Pedagogical Commitments of the Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality

The faculty and instructors who teach courses that count toward Center certificates, minors, and the major are committed to the following pedagogical principles and practices: 

  1. We strive to serve the needs of all students with particular attention to the needs of students who face marginalization based on gender, gender identity, sexuality, race, immigration status, ability, socioeconomic status, and other intersecting social positions.
  2. We support gender nonbinary, nonconforming, and trans students by respecting their names, pronouns, and identities; holding classes in buildings with gender inclusive restrooms (or advocating for their creation when necessary); affirming trans people as whole, multi-dimensional, autonomous, and complex human beings whose subjectivity, autonomy, and right to exist are never subject to debate; and including knowledge production by gender nonbinary and trans people in the curriculum.
  3. We adopt student-centered and equity-oriented teaching practices. For example, we develop course policies that take into account different challenges students may encounter that may affect their participation and performance in the course. We strive to offer transparency, predictability, and consistency about course expectations and policies. We set clear grading expectations and communicate assessment criteria in efforts to reduce opportunities for bias. We develop course assignments that offer students the opportunity to demonstrate learning in more than one way. We connect students to resources and advocate for their learning and well-being.
  4. We take responsibility for assigning materials (e.g., textbooks, readings, presentations, resources) that represent diverse identities and experiences. We intentionally include voices and perspectives that are often marginalized or silenced. We hold ourselves accountable for the harmful practices and assumptions that have shaped our disciplines. 
  5. We co-create learning environments that promote a sense of safety and allow members to express their thoughts and feelings with authenticity and vulnerability. We facilitate respectful dialog about ideas, opinions, and lived experiences among students. We avoid burdening students from underrepresented groups with the expectation that they will “speak for” their group.
  6. We continue to build capacity and competence in trauma-informed pedagogy, closing racial equity gaps, accessibility, and queer- and trans-inclusive pedagogy. We cultivate critical self-reflection in our teaching practices, and we invite and incorporate feedback on approaches and teaching practices.

Contact Us

Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality
Reavis Hall, Room 103
DeKalb, IL 60115

Phone: 815-753-1038


National Women's Studies Association

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