The important role professors play in helping our students appreciate cultural diversity cannot be overvalued. There has been much written about what a Culturally Responsive
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As the student body becomes increasingly diverse, it’s important to have faculty incorporate multicultural design into their courses regardless of discipline. Although it may not seem that all disciplines lend themselves to including multiculturalism as a learning goal, consider how Christine Stanley and Mathew Ouellett frame the issue.
Today’s classrooms require that instructors possess competencies for teaching all students. Robust instructional strategies and culturally sensitive curricula are critical, but more important is an instructor who is sensitive and responsive to the unique differences of each student. Recognizing the need to strengthen specific competencies to reach and teach all students requires an understanding of new ideas and a willingness to view instruction through varied cultural lenses.
In an interview with The Teaching Professor, Christine Stanley, vice president and associate provost for diversity and professor of higher education administration at Texas A&M University, and Matt Ouellett, associate director of the Center for Teaching & Faculty Development at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, offered a brief overview of their approach to creating a learning environment that is welcoming to students of all backgrounds.
“I don’t really have any diversity issues in my class because all of my students are white.”
“I have a lot of content to cover, so there’s really no time to address multiculturalism.”
Diversity, once largely centered on race and ethnicity, has evolved over the years to include a broad range of personal attributes, experiences, and backgrounds, each interlocking to create one’s social identity.