I am at at conference this summer – Rendezvous 2018 – Guided Pathways: Designing for Equity. I have chosen the strand “Rendezvous 2018: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion / Creating an Inclusive and Culturally Responsive Classroom” because I feel we are at a critical point in education where inclusiveness is at a real risk due to political, cultural, and economic factors: never before has it been this important. This is not just hyperbole on my part – we have students who are coming to school genuinely afraid of the government (including educators) because, despite their status, anyone apparently can be sent back to a perceived country of origin, or lose jobs, financial aide, or even children. Also, I am now working with more students from widely diverse populations than ever. This has been a profound privilege, benefit, and a challenge. Different cultures can have different priorities and values from one another – how do we navigate that in the classroom?
According to the description “This interactive, informational, and challenging strand will examine and explore issues of diversity, privilege, leadership and multicultural education across America and challenges participants to examine their own biases, behaviors, and belief systems. This strand will include topics related to multicultural education, inclusive pedagogy and white privilege. Participants will leave with the skills and knowledge necessary to begin addressing issues of power, leadership, white supremacy, white privilege and oppression both individually and institutionally. This strand is intended for faculty and administrators.“
Of course, what interests me the most is how do we practically apply this. What can we do in our classrooms to make a substantial change?
By the end of this strand participants will be able to reflect on their current practices, plan for curriculum re-designs, and facilitate learn groups to support this work. Participants will:
- Understand Skagit Valley College’s holistic implementation of equity initiatives.
- Participate in sample assignments, discussions, and inquiry taken from the SVC’s Inclusive Pedagogy Faculty Learning Community.
- Gain a step-by-step guide for implementing faculty learning communities with a focus on inclusion.
I will be posting my applications and implementations here to this blog as I meet with other instructors to explore these topics.