Suggestions to teachers to make the curriculum more inclusive (comments)


Last month was the year since the murder of George Floyd, which reminds me of the colored students in my class last spring semester whose humanity is closely related to inclusive teaching.

During the pandemic and during ethnic conflicts across the country, “inclusive pedagogy” made headlines.However, as documented before, this is not a new method Inside higher education Recommendations; the development of existing teachers in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusiveness; and decades of research in many disciplines, such as gender, race, and disability studies. In 2018, I even collaborated with the Director of the Teaching Center of the University of Georgia System to design and deliver a Inclusive Pedagogy Workshop For statewide principals study scholar programs.

But in the past year, racial injustice in the classroom has become stronger, requiring me as a white woman to teach students of color to students and their mutual accountability. Other faculty and staff may have similar experiences and spend time this summer reflecting on inclusive teaching, students and their own achievements, and any lessons learned.

Below is a list of three overall inclusive teaching strategies that I discovered while teaching an undergraduate communication course in the spring semester of 2021. I also mentioned some challenges that have emerged and still exist.

These strategies were inspired by my expertise as a professor of communications, a feminist rhetorician, and director of the Southern District State University Teaching Center. Crucially, they also come from the students we co-created the course.Another influence is the local anti-racism activist, he is a class speaker and coordinator Mary Turner Project, A restorative racial justice organization in Georgia. Some of these ideas overlap with previous advice columns and scholarships on inclusive pedagogy, and also reveal how this is a continuous and evolving work for everyone involved in teaching and learning.

Finally, I provide a communication The view of inclusive pedagogy allows me and my students to rediscover our voice. To clarify, we have always had our own voices, but mainstream culture has killed those voices-and continue to try to do so. However, through inclusive pedagogy, our voices reappear and can be heard.

Co-create curriculum design and compositional communication. Some student-centered teaching methods encourage teachers and students to jointly develop a syllabus, such as drafting course learning objectives with them, and then they design and complete an assignment. This allows students to control their learning.It’s worth mentioning that the participating teachers Open teaching method Promote it as a best practice for education democracy and diversity.

When white supremacists stormed the U.S. Capitol one week before the first class in January 2021, I felt responsible for more than half of the students of color on the list. I hesitated to give up control of the syllabus and create it together-until I realized that this was exactly what I needed to do to be included.

Co-creating a syllabus is an inclusive teaching strategy because it challenges the racist structure of curriculum design and traditional power dynamics in the classroom, such as when (white) professors “profess” to know more than (black) students, and When the syllabus silences marginalized voices. Specifically, I added a student discussion leadership task, students choose reading materials for this, and integrate the speakers by teaching their peers and me new knowledge related to the course To promote active learning throughout the classroom. I left blanks in the syllabus for a few days to let the students and me decide what we are going to do. The students ultimately dominated nearly half of the content and teaching of the entire semester.

Another way of thinking is to think of curriculum design as “compositional communication.”My researchers in the field of communication and rhetoric have long believed that discourse (in this case, the text in the syllabus or the discussion between staff and students) is Constitutive communication Because it constructs social reality and people’s identity. The co-creation of the syllabus reconstructs the ethnic identity in the classroom and makes it more inclusive.

White teachers and students must be careful not to re-record racial injustice in their communication, even if it is unintentional. This happened on the first day we established the dialogue guide.Therefore, on the second day, we had to re-examine, reflect on and revise the dialogue guide, and combine it with Özlem Sensoy and Robin DiAngeloFor example, the class changes the guideline “Respect everyone’s opinion” to “Recognize that your position determines your limited worldview.”

Dialogue and peer learning pedagogy. Many critical racial theorists and social activists criticize interracial dialogue for the purpose of reproducing racist hierarchies rather than reducing racial differences. Although I agree with their concerns and have witnessed this phenomenon happen, my application of rhetorical discipline and dialogue pedagogy in the classroom this spring semester proves the possibility of an alternative to inclusive dialogue mode.

