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Teaching Inclusively: An Approach to the Dynamics of Diversity in the University Classroom

Maurianne Adams, Ph.D., Professor Emerita

University of Massachusetts Amherst
Thursday, January 8, 2009, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Regency Room, Holmes Student Center

Maurianne Adams
Maurianne Adams

The college classroom has become a critically important place where students can explore their assumptions about diversity and social justice, learn about communities other than their own, try on new perspectives, and gain a more expansive and complex humanity as a result of their interaction with people whose experiences differ from their own.

This Institute examines four educational components of diversity in classrooms: (1) our understanding of who our students are and how their diverse social identities affect their interactions in socially diverse classrooms; (2) our own social identities as faculty in relation to social differences among our students; (3) challenges and opportunities we face as we create inclusive curricula in our courses and disciplines; (4) exposure and hands-on experience of pedagogical strategies that foster active learning and effective interpersonal interaction in classrooms that are socially and culturally diverse.

This seminar will model an interactive social justice education approach, so that participants can experience and also make decisions about approaches that best suit their discipline, training, prior experience, and temperament.

Maurianne Adams teaches social justice education graduate courses on foundations of social justice education and social identity. She has co-edited and written chapters on pedagogy, religious oppression, and knowing one’s students for Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, Strangers and Neighbors: Relations between Blacks and Jews in the United States, and Readings for Diversity and Social Justice. Dr. Adams has published articles on inclusive learning and faculty development. She is editor of Equity & Excellence in Education and consults on social justice pedagogy, faculty development, religious oppression, and social justice and diversity issues. Listed below is the tentative agenda for the workshop:

Morning (8:00 am – 12:00 pm)
8:00 AM
Check-in and Refreshments
8:25 AM
Welcome and Introductions
  • Distinguishing between “diversity” and “social justice” in our approaches to teaching
  • Analyzing the dynamics of diversity in the classroom (Who are our students? Who are we—the faculty? Curricular challenges; Pedagogical experiences)
9:45 AM
Refreshment Break
  • Implications of the instructor-awareness dimension of classroom diversity (vignettes of classroom challenges)
Afternoon (1:00 – 4:00 pm)
  • Developing more inclusive classroom practices; strategies that foster communication and interaction across social and cultural differences
  • Models for curriculum-content inclusion and their implications across academic disciplines
2:00 PM
Refreshment Break
  • Ways to help students explore their own self awareness
  • How can we create a departmental culture that supports socially and culturally inclusive teaching?
4:00 PM
Wrap-up, evaluation, and certificate presentation

Registration Information:

The workshop is only for NIU faculty, staff and teaching assistants. Registered participants will receive workshop materials, lunch, refreshments, and a certificate of participation. Advanced registration is required. You can register online at or by completing and returning the form below, or by phone (815) 753 0595, email  Include your name, title, department, phone, NIU email, and special accommodations needed.

Due to the expensive nature of the program and the advance notice needed for arranging food and materials, please register by the deadline and plan to attend the entire workshop, if you register.  Registration Deadline:  December 19, 2008.  After you register, if you are unable to attend, please inform the Center by January 6, 2009 so that those on the waiting list could be given the opportunity to attend the workshop or program costs could be reduced.

Registration Deadline: December 19, 2008 . Please complete the form below to register.

Faculty/Staff/Teaching Assistant Registration Form

Registration is closed for this program.

Last Updated: 11/23/2015