS supported the research. The supervision includes a committee for two to three faculty members who will provide oversight and guidance on all research (this committee excludes the respondent’s supervisor or any collaborators). The committee will be required to review all primary data ever quarter and submit a report to the ORI. Additionally, the committee will review all PHS applications and reports for any PHS sponsored research. The respondent must also provide ORI with a certification that the data presented in the reports is supported by the research record (The Office of Research Integrity, 2020).

Reflecting on this case, I feel that the ORI was not explicit enough in their case summary. For example, there are no guidelines listed on how the committee members are selected. They only state that the respondent’s supervisor or research collaborators cannot be the committee. But, there are no regulations on how many years of experience they have, if they are in the same place of work, or if they have any prior misconduct against them. Additionally, the settlement only requires the respondent to have an oversight committee, submit the work for review, and pledge their work is supported by the research record. However, there were no requirements for the respondent to work on themselves or any type of ethics course. Yes, it is important for the respondents to work to get reviewed. But, if they do not get help working on the reasons why they committed the misconduct from the beginning, I do not think the review of the work is enough. I personally think it is important to provide people with the opportunities to learn about their mistakes and educate themselves on why it is not acceptable and how to avoid repeating their mistakes again.

Works Cited

The Office of Research Integrity. (2020, July 7). Case Summary: Nemani, Prasadarao.

Blog Post 1 – Discovering your authentic teaching self

I have never really reflected on this idea of “who I want to be in the classroom”. I was raised to be a very empathetic person, but still, hold the structure in everything I do. I think that’s what I want to take with me. I think it is important to be able to place yourself in someone else’s shoes and think from their perspective. But, at some point, there needs to be a line and people need to be held accountable. The reading by Professor Fowler, made me reflect this when I got to the ‘Questions to answer for yourself’ section. I think by holding those values, that is how I stay genuine in the classroom.

 

When I was in middle school, I joined a technology-based club. I was the only girl out of 45 boys, but I loved building things, so I stayed. I entered the competition and ended up beating all of the boys who made fun of a little girl for joining “their” club. The reason I succeeded was because of a teacher who took me under his wing. He helped me, he taught me, and he guided me. The next year, I was able to recruit four other girls in my class to join the tech club and every year more girls would join. They saw my true passion for engineering, and I was able to teach others. At a very young age, I was able to mentor young girls and help them succeed. If it was not for my mentor, Mr. Gough, I would not have been able to do any of this. In the future, I would love to teach younger generations of future engineers. It would be a dream to continue the club that changed my life.

 

Also, in the reading, they discuss the ‘performance’ of teaching and adapting to acting techniques. I understand where they are coming from by engaging an audience and being able to tell a story. But, I do not necessarily agree with this. I feel like it could be ingenuine, and not resonate with the students. It becomes difficult to differ from being on in the classroom, to how you act outside of the classroom. If those personas do not align, the students can become distrustful. I think it is important to be your authentic, genuine self-inside, and outside of the classroom to create a productive learning environment.

Mission Statements Blog Post

Personal Reflection: Option 2

Mission statements from NOVA Southeastern University (Florida), and the University of San Diego (California) were selected. I selected these two mission statements because both statements outline their Mission, Core Values, and Community, as well as other similar components.

One reflection point is both mission statements discuss diversity but do not mention anything about inclusion. Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique while inclusion refers to the behaviors and social norms that ensure people feel welcome (reference:

https://builtin.com/diversity-inclusion). Diversity often fails when people of different backgrounds are no included in the environment. After people from different backgrounds are accepted into a place, they then become alienated, and over time the diversity falls apart. Creating inclusive environments for all types of people, provides acceptance, security, and a community for people. Inclusive environments are not only created through organizations, and events that groups of people create, but how we conduct ourselves, individual, as well. For example, avoid using labels, ensure accessibility is available to all, asses need prior to people’s arrivals, and positively acknowledge differences.

Another reflection point for both mission statements is there are no action-based statements. Throughout all sections of the mission statement, both universities make declarations about what their school strives for. These declarations discuss what these universities hope to achieve and the pillars they stand by. But, nowhere are any actionable items. Even throughout the website, there are no actionable statements of what they will do to achieve each of their core values.

 

NOVA Southeastern University

Vision, Mission, And Core Values – In pursuit of defining the Nova Southeastern University of tomorrow, President George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D. collaborated with faculty members, deans, staff, alumni, student leaders, community members, and the board of trustees to create a single-shared vision based on eight core values. The Vision 2020, Mission, and Core Values will collectively guide NSU into the future.

