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Title: Preparing for a More Inclusive Course : Teaching to Promote Inclusion and Celebrate Diversity
Authors: Flynn, Alison
Kerr, Jeremy
Keywords: Equity
Issue Date: 28-Feb-2022
Publisher: University of Ottawa
Abstract: The premise of inclusion should be thoroughly uncontroversial. The job of professors, instructors, and educators of all kinds is to offer each student in their classes the same opportunities to learn and expand their horizons. It is part of the basic definition of what it means to do this job. That educators want all their students to succeed is axiomatic, particularly those who are interested in reading a book of this kind. Nevertheless, the challenges of learning can differ enormously among individuals, and many of those challenges align with their identities, cultural backgrounds, privileges, and capacities. None of these characteristics predicts talent in any discipline. Yet, student success nevertheless correlates with individual characteristics [Caballero et al. 2007, Wei et al. 2018]. In other words, characteristics do not predict talent, but characteristics do relate to success. The inclusion gap is the space between talent and success, and it is created, in part, by obstacles to inclusion that we hope this resource might help reduce. While the idea of inclusion - what we refer to as "inclusion by default" - ought to be obvious, achieving an inclusive learning environment can be challenging. Failures to account for diversity in learning environments can  lead to systemic exclusion of students for reasons that are unrelated to their ability, effort, or ambition. This outcome is the antithesis of what educators aim to achieve. As authors of this resource, we recognize that we carry our own biases, learned from lifetimes of living in society. Our shared aspiration to eliminate prejudice cannot heal the lived (and sometimes life-altering) experiences of our students and colleagues in being singled out, called out, or labelled because of their identities. A university course cannot wash away such things either. But it is imperative that university courses should never be places where such exclusion is perpetuated. So, the fundamental goal of this book is to suggest ways to do better using a framework that aligns with fairly common approaches to conceiving, designing, and teaching a university-level course. Perfection, which is subjective in this context in any event, should not be the enemy of progress. As instructors, we are uniquely positioned to make a positive difference in students' lives and careers. It's worth it.
Other Identifiers: dd8632f6-2dc2-40a2-abf3-c562d187fca5
Appears in Collections:Ontario OER Collection
VLS Collection

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