Georgetown university defines inclusive pedagogy as the following, “Inclusive pedagogy is a method of teaching in which instructors and classmates work together to create a supportive environment that gives each student equal access to learning.”
I have been reflecting this week on what inclusive pedagogy could look like in the classroom I am assisting in now and the potential classroom I may have in the future. In the context of an entomology course, issues of diversity and inclusion aren’t topics that you find in the syllabus, but just becuase it isn’t in the ciriculum doesn’t mean it isn’t seen or felt by the students in the course. It’s also not always a topic that is planned to be discussed.
During the GTA workshop this spring, a speaker from the office of diversity and inclusion talked about how important it is to be an advocate for diversity in the classroom and when working one-on-one with students. He talked about the level of influence you have as a TA and future professor, and how students will look to you to provide guidance and be an advocate. During the conversation, some of the TAs pushed back saying that the course they were teaching didn’t have anything to do with diversity and inclusion, so why did they need to talk about it at all? He responded with the notion that as educators we should consider this part of our role even if the context of the course doesn’t directly relate.
I think some of this boils down to what we view as the role of a instructor. Is the instructor simply someone who conveys a set list of information, or is she someone who helps shape the way students think? For our students sake, I hope we chose the later.