Shoba Ramanadhan, ScD
Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Learn more about inclusive practices that strive to meet the needs of all students, regardless of background or identity. Faculty are encouraged to reflect and assess every aspect of their course design, classroom engagement, and assessment of teaching and learning.
Terminology. What is inclusive and affirming language?
How are equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging connected? What do these individual terms actually mean in practice? Should I aim to have cultural competence and/or cultural humility? What is the difference between genderfluid and genderqueer? Obtaining foundational knowledge of inclusive and affirming language is a great first step towards inclusive teaching.
- Harvard DIB Foundational Concepts and Affirming Language. This glossary provides information around key terms relating to diversity, equity, inclusion, oppression, identity, access, and culture.
- Guidelines for Gender and Sexuality Inclusivity in Teaching. This guide provides information and resources around key concepts related to gender and sexuality, as well as practical tips for inclusivity in your syllabus, teaching documents, and curricular content.
- Teaching Beyond the Gender Binary in the University Classroom (Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching). This webpage serves as a teaching guide focusing on the experiences of non-binary students. It includes common challenges as well as resources for basic concepts and definitions.
Community. How do I build community within my classroom?
Building a respectful community within and outside your physical classroom is crucial for inclusive teaching to be successful. Such a community allows both you and your students to share, make mistakes, and continuously learn and grow from each other.
- Equitable and Inclusive Teaching: Key Moves (The Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning). This webpage provides seven strategies for helping you achieve an inclusive classroom climate.
- Teaching with Care (Faculty Focus). This short article provides five strategies for building community within your classroom.
- Holding Office Hours (University of Waterloo’s Center for Teaching Excellence). This webpage lists some general strategies – including before the semester begins and on the first day of class – for holding office hours. Office hours can be a useful way to create and continue building community.
Dialogue. How do I hold meaningful and inclusive dialogue in my classroom?
For some of us, facilitating meaningful and inclusive dialogue is something we constantly do in our classrooms. For the rest of us, it is a component that may be outside our comfort zones. For all of us, this is a skill that should be practiced for continuous improvement.
- Suggested Norms for Cross-Cultural Dialogue. This resource provides bulleted suggestions and practices for engaging in dialogue that promotes understanding.
- Tackling Diversity in Case Discussions (Harvard Business Publishing Education). While focusing on business classrooms, this article provides advice for creating a culture of dialogue and equity that can be applied to any course that uses cases.
- Guides for Activating EDIB in Your Department. This page from our Office of Diversity and Inclusion includes a number of resources helpful for not only facilitating dialogue, but also for implementing equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging through other activities.
In practice. What does inclusive teaching actually look like?
The Instructional Moves Platform (Harvard Graduate School of Education) includes an Educating for Equity and Inclusion module with four learning pathways. Each pathway includes short videos showcasing the classrooms of faculty across Harvard. In addition, each video is accompanied by research and tips to help you put the moves into practice.
- Pathway 1: Establishing Inclusivity and Belonging. This pathway highlights 7 steps to build brave and welcoming classroom community.
- Pathway 2: Disrupting Traditional Classroom Hierarchies. This pathway highlights 7 steps that recognize and redress problematic imbalances.
- Pathway 3: Including More Student Voices in the Conversation. This pathway highlights 7 steps that enrich the classroom discourse with more diverse perspectives.
- Pathway 4: Crafting Inclusive Activities and Resources. This pathway highlights 6 steps that support students with diverse experiences, knowledge and skills.
Dig deeper. Where can I learn more about marginalized identities and inclusive teaching practices?
If inclusive teaching is an area of interest, we invite you to explore the additional resources below.
- Critical Self-Reflection: Tools for Unpacking Seen, Unseen, and Unforeseen Racial Biases (University of Toledo). This slide deck adapts Milner’s Framework of Researcher Racial and Cultural Positionality to teacher self-reflection—providing key guiding questions to reflect on self, self in relation to students, and shifting from self to system.