Inclusive Pedagogy


Inclusive Communication

Initially, inclusivity begins with each of us. What steps can we take to create a welcoming, respectful environment? Before the semester begins, think about how you will personally welcome all of your students. At the start of the course, invite students to share their pronoun preferences (if they care to) and how to pronounce their names. You might find this resource on personal pronouns helpful and you might consider sharing it with your students. Think about how you will support students whose first language is not English. Engage students with opportunities to create classroom norms and culture. The language you use in class materials and in your syllabus signals to your students how welcoming your classroom environment will be.

  • Consider sharing about yourself and your intentions for inclusivity. Acknowledge that we all have work to do in this area.
  • Share your lived experiences so that your students connect to you personally; these connections can build rapport.
  • Recognize whether you allow some students to dominate the conversation. When responding to these situations, do your actions imply that their viewpoints are more valuable or carry more weight than other students’ comments?
  • Reflect on what your nonverbal communication says to students. Consider recording a class video and then watching the video with the sound off.
  • Encourage students or colleagues to give you feedback on your written and verbal communication to ensure it is inclusive.
  • Intentionally plan your teaching so that a variety of viewpoints can be heard and examined in the spirit of advancing knowledge.
  • Structure your teaching so that students get to interact with (and, possibly, get to know) other students.
  • Support your students’ ability to perceive the content in a variety of communication modalities.
  • Pay attention to your language and symbolic representations that you use in your lectures, conversations, written communication, and presentation materials.
  • Consult resources for inclusive approaches to communications about gender.