As the education landscape changes and adapts to teaching diverse students in an inclusive and equitable manner, such methods of PBL and CBL may be best leveraged to support the effort. The key lies in the successful implementation and execution of these methods by integrating Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) concerns in order to achieve effective and enriched learning.
Using these methods with intentional DEI integration will be most beneficial to students as these methods are geared towards student centered learning while DEI integration will further enhance and enrich students’ learning experiences by ensuring diversified groups working together to critique problems and develop strong solutions. My intention is to incorporate PBL or CBL methods to allow my students to challenge their critical, problem-solving, creative, reflective and teamworking skills while evaluating a real-life scenario.
I will try to ensure a diverse team effort, requiring various skills and strengths to work together to overcome challenges and to achieve the end-result. As discussed in class, I think for me as the teacher, it will be critical and also most beneficial to my students that I identify and address early on, the benefits accrued to them by engaging with this type of learning and how it ultimately impacts their work as future professionals or academic scholars.
Transparency in my intentions and expectations will hopefully promote my authenticity and ensure that my students feel inspired and motivated to gain much from these experiences. I plan to assess my students’ strengths and preferences before initiating these activities in order to gauge how I can best pair students in an inclusive manner so that they can effectively learn but also develop critical soft skills and be resilient in times of conflict if it arises. I will empower my students to take actions in the most respectful and professional manner that will best support their success. I will be intentional in implementing and offering opportunities to use various instructional mediums to support their best learning and presentation.
One of the main barriers I foresee will be students’ willingness to engage in such an arrangement. However, I believe my role as the teacher can help to subdue any reservations by reassuring the benefits to the students gained by their involvement both individually and communally. I can also act as a mitigator if the need arises and allow flexibility to my students in redelegating roles and responsibilities or helping them to constructively handle conflict and overcome hurdles.
Lastly, instituting reflective pieces will be very important to ascertain areas and ways I can continuously improve and make the experience better for my students.
Value to me is achieved by the constructive way that I perceive something or act as a result of a meaningful encounter. When my knowledge is enhanced, and I am challenged to think and respond in life changing ways and experience positive internal and external responses, then this is effective and impactful learning to me. I am still intrigued from taking the Diversity and Inclusion for a Global Society course through the Grad School. That class has impacted me in a profound way, and I have come to learn, value and appreciate diversity in its many forms and support the efforts for inclusivity and equity in any organization or institution.
The class content was very stimulating and engaging and the interactive and discussion-based style of teaching helped to draw out many important conversations. The class heavily incorporated project-based learning, and the way it was implemented was very effective. The class projects helped to reinforce and explore in more depth topics discussed in class and helped me in polishing my critical and creative thinking skills. Furthermore, the projects were instrumental in developing my team working skills, as one of the projects consisted of a team collaboration. I was able to collaborate with my colleague in an impactful and effective manner. We were both able to explore our topic and gain a thorough understanding and insightful points on the issue but also develop great ideas and strategies to share our knowledge and content learned to our professor and classmates in a simple, meaningful and beneficial way. Furthermore, the individual project was self-directive, and allowed me to explore an area of keen interest, in addition to allowing me to be creative and transparent in expressing my ideas on the issue and exploring the wider impact for DEI in relation to graduate students. As a result of the project-based learning, I gained a wealth of information from my classmates from their presentations on critical topics that imparted more wisdom and knowledge to me and encouraged me to be more reflective on the issues discussed.
I am very inspired to implement these methods in my classroom, as I firsthand saw and experienced the value-added benefit gained by this project-based learning. My learning was enhanced, and outcomes from that method left me with lasting impressions that have improved my growth and development as an individual and as a student. I feel it necessary to simulate a similar experience in order to achieve close to the same desired outcomes for my students and help them gain richer and deeper experiences of learning and engagement.
Inclusive Pedagogy looks at how educators and administrators can make classrooms and campuses broadly accessible spaces, to support all students and allow them to fully participate, actively learn and thrive in these settings .
According to Emory University, “This pedagogy represents an approach to teaching that values diversity, promotes social justice, and supports student engagement and academic growth. An inclusive classroom also can help to change any discriminatory attitudes that students may have learned elsewhere. On the other hand, classrooms that are segregated can support attitudes against students who are “different” in any way.”
Educators must strive to bridge the gap and enforce and inclusive pedagogy style in order to ensure an equitable, accessible, comfortable and safe place for learning for students. Fostering this approach in one’s teaching style helps to truly put the focus on students who are ultimately to benefit from the methods that seek to bring value to their learning experience.
As a unique practice, I try to implement techniques that support diversity of opinion and value team-based learning and interaction. I avoid any preferential treatment to students, and I utilize tools that will support effective learning and engagement for all my students. Educators and administrators must realize that the old tenets of education, can longer support a diverse pool of students. The need to incorporate inclusive pedagogy is imperative to ensure positive and sustainable learning outcomes.