Inclusive teaching in Higher Education

Inclusive teaching has been defined in a number of ways. These various definitions share an emphasis on encouraging a learning environment that is accessible to all students, fosters their continued engagement equally, facilitates openness to different ways of thinking and being, and overtly values and individual differences. In such environments, teachers and students alike are aware of, and work to counteract assumptions and biases, they strive for transparency, and they foster accountability. As a result, all learners feel respected, and therefore supported in their intellectual and personal growth.

Inclusive teaching is not something you do to others, e.g., your students, but, rather, requires taking a reflective approach to education in order to create an environment in which everyone can thrive. Inclusivity is addressed in various laws and initiatives, which you can read more about here.

How to use these pages:

Some inclusive teaching practices and principles might seem challenging for even for the most enlightened and reflective educator, as a result of competing priorities, differing opinions, and unconscious bias. Encouraging others to be similarly adaptive and open-minded – and to change embedded practices and institutions – can seem an even more formidable task. 

The following pages are inspired by the Ward-Gale Model for LGBTQ inclusivity in the Higher Education Curriculum; you can download a quick guide to this model in both DOC and PDF form.

The structure of the pages allows educators to navigate directly to the resources they need most as they work towards greater inclusivity; there are materials for those who are just getting started, those taking their next steps, and those looking to transform their practice. Within each of these areas, there is guidance on using appropriate language, accessing inclusivity training and guidance materials, and adjusting your educational content and curricula