Teaching Resources

Inclusive teaching describes the range of approaches to teaching that consider the diverse needs and backgrounds of all students to create a learning environment where all students feel valued and where all students have equal access to learn.

Through programs, consultations, and resources, the Mitchell-West Center for Social Inclusion supports teachers in creating learning environments where students of all identities and backgrounds can flourish.

If you are a graduate student, postdoc, or faculty member at the University of North Alabama and would like to request a teaching consultation, please fill out the form here.

Updated: March 2021

Association of College and University Educators Inclusive Teaching Practices Toolkit

The Inclusive Teaching Practices Toolkit was developed to support instructors in creating inclusive learning environments. The toolkit provides free resources, including 10 inclusive teaching practices that can be used in online and face-to-face classes.

Elon University Center for Engaged Learning Teaching Tips for Diversity and Inclusion

Elon University’s Center for Engaged Learning is internationally known for its focus on high impact practices. This collection of tips focuses on ways to sustainable equity and inclusion in high impact teaching practices such as undergraduate research, internships, and study abroad. 

Harvard University Bok Center for Teaching and Learning Inclusive Teaching Practices

The Harvard University Bok Center for Teaching and Learning provides resources addressing inclusive course design, classroom dynamics, creating equitable opportunities for students, tools for developing group agreements, and strategies for navigating difficult moments in the classroom.

Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research Tips for More Inclusive Data Sharing and Analysis

Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research specializes in data collection and analysis. They provide tips identifying subgroups of students who are struggling or excelling in their experiences; ways to better identify the needs and experiences of students from underrepresented backgrounds; how to avoid approaching the data from a deficit perspective; and how do better share these data and results with others on campus.

Inclusive Teaching Resources compiled by Dr. Terrell Morton and shared March (2021)

There are many who maintain that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines are apolitical and therefore incapable of perpetuating oppression. Yet, within these same fields, Black, Latinx, and other students from marginalized groups report these spaces as being hostile and toxic for their holistic well-being and success. During our Inclusive Teaching Series, Dr. Terrell Morton discussed "The Myth of Meritocracy in STEM Education and its Implications on Diversity in STEM". Using The Myth of Meritocracy, Dr. Morton unpacked systemic oppression embedded within STEM education and the role that it plays in constraining diversity and inclusion in STEM. He also compiled a list of Inclusive Teaching Resources that we have linked above. 

Montenegro, E., & Jankowski, N. A. (2020, January). A new decade for assessment: Embedding equity into assessment praxis (Occasional Paper No. 42). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).

Entering into a new decade with an even more diversified college student population will not only require more assessment models involving students but also deeper professional development of institutional representatives key to student learning. Reflecting upon the conversations over the last three years around culturally responsive assessment and related equity and assessment discussions, this occasional paper highlights questions, insights, and future directions for the decade ahead by exploring what equitable assessment is and is not; the challenges and barriers to equitable

University of Denver Office of Teaching and Learning's Inclusive Teaching Practices

The University of Denver Office of Teaching and Learning has an overview of pedagogies that will provide faculty with a framework for developing their courses. This includes inclusive pedagogy, intersectional pedagogy, universal course design, and the community of inquiry model.

University of Michigan Center for Research on Teaching and Learning's Inclusive Teaching Strategies

The University of Michigan Center for Research on Teaching and Learning provides a wealth of information including the definition of inclusive teaching, specific strategies for fostering five dimensions of inclusive teaching, setting the tone in the classroom, and counteracting stereotype threat. 

University of Pennsylvania Center for Teaching and Learning Inclusive Teaching Resources

The University of Pennsylvania Center for Teaching and Learning provides an overview of six evidence-based strategies that promote inclusion and a section on creating syllabi that mirror your commitment to inclusion (with excerpts to include in your syllabi that focus on the cost of the course material and ways to encourage mental health and wellness). 

Yale Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning’s Inclusive Teaching Strategies

The Yale Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning compiled resources to address how cultural assumptions influence interactions with students; how student identities, ideologies, and backgrounds influence their level of engagement; and how courses can use universal design principles to encourage full participation and ensure accessibility for all students.

A Framework For Teaching American Slavery
Conversation Starters with #schooltalking
Cultivating Genius: An Equity Model for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy by Gholdy Muhammad
Culturally Responsive School Leadership  by Muhammad Khalifa
Everyday AntiRacism: Getting Real About Race In Schools by Mica Pollock
For All You White Folks Who Teach In The Hood...And The Rest Of Ya’ll Too by Christopher Emdin
Not Light, But Fire: How To Lead Meaningful Race Conversations In The Classroom by Matthew R. Kay
Start Where You Are But Don’t Stay There: Understanding Diversity, Opportunity Gaps, And Teaching In Today’s Classroom by H Richard Milner IV
Teaching Tolerance Classroom Resources
We Want To Do More Than Just Survive: Abolitionist Teaching And The Pursuit Of Educational Freedom by Bettina L. Love
White Teachers Need Anti-racist Therapy (article)by Bettina L. Love
 Zinn Project Teaching Materials

SOURCE: Tasha K. (2020). Anti-racism Resource Guide.

