Inclusive/Equitable Teaching Initiative

10/3/14 Dr. Joyce Lee, assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases who's leading the development of an app to help kids combat diabetes.This initiative originated from a recommendation outlined in the 2014 Provost’s Report on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Its primary objective is to enhance faculty expertise and dedication in fostering learning environments that embrace students from all backgrounds and identities, ensuring they feel welcomed, valued, and receive equitable support for their academic success. In December 2014, a task force comprised of experts from the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT), the Program on Intergroup Relations (IGR), and the Marsal Family School of Education was tasked with developing a model for faculty professional development focused on inclusive teaching for all University of Michigan faculty. The task force proposed a flexible model centered around inclusive teaching, conducting faculty focus groups to gather perspectives from a diverse range of faculty members, representing various roles, identities, and disciplines across the University. Over time, our awareness and understanding have deepened, acknowledging that systems of oppression continue to impact student outcomes in the classroom. Our commitment to dismantling these systems now involves not just inclusion but also a dedicated focus on equity, prompting us to update our terminology to reflect this intentional work.

Every academic year since October 2015, deans and directors have appointed a faculty or staff member to be a liaison for their unit to a campus-wide group, the Liaisons for Equitable Teaching (formerly Liaisons for Inclusive Teaching). The role of the liaisons is to represent the views of their respective unit, share information about the inclusive/equitable teaching initiative with their unit leadership and faculty, and assist with the development and implementation of a professional development program around equitable teaching in their unit that will meet the needs of their faculty. The liaisons have been working with their diversity strategic planning leads to include equitable teaching practices and curricular changes in their unit’s diversity strategic plan.

In May 2016, CRLT, IGR, and the LSA Inclusive Pedagogies Committee sponsored “Inclusive Teaching @ Michigan,” a series of workshops for faculty focused on concrete strategies for inclusive teaching through classroom practices, course design, and both formal and informal interactions with students. This was the first time this series of workshops was held, and CRLT has sponsored the Equity-focused Teaching at Michigan May Series annually due to increased interest and requests from faculty across campus for more training around equity-focused teaching practices.

In addition, the Inclusive Teaching at Michigan website hosted by the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) and co-sponsored by ODEI is a resource for the entire U-M community. It hosts curated pages on special topics (e.g., Practicing Anti-Racist Pedagogy, Resources for Online Courses, Large Courses, and STEM Courses) as well as other resources (e.g., video content and sample activities) to support instructors in and outside of the classroom.

If you have any questions about U-M’s Inclusive/Equitable Teaching Initiative, email Assistant Vice Provost Debbie Willis at willisds@umich.edu.