Inclusive Classroom Resources

Good Places to Start

  • In Tools for Teaching (2d edition, John Wiley and Sons, 2009), Barbara Gross Davis has some concise and concrete suggestions in chapters 5 (Diversity and Inclusion in the Classroom), 6 (Students with Disabilities), 7 (Reentry and Transfer Students), and 8 (Teaching Academically Diverse Students). CATL has copies.
  • In Strategies for Inclusive Teaching, the University of Washington’s Center for Instructional Design and Research provides an overview of issues related to diversity and inclusive teaching, specifically highlighting how to communicate respect and high expectations, orienting students to the ways of teaching, and spelling out how diversity will be valued in the course. It includes some practical suggestions and links to read more.
  • UNC-CH’s Center for Teaching and Learning assembled a booklet, Teaching for Inclusion, Diversity in the College Classroom (pdf), that contains general strategies for inclusive teaching as well as separate sections that raise awareness of the perspectives of various types of students (African American, Hispanic, Asian American, international students, those with diverse religious or political beliefs or physical or medical needs and gender and regional issues).
  • Indiana University School of Education Instructional Consulting page, Teaching and Diversity, provides tips for general rules about teaching and diversity and specific teaching tips related to gender, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, age, religion, political beliefs, regionalism, disability, international students.
  • In Creating Inclusive College Classrooms, the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching at the University of Michigan addresses issues related to course content, assumptions and awareness of potential issues, planning of class meetings, and the instructor’s behaviors during class meetings.
  • The American Association of Colleges and Universities created a Diversty Web with many resources related to diversity. While the site also contains information about curriculum development, campus climate, and student learning outcomes, Benefits of Diversity is especially useful in making available scholarship related to the positive outcomes associated with diversity in higher education. Its on-line journal, Diversity and Democracy contains recent articles on diversity and civic engagement. For example, Jayne Brownell's Outcomes of High-Impact Educational Practices: A Literature Review shows that first-year seminars, learning communities, undergraduate research, and service-learning have strong positive effects on historically underserved students.
  • In “Pedagogical Intersections of Gender, Race, and Identity,” Karlyn Crowley describes ways she as a feminist instructor tries to increase learning by being self-reflective and transparent, building community, challenging traditional power relations, and encouraging personal and cultural transformation.  Crowley’s essay is chapter 12 of Regan A. R. Gurung and Loreto R. Prieto, eds., Getting Culture; Incorporating Diversity across the Curriculum (Stylus Publishing, 2009). Available in CATL’s resource room.
  • Antonio, A.L., Chang, M.J., Hakuta, K., Kenny, D.A., Levin, S.L., & Milem, J.F. (2004). Effects of Racial Diversity on Complex Thinking in College Students. Psychological Science.
  • Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching has a webpage, Diversity and Inclusive Teaching.
  • Matthew L. Ouellett, Teaching Inclusively (New Forums Press, 2005). Available in CATL Resource Library. This book contains many helpful essays. Two general ones that might help faculty consider themselves and their role are Christine Stanley, Shari Saunders, and Jamie M. Hart, “Multicultural Course Transformation,” 566-585, and Maurianne Adams and Barbara J. Love, “Teaching With a Social Justice Perspective: A Model for Faculty Seminars Across Academic Disciplines” in Teaching Inclusively, 586-615.
  • "Four Strategies to Engage the Multicultural Classroom," is a useful webinar facilitated by Matt Ouellett and Christine Stanley at (Elon password required).
  • Shaun R. Harper and Stephen John Quaye, Student Engagement in Higher Education; Theoretical Perspectives and Practical Approaches for Diverse Populations ((Routledge, 2009). Although the book is directed more generally toward the university as a whole, there are many insights valuable to faculty. Separate chapters cover different campus constituencies, including students with disabilities, minority religious groups, low-income and first-generation students, athletes, racial and ethnic minorities, part-time students, women in STEM, etc. Each chapter includes theory of identity development for that group of students.