An inclusive statement on your syllabus can establish an intentional and welcoming tone for your classroom environment, signaling to students that you value diverse perspectives and respectful intellectual exchange.

The following is proposed as an additional recommended (but not required statement) for inclusion in all course syllabi:

The University of North Alabama is committed to providing students with a supportive and inclusive learning environment that promotes student success. Many offices and centers are available to students on campus and online at no additional cost:

Here are some helpful tips when writing your inclusive statement: 

Describe what inclusion means to you

Affirm other experiences

Include information about accommodations

Restate your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom

State your commitment to representation in the classroom

Incorporate information about Title IX

Include your respect for other opinions and feedback

Express that you honor and respect gender pronouns

Add a statement about your hopes for the semester (i.e. meaningful discussions, mutual respect, honesty, listening for understanding, etc.)

Share that diversity, equity, and inclusion are ever evolving and provide space for growth

Recognize that we may get it wrong sometimes

Acknowledge that you are open to discussion

Recognize that some discussions may become uncomfortable

Reaffirm emotional responses to difficult discussions

State that students may address you if they are uncomfortable, and provide other resources for them to address their feelings (i.e. a trusted professor, peer, and/or the Center for Social Inclusion)

Here we've provided some examples of inclusive statements: 

For an Online Environment at UNA

Administrators, faculty, and staff at UNA are committed to the creation and maintenance of inclusive learning spaces. In online learning environments, there is an expectation that students are treated with respect and dignity in discussion boards, chats, and other places of virtual interactions and that all individuals are provided equitable opportunities to participate, contribute, and succeed. At UNA and in our courses, all students are welcome regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, disabilities, religion, regional background, Veteran status, citizenship status, nationality and other diverse identities that we each bring to class. I hope that you will communicate with me if you experience anything in this course that does not support an inclusive environment, and you can report any bias incidents you may witness or experience on campus to the Division of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion on their website (insert link here).

Source: Developed in partnership with Charlene Barber in UNA's Educational Technology Services

Additional Example 1 

Respect for Diversity: It is my intent that students from all diverse backgrounds and perspectives be well served by this course, that students’ learning needs be addressed both in and out of class, and that the diversity that students bring to this class be viewed as a resource, strength and benefit. It is my intent to present materials and activities that are respectful of diversity: gender, sexuality, disability, age, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, and culture. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated. Please let me know ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally or for other students or student groups. In addition, if any of our class meetings conflict with your religious events, please let me know so that we can make arrangements for you.

Source: University of Iowa College of Education

Additional Example 2 

Respect for cultural and human biological diversity are core concepts of Anthropology. In this course, each voice in the classroom has something of value to contribute to class discussion. Please respect the different experiences, beliefs and values expressed by your fellow students and instructor, and refrain from derogatory comments about other individuals, cultures, groups, or viewpoints. The Anthropology Department supports the Texas A&M University commitment to Diversity, and welcomes individuals of all ages, backgrounds, citizenships, disabilities, education, ethnicities, family statuses, genders, gender identities, geographical locations, languages, military experience, political views, races, religions, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses, and work experiences. It is my hope that in this course we will develop a supportive learning community that will foster rich discussions through the sharing of personal ideas, experiences, and relationships to course material. Honesty, listening for understanding, a willingness to share your ideas, and respect for self and others are basic guidelines that can help create ap positive learning environment. Your participation and feedback is important to the success of the course and I welcome your thoughts throughout the semester on how we might improve class processes that will encourage effective communication and dialogue.

