Avoid Chill in the Classroom: Maintaining a Welcoming and Inclusive Learning Environment
What is chill in the classroom? When a faculty member's behavior unintentionally makes a student, usually from an under-represented group, feel unwelcome and excluded.
Creating a welcoming and inclusive classroom involves being aware and avoiding chill in the classroom, incorporating inclusive examples, images, history, and context into the course content, and employing varied teaching methods that will foster success of students with diverse learning styles.
The classroom is also an ideal place to foster collaboration among students from backgrounds different than their own, using group projects or service learning modules. All of us need this kind of preparation for life in the 21st century world.
Reading and Resources for Developing an Inclusive Classroom
- Sensitive Issues in the Classroom - Faculty who have significant experience and expertise in leading discussions that bear on sensitive social and historical issues provide insights and advice for faculty who will be teaching diversity courses or have to deal with sensitive topics in their classroom. (Dr. Rupert Nacoste, Professor, Psychology,
Dr. Becky Leonard, Associate Professor, Communication,
Dr. Anna Bigelow, Associate Professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies)
- Web resources for diverse classrooms compiled for the Graduate School's Preparing Future Leaders Program
- Warren, L. 2000, Techniques for incorporating the principles of multicultural education into the classroom
- Managing hot moments in the classroom, Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University. Online Document.
- Chesler, M.A. 1996. Perceptions of faculty behavior by students of color. CRLT Occasional Papers. The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching, University of Michigan. No. 7.
- Slatta, R.W. 2006. Contribution from a colleague: Embedding diversity in course content and assignments. FCTL Newsletter. November 2006, Issue 1, Page 1.
- Tips for Teachers: Teaching in Racially Diverse College Classrooms. Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University.
- Saunders, S. and D. Kardia. Creating Inclusive College Classrooms.
- UNC Center for Teaching and Learning. Diversity in the College Classroom.
- Vanderbilt Center for Teaching
- Davis, B.G. 1993. Diversity and Complexity in the Classroom: Considerations of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender
- Border, L.L.B. and Chism, N.V.N. 1992. Teaching for Diversity. Jossey-Bass Publishers. San Francisco
- Margolis, J. and A. Fisher. 2002. Unlocking the Clubhouse. MIT Press. Cambridge