Inclusive Classrooms:  Why be concerned?

Because research suggests there may be a problem

Research from colleges and universities around the country shows that some students feel they don’t “belong,” aren’t included, or aren’t respected in classrooms. You can learn more about student experiences.

Research further suggests that these same students are less likely than their peers to learn, stay in school, and graduate. In other words, inclusiveness is not about helping students feel good about themselves; it is aimed at helping students learn and succeed in college.

Because Elon faculty care about all their students

Elon University is a diverse community, and Elon faculty members are known for their respectful and caring interactions with individual students. Often the students who have reported not feeling included on college campuses belong to historically disadvantaged or marginalized groups (based on race, sex, religion, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, disability, national origin, ethnicity, etc.).  Marginalization and lack of equal opportunity are inconsistent with the first theme of the Elon Commitment: an “unprecedented commitment to diversity and global engagement.”

Because it’s consistent with Elon's mission

Elon’s mission states our commitment to:

  • integrate learning across the disciplines and put knowledge into practice, thus preparing students to be global citizens and informed leaders motivated by concern for the common good, and
  • foster respect for human differences, passion for a life of learning, personal integrity, and an ethic of work and service.

Because inclusive classrooms are consistent with good teaching practices

Many of the suggestions for inclusive pedagogy:

  • are very similar to techniques for engaged learning  that Elon faculty are known for utilizing;
  • help all students, not just those from underrepresented or marginalized groups;
  • work in any discipline;
  • help faculty maintain high standards.