Discussing “Hot Moments” in the Classroom

Counteracting Stereotype Threat and Historic Marginalization

  • *Stereotype threat is defined and described and the psychological scholarship is summarized at  
  • Claude Steele’s book, Whistling Vivaldi; How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do (Norton 2010) is an excellent, readable introduction to the topic. Many Elon faculty and staff have read the book and share a commitment to try ways to mitigate stereotype threat.
  • In Thin Ice: Stereotype Threat and Black College Students, a thoughtful yet accessible article in an August 1999 Atlantic Monthly, Claude Steele discusses research conducted by he and psychologists Joshua Aronson and Steven Spencer, its implications, and ways their findings have been extended to other students.
  • Belk Library has a number of Joshua Aronson’s books, including Coping with minority status : responses to exclusion and inclusion and Contesting stereotypes and creating identities : social categories, social identities, and education. The Handbook of competence and motivation contains an article by Aronson about stereotypes and the fragility of human competence, motivation, and self-confidence. Aronson’s webpage provides a longer list of his scholarship.
  • Darnell Cole has studied learning outcomes for African American, Latino, Asian, and Muslim college students. In “Do Interracial Interactions Matter? An Examination of Student-Faculty Contact and Intellectual Self-Concept,” The Journal of Higher Education 78:3 (2007) pp. 249-281, he demonstrates that simply having minority student representation on campus does not automatically create meaningful interracial interactions. Cole finds that students’ intellectual self-concept is likely enhanced with a socially complex and active learning environment, valuing students and their comments, creating racially and ethnically diverse student groups, linking out of class social events with in class content and allowing students the opportunity to constructively challenge the professor’s ideas. He also examines issues such as mentoring relationships, types of feedback, and mastery learning. Cole’s c.v. (pdf) provides a list of additional publications.
  • In Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, Catherine Hill, Christianne Corbett, and Andresse St. Rose conducted a review of the extensive literature about women in STEM disciplines for the American Association of University Women. They found eight major factors that helped depress the numbers of girls and women in STEM: beliefs about intelligence, stereotypes, self-assessment, spatial skills, the college student experience, university and college faculty, implicit bias, and workplace bias. The report concludes, “At colleges and universities, little changes can make a big difference in attracting and retaining women in STEM.”

Teaching about race

Harvard's Bok Center has a short but wise website about Teaching in Racially Diverse Classrooms.

Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, edited by Maurianne Adams, Lee Anne Bell, and Pat Griffin (2nd edition, Routledge, 2003), includes many suggestions for ways to engage and scaffold discussions with students on race and other identity-based topics. There are chapters on “Twenty-first Century Racism” and “Racism and White Privilege Curriculum Design” as well as theoretical, pedagogical, and conceptual frameworks for social justice education.

Beverly Daniel Tatum, “Talking about Race, Learning about Racism: The Application of Racial Identity Development Theory in the Classroom,” Harvard Educational Review 62, no. 2 (Summer 1992): 1-24, describes common sources of student resistance in predominantly white classrooms, typical stages of racial identity development for Black and white students, and the implications of these for the classroom and the larger institution.

Kathy Hytten and John Warren, "Engaging Whiteness: How Racial Power Gets Reified in Education," Qualitative Studies in Education 16 (1): 65-89. Despite expressed intentions to disrupt white privilege, the authors found that students frequently drew upon a variety of discourses that implicitly resist critical engagement.

A vase array of resources was compiled in the wake of the events in Ferguson, MO related to how one might teach about the events there and also more generally about the background related to African American history, racism and institutionalized racism, media coverage, etc. Sociologists for Justice compiled "The Ferguson Syllabus" that also includes research  resources related to racial profiling, systemic racism, and police brutality.

Curriculum Design

  • Maurianne Adams, Lee Anne Bell, and Pat Griffin, Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice (2d edition, Routledge, 2007). Whether or not you conceptualize your course as a social justice education course, chapter 5 on “Facilitating Social Justice Education Courses” will help you think about your role and responsibilities as a class facilitator and various ways students respond to controversial issues in the classroom. There are also some theoretical chapters, but the bulk of the book contains information on curriculum design about racism, white privilege, immigration, heterosexism, sexism, transgender oppression, religious oppression, anti-Semitism, classism, abelism, ageism.
  • Omiunota Nelly Ukpokodu, "How a Sustainable Campus-Wide Diversity Curriculum Fosters Academic Success," Multicultural Education 17, no. 2 (Winter 2010): 27-36. This article provides a working definition of diversity, reasons why curriculum transformation might be useful and is sometimes resisted, and some models for how to begin the process, including details of 4 workshops at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
  • Regan A. R. Gurung and Loreto R. Prieto, eds., Getting Culture; Incorporating Diversity Across the Curriculum (Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, 2009). Includes chapters about pedagogy and ways to increase student participation and also provides examples of inclusive classrooms in a number of different areas (including STEM, literature, and psychology) as well as general issues for any faculty teaching about culture and diversity.
  • Ellen G. Friedman, Wendy K. Kolmar, Charley B. Flint, and Paula Rothenberg, eds. Creating an Inclusive College Curriculum: A Teaching Sourcebook from the New Jersey Project provides examples from inclusive courses in a wide variety of disciplines.
  • James A. Anderson, Driving Change through Diversity and Globalization (Stylus Publishing, 2008). The early part of the book examines higher education in general and makes the case for why and how globallization and diversity are integrally connected to liberal arts, critical thinking and most university's educational objectives. Faculty might benefit most from later chapters, including chapter 5 (practical teaching strategies that engage student differences), 6 (Balancing the Traditional Curriculum with Inclusion and Diversity) and chapter 7 (Empowering the Voice of Diverse Students in the College Classroom).

