Inclusive Pedagogy

Inclusive pedagogy is not necessarily a term that I believe most people are familiar with. In a previous class, I had to do more research to figure out what exactly this referred to and there are actually several definitions. Essentially it refers to the fair and equal education of all individuals. Creating spaces for inclusive pedagogy means addressing issues of race and implicit biases.

“In order to have a conversation about race, we have to be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that we sometimes make assumptions about people based on how they look.”

We must first be able to discuss our own privilege and biases before we can expect others to do the same. Some classes do not always provide this opportunity, but in order to learn from one another; these tough conversations need to be had. Even if a course does not specifically relate to diversity and inclusion there should be a component that addresses inclusive pedagogy. As educators, we should make it clear in a class syllabus, committees, or other areas of engagement by establish environments of mutual respect.

In my personal opinion, individuals cannot complain about the lack of understanding and diversity if we do not take ownership for the roles we play as bystanders. A cycle of ignorance is perpetuated when nothing is done to create learning opportunities. While education is not the only field that requires these discussions, hopefully graduating students will have a more inclusive perspective in their careers and lives.

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9 Responses to Inclusive Pedagogy

  1. sevda says:

    Thanks for the post, Heather.
    As you said, “We must first be able to discuss our own privilege and biases before we can expect others to do the same”. Because correcting somebody else’s fault is easier than our own ones. And if we can face with ours, then we can start to right communication with other people to make changes. First, we should realize and face our own situation.

  2. Hana Lee says:

    Thank you for your post. I agree what you pointed out here. As you mentioned that education is not the only field that requires these discussions, I believe that it cannot be achieved without changing individuals’ thought throughout whole society because it’s a part of it. I guess that it is a good point to start to aware of privilege and biases.

  3. Selva M says:

    Thanks for your post! I think you had some really good wisdom to share on the topic, I particularly liked your line: “A cycle of ignorance is perpetuated when nothing is done to create learning opportunities.”

    Very true. If only everyone were able to recognize this and start making small changes to correct it. I think the first step is to acknowledge it and be forced to recognize it.

  4. Matthew Cheatham says:

    Heather, I agree that there needs to be acknowledgement or ownership of privileges and/or biases before productive conversations surrounding race and biases can occur. We incorporated some of those conversations in our classes last year, but in general most classes do not encourage those critical discussions.

  5. jschlittepi says:

    Thanks for the post! When you mention willingness to discuss biases and such, what forms would you imagine that taking? How would you initiate and moderate such tough conversations?

  6. Ashley says:

    Heather,
    Thank you for your post. I agree, sometimes as bystanders, we are doing more of a disservice by not speaking up about things that are completely wrong (e.g. racism). As educators, it is our job to create an inclusive environment for all our students and colleagues and this starts by getting them uncomfortable. Often in today’s classroom, professors are afraid to challenge the status quo and the ones that do are often met with backlash from their students and sometimes other colleagues. We’ve got to shake things up and that starts with us. We have to be okay with rebelling against this system of oppression that was put in place for us. The cycle of ignorance begins with some serious self-reflection and acknowledgment of our own positionalities. Only then can we begin to dismantle the system of racism both in our classroom and around the world.

  7. Kadie Britt says:

    I like your thought of incorporating inclusion and diversity into courses. Coming from a science background, I have practically no experience with the tough conversations in a classroom setting. However, that doesn’t mean that science as a field is exempt from tough situations. I also really like that you addressed privilege. I’m really ashamed to say that it took me a long time to realize my privilege. If we can help students to realize this earlier on, it will be better for them in the long run.

  8. Amy Hermundstad Nave says:

    Thanks for your post! I really appreciated your point about incorporating inclusion and diversity and inclusive pedagogy into all classes, not just those that specifically cover diversity. In higher education, we often treat diversity and inclusion as something separate from learning. But it is not separate. There are biases and barriers that impact education and learning. We as educators need to create environments where all students can learn and do their best. Thanks for the post!

  9. Ali says:

    Thanks for your post. I believe, as you mentioned, the discussion on inclusiveness get started with ourselves first, we have to be aware of our privilege and biases before we jump into any discussion in that matter. Thanks again.

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