Mikhail Bakhtin, Paulo Freire and Gloria Anzaldúa instruct rhetoricians and educators to implement less repressive multi-voice dialogue. Sometimes referred to as “cooperation” or “peer learning strategies,” the following bullet points include the five favorites we did over and over again throughout the course, and a note about at least one of their inclusive characteristics. The sixth place on the list is a podcast, and students have completed their final conversation assignments. I recommend that students and staff practice, repeat, and redo such activities and assignments to help them communicate in an inclusive rather than exclusive manner.

  1. Conversion stationTwo students rotate the radio station while the other students stay, bringing different voices and other ideas for the new group to the conversation.
  2. Quick conversationThe students sit in pairs nearby for face-to-face conversations, just like speed dating, with people they don’t usually talk to, such as people from different races.
  3. Tape recorder. A student listens and speaks and must repeat what they hear other people say to ensure that the traditionally dominant speaker does not take up too much broadcast time or hear marginalized voices.
  4. Fresh people standing summary. Students find someone they don’t know yet in class, share what they have learned from this new person, learn to value voices other than themselves, and talk to people they don’t usually talk to (for example, people from different races) Conduct interpersonal communication.
  5. Dialogue roleStudents are assigned roles such as questioners or even democracy advocates, whose duties are to invite students to speak, allow other ideas to be considered in the dialogue, and ensure that traditionally dominant speakers do not occupy too much broadcast Time and the sound of being marginalized.
  6. podcastStudents will get an intermediary public speaking platform to interview others, learn to value voices other than themselves, and ensure that traditionally dominant speakers do not take up too much broadcast time or hear marginalized speakers. sound.

(Race) The rhetoric of feelings and re-humanization. The inclusive teaching strategy I finally suggested is effective. Traditional teaching puts facts above feelings and usually suppresses emotions or removes them from the content and classroom. However, none of us can deny that there is an emotional tremor in class. Therefore, let us use emotion to counteract the rejection and dehumanization of students of color.

Dehumanization is the source of racial injustice. Dehumanization occurs when a person or group of people denies the humanity of others, and they are usually compared to non-human beings—for example, animals or inanimate objects. Dehumanization has also increased with mechanization, such as the standardization of procedures and the reliance on technology. I want to know whether the dehumanization in higher education, even if it is not clearly named, is the driving force for a large amount of research and pedagogy that advocates “individualized” classrooms and “humanized” teachers? If so, then individualization and humanization can be seen as inclusive teaching strategies.

Another “humanity” quality that dehumanization usually denies, especially for blacks, is the ability to feel pain and express emotions. In contrast, our class accepted the rhetoric of racial sentiment and re-humanized students of color by returning to the deprived human qualities.

As a black female student wrote about the course, “As a business woman and a black American woman, I have to learn more about myself. Discuss very uncomfortable topics in detail in class, and It’s amazing to still feel at ease when we share our feelings and emotions. When I start this course, I believe we will learn how to change people’s perceptions and opinions on certain topics-oh my goodness, I think about how wrong and superficial such things are. This course taught me to feel people’s emotions.”

Let me prove what I said before: If racism is not reiterated and the curriculum is focused on interpersonal relationships, emotional labor as a teacher is very difficult. Sometimes, when I should have made white women sit uncomfortably, I rushed to comfort them. When I did this, I questioned their needs as a predominant ethnic group and a short-circuit conversation about social-level solutions. This example also reveals the intersectional complexity of being a teacher—the dominant patriarchal culture taught me that white women like me need protection.

At the same time, my professional knowledge and cross-identity as a feminist rhetorician enable me to make the blacks in the course take responsibility when their feelings and voices overwhelm female students, especially people of color. White and/or female acquiescence is not the answer to social injustice. Inclusive teachers cannot remain silent, even if it is difficult for them to speak.

In short, the inclusive teaching method is still in progress. Here, I have increased my attention to communication in more and more best teaching practices. I hope that all college students and faculty members can find their own voices and speak loudly.


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