Source: Diversity & Communication Statement for Course Syllabi from TAMU Anthropology Department

Additional Example 3

In an ideal world, science would be objective. However, much of science is subjective and is historically built on a small subset of privileged voices. I acknowledge that the readings for this course, including the course reader and BCP were authored by white men. Furthermore, the course often focuses on historically important neuroscience experiments which were mostly conducted by white men. Recent edits to the course reader were undertaken by both myself and some students who do not identify as white men. However, I acknowledge that it is possible that there may be both overt and covert biases in the material due to the lens with which it was written, even though the material is primarily of a scientific nature. Integrating a diverse set of experiences is important for a more comprehensive understanding of science. Please contact me (in person or electronically) or submit anonymous feedback if you have any suggestions to improve the quality of the course materials. Furthermore, I would like to create a learning environment for my students that supports a diversity of thoughts, perspectives and experiences, and honors your identities (including race, gender, class, sexuality, religion, ability, etc.). To help accomplish this:

  • If you have a name and/or set of pronouns that differ from those that appear in your official Brown records, please let me know!
  • If you feel like your performance in the class is being impacted by your experiences outside of class, please don't hesitate to come and talk with me. I want to be a resource for you. Remember that you can also submit anonymous feedback (which will lead to me making a general announcement to the class, if necessary to address your concerns). If you prefer to speak with someone outside of the course, Dean Bhattacharyya, Associate Dean of the College for Diversity Programs, is an excellent resource.
  • I (like many people) am still in the process of learning about diverse perspectives and identities. If something was said in class (by anyone) that made you feel uncomfortable, please talk to me about it. (Again, anonymous feedback is always an option).

Source: Monica Linden, Neuroscience, Brown University

Additional Example 4

The University of Central Florida considers the diversity of its students, faculty, and staff to be a strength and critical to its educational mission. UCF expects every member of the university community to contribute to an inclusive and respectful culture for all in its classrooms, work environments, and at campus events. Dimensions of diversity can include sex, race, age, national origin, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, intellectual and physical ability, sexual orientation, income, faith and non-faith perspectives, socio-economic class, political ideology, education, primary language, family status, military experience,cognitive style, and communication style. The individual intersection of these experiences and characteristics must be valued in our community. Title IX prohibits sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct, sexual violence, sexual harassment, and retaliation. If you or someone you know has been harassed or assaulted, you can find resources available to support the victim, including confidential resources and information concerning reporting options at www.shield.ucf.edu and http://cares.sdes.ucf.edu/. If there are aspects of the design, instruction, and/or experiences within this course that result in barriers to your inclusion or accurate assessment of achievement, please notify the instructor as soon as possible and/or contact Student Accessibility Services.

Source: University of Central Florida

Adding your own pronouns to your syllabus (and email signature)

Example

Andrea N. Hunt, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology

Director, Mitchell-West Center for Social Inclusion

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Adding mental health resources for students, such as Student Counseling Services, to your syllabus

Example 

Student Counseling Services provides free, confidential and professional counseling services. Students often utilize student counseling to discuss a wide variety of topics: depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, and stress management; indecision about major or career path; and academic concerns such as failing grades, struggling with a subject, or managing a learning disability. Student Counseling Services also supports students who may be feeling suicidal or in crisis. For help, contact Student Counseling Services 256-765-5215, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.

or

We are committed to advancing the mental health and well being of all students, while acknowledging that a variety of issues, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, and depression, directly impacts students’ academic performance.  If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed, depressed, and/or in need of support, services are available.  For help, contact Student Counseling Services 256-765-5215, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.

Add crisis / referral resources, such as the University Case Manager, to your syllabus

Example 

The University Case Manager is committed to ensuring all students are safe, happy and healthy at UNA. The University Case Manager is available to offer support and referrals to services promoting student success. If you are experiencing barriers to success you can contact the University Case Manager at hunderwood1@una.edu or complete the Student of Concern Referral at www.una.edu/case.

Adding land acknowledgements to your syllabus

Example 

I acknowledge that we are on the traditional homelands of ᎠᎳᎫᏪᏘᏱ Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee, East) and Chikashsha Yaki (Chickasaw) tribal nations. I honor and respect the many diverse Indigenous peoples still connected to this land on which we gather.

If you are not at the University of North Alabama you may use the website https://native-land.ca/ to identify which traditional homelands you are occupying.

If you’re worried about asking for students' pronouns and outing trans students, there’s a simple solution! Student introduction cards will help you learn about students’ pronouns, names, and interests in a way that won’t accidentally out them.

These cards are based on GLSEN Educator of the Year Ace Schwarz’s student introduction sheet. No credit is needed, even if you adapt or customize your printed material.

Name on roster: _________

If you go by a different name, what is the name you would like to be called? _________

Where would you like me to call you by the name not listed on the roster?

Class? YES / NO

Contacting your home? YES / NO

Other teachers? YES / NO

Pronouns (ex: she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs): _________

May I use these pronouns in front of class? YES / NO

May I use these pronouns when I contact home? YES / NO

May I use these pronouns in front of other teachers? YES / NO

Would you like to follow up with me privately about your name or pronouns? YES / NO

Tell me three things about yourself. This could include facts, hobbies, or just things you want me to know. 

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