Vision 2020 – By 2020, through excellence and innovations in teaching, research, service, and learning, Nova Southeastern University will be recognized by accrediting agencies, the academic community, and the general public as a premier, private, not-for-profit university of quality and distinction that engages all students and produces alumni who serve with integrity in their lives, fields of study, and resulting careers.

Mission – The Mission of Nova Southeastern University, a private, not-for-profit institution, is to offer a diverse array of innovative academic programs that complement on-campus educational opportunities and resources with accessible distance learning programs to foster academic excellence, intellectual inquiry, leadership, research, and commitment to the community through engagement of students and faculty members in a dynamic, life-long learning environment.

Core Values

Academic Excellence – Academic excellence is the provision of the highest quality educational and learning experiences made possible by academically and professionally qualified and skilled instructional faculty and staff, opportunities for contextual learning, state-of-the-art facilities, beautiful surroundings, and effective resources necessary to support learning at the highest level. Additionally, academic excellence reflects the successful relationship between engaged learners and outstanding instructional faculty and staff.

Student-Centered – Students are the focus of institutional priorities, resource decisions, and planning. We are stewards of student needs and advocates for student academic success and professional development.

Integrity – Integrity involves honesty and fairness, consistency in instruction, ethics of scholarship, freedom of inquiry, and open and truthful engagement with the community through effective communication, policies, and practices.

Innovation – Innovation is the creative and deliberate application of teaching, research, scholarship, and service for effective education, and the development of useful products or processes providing a value-added to the community.

Opportunity – Opportunity fosters the possibility for anyone associated with NSU to acquire an education or an educational experience through creative, yet sound pedagogical programs.

Scholarship/Research – Research and scholarship products are disseminated and evaluated through intellectual discourse, application, assessment, and other mechanisms of the relevant peer community.

Diversity – Diversity includes, but is not limited to, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, philosophy, gender, physical, socioeconomic status, age, and sexual orientation. Differences in views, interpretations, and reactions derived from diversity are important. Diversity enriches a learning environment focused on preparing individuals to live and work in a global society.

Community – NSU is a community of faculty staff, students, and alumni that share a common identity and purpose who engages with the university’s external community through diverse services, clinical programs, and community-based research and resources. Our community extends into professional, intellectual, as well as geographical domains that both support and are the focus of our educational mission.

 

University of San Diego

Vision – The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges.

Mission – The University of San Diego is a Roman Catholic institution committed to advancing academic excellence, expanding liberal and professional knowledge, creating a diverse and inclusive community, and preparing leaders who are dedicated to ethical conduct and compassionate service.

The Core Values – The University of San Diego expresses its Catholic identity by witnessing and probing the Christian message as proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church. The university promotes the intellectual exploration of religious faith, recruits persons and develops programs supporting the university’s mission, and cultivates an active faith community. It is committed to the dignity and fullest development of the whole person. The Catholic tradition of the university provides the foundation upon which the core values listed below support the mission.

Academic Excellence – The University pursues academic excellence in its teaching, learning, and research to serve the local, national and international communities. The University possesses the institutional autonomy and integrity necessary to uphold the highest standards of intellectual inquiry and academic freedom.

Knowledge – The University advances intellectual development; promotes democratic and global citizenship; cultivates an appreciation for beauty, goodness, and truth; and provides opportunities for the physical, spiritual, emotional, social, and cultural development of students. The University provides professional education grounded in these foundations of liberal learning while preparing students to understand complex issues and express informed opinions with courage and conviction.

Community – The University is committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive, and collaborative community accentuated by a spirit of freedom and charity and marked by protection of the rights and dignity of the individual. The University values students, faculty, and staff from different backgrounds and faith traditions and is committed to creating an atmosphere of trust, safety, and respect in a community characterized by a rich diversity of people and ideas.

Ethical Conduct – The University provides a values-based education that informs the development of ethical judgment and behavior. The University seeks to develop ethical and responsible leaders committed to the common good who are empowered to engage a diverse and changing world.

Compassionate Service – The University embraces the Catholic moral and social tradition by its commitment to serve with compassion, to foster peace, and to work for justice. The University regards peace as inseparable from justice and advances education, scholarship, and service to fashion a more humane world.