Students can offer good perspective on inclusive teaching, which involves creating welcoming educational environments for diverse learners. Ayat Husseini and Anna DeVault, two undergraduates who co-authored a recent pedagogical article with faculty (Cook-Sather et al. 2014; Cook-Sather and Felten 2017) offer their perspective on inclusive teaching in a recent Faculty Focusstory.
“One of the most important aspects of inclusivity in the classroom is recognizing and acknowledging that students come from varying backgrounds. Of their social identities, socioeconomic status often plays a big role in students’ engagement and experience in the classroom,” Husseini said. To make a classroom more inclusive to students of all socioeconomic backgrounds, instructors can explain ideas that may seem like common knowledge such as office hours, provide supplementary materials online that are available to the whole class, and limit the price of their course materials whenever possible.
“For me, transparency and vulnerability are two of the most promising factors for instructors in creating an inclusive classroom. Both can be applied to any class subject, size, or format, starting on the first day of class,” DeVault said in the story. Instructors can establish a mutual understanding with students so they feel more comfortable in class. A mutual understanding also helps facilitate an open dialogue in classrooms.