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At the University of Chicago, our culture of rigorous inquiry depends on an environment where diverse perspectives, experiences, and ideas inform and stimulate intellectual debate and engagement. This website was developed by the Chicago Center for Teaching and is designed to be a resource for academics who are committed to inclusive teaching. The practices offered on this website are applicable to both undergraduate and graduate/professional classroom settings.

Diversity & Pedagogy

Inclusive pedagogy refers to the ways that courses, classroom activities, curricula, and assessments consider issues of diversity in an effort to engage all students in learning that is meaningful, relevant, and accessible.

Aiming to teach inclusively requires intentional effort by educators to help students overcome barriers to learning. It can also enrich the classroom experience for students by giving them access to a broader set of perspectives.

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Remote Inclusion

Recent events demonstrated the need for inclusive pedagogical strategies that can withstand challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, remote learning, and social unrest. Consider the concept of remote inclusive teaching and how you may approach it.

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Getting Started

As you begin thinking about inclusive pedagogy, learn some initial steps you can take to create a more welcoming classroom environment:

  • Create an Inclusive Syllabus
  • Reduce Anonymity
  • Assess Student Backgrounds
  • Set Classroom Norms
  • Communicate That All People Can Learn
  • Attend to Terminology
  • Welcome Diverse Perspectives
  • Monitor the Climate
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Advanced Strategies

Find out how to approach course design, class activities, and assessment with inclusivity in mind:

  • Lecture Inclusively
  • Facilitate Inclusive Discussions
  • Manage Difficult Conversations
  • Encourage Cooperative Learning
  • Vary Course Content
  • Promote Accessible Learning Spaces
  • Create an Inclusive Lab
  • Assess Inclusively
  • Recognize Your Biases
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Creating an inclusive classroom climate can benefit students and help remove barriers to learning.

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Reflect on how you can assess the impact of your teaching to discover specific ways to foster an inclusive learning environment.

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Five Steps for More Inclusive Teaching

  1. Understand different dimensions of diversity

    Teach in a way that recognizes differences in students’ backgrounds and intentionally engages the range of their experiences.

    Explore types of diversity
  2. Promote a sense of belonging for all students by creating a welcoming learning environment

    Foster a welcoming and inclusive environment where students are challenged and supported, treated fairly, and valued for their contributions.

    Create an inclusive environment
  3. Create clear syllabi and incorporate a variety of course content

    Promote success and inclusion for all students by clearly stating your expectations for learning and including course materials from multiple perspectives.

    Vary course content
  4. Incorporate active learning activities

    Purposefully select learning experiences that engage students’ prior knowledge and encourage them to interact with you, the content, and each other.

    Discover teaching strategies
  5. Engage in critical assessment

    Regularly ask yourself about course learning goals and your ability to help students meet them. Also think about your own biases and consider their possible impact on the classroom.

    Learn how to effectively assess progress