International Students

Carnegie Mellon University Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence has put together a helpful report for faculty about the cultural variations among higher education institutions and their implications for U.S. college classrooms.

The University of Michigan’s Center for Research on Teaching and Learning provides excellent resources on a website related to  bridging differences in classroom knowledge and practice, teaching non-native speakers of English, improving climate, and promoting academic integrity.

Cedarville University has a 2004 paper on helping international students succeed.

LGBTQ Students

  • Campus Pride's "2012 State of Higher Education for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People" executive summary provides results of campus surveys regarding experiences that interfere with learning and perceptions of campus climate and suggests best institutional practices.
  • 2012 Report on experiences of “gender expansive” youth (based on survey of 10,000 by Human Rights Campaign and Gender Spectrum)
  • Fordham University Center for Ethics Education suggests ways for  “Creating LGBTQ Inclusive Curriculum and Classroom Climate.”
  • Transgender Allyship and Advocacy – Campus Pride 
  • Southern Poverty Law Center, Tips for Teachers - Ally Yourself with LGBT students
  • The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is geared toward students younger than college age, but its Safe Space Kit can help you understand student experiences, become familiar with terminology, consider your own attitudes, and consider how to be an ally.
  • Maurianne Adams, Lee Anne Bell, and Pat Griffin, Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice (Routledge, 2007) includes a number of chapters and exercises related to teaching about heterosexism and transgender oppression.
  • Western Illinois University includes a few ideas for how to include gay, lesbian, and bisexual concerns into the curriculum.
  • "Making Excellence Inclusive: Higher Education's LGBTQ Contexts," Diversity and Democracy 15, no. 1 (Winter 2012). This issue contains a number of short essays, including ones about institutional change, service learning, and LGBT studies at a variety of different institutions, including Michele DiPietro, “Applying the Seven Learning Principles to Creating LGBT-Inclusive Classrooms,”Diversity and Democracy (vol. 1, 2012).
  • For Elon-specific resources for LGBTQIA students and allies related to student organizations, housing, name changes, inclusive restrooms, counseling, bias incident reporting, how to get ally training sessions, the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, see theElon's Gender and LGBTQIA Center website. The Director of the Center, Matthew Antonio Bosch, is happy to consult with Elon faculty and students.

Inclusion in STEM Disciplines

  • Angela Linse, Wayne Jacobson, and Lois Reddick, “Teaching for Diversity and Inclusiveness in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM),” in Essays on Teaching Excellence; Toward the Best in the Academy 16, no. 7 (2004-5).
  • A.T. Miller, “The Multicultural Lab: Diversity Issues in STEM Classes,” in Matthew L. Ouellett, Teaching Inclusively (New Forums Press, 2005), 451-459.
  • Leslie S. Jones, “Science in the Interest of Social Justice: Untangling the Biological Realities of Race and Gender,” in Ouellett,Teaching Inclusively, 460-472.
  • Caryn McTighe Musil, editor, Gender, Science, and the Undergraduate Curriculum: Building Two-Way Streets (AAC&U, 2001). This book includes chapters on general chemistry; life, sex, and cells; women’s health; minorities and women in science and engineering; feminist pedagogy in chemistry, and curriculum in context. Book available in CATL Faculty Resource Center. An excerpt on feminist science studies at is posted at  
  • "Is Diversity Relevant to What I Teach?" from the AAC&U's Diversity Digest Winter 1997 provides a few examples from faculty for ways it can be.

Teaching Students with Disabilities

 Find materials created for an Elon workshop on  Teaching Students on the Autism Spectrum

You can find lots of ways to make your syllabus more accessible at this site created by a team and supported by the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching at Tulane.

University of North Texas' Office of Disability Accommodation has resources for faculty related to teaching students who are deaf or hard of hearing, have had brain injury (concussion), have learning disabilities, have psychiatric disabilities, or are on the autism spectrum.

More Resources to Come!

Please let CATL know if you have suggested resources or would like to see some added in a particular area.