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Creating Inclusive Classrooms

As an instructor at Napa Valley College, there are many opportunities to capitalize on the presence of the representational diversity both in our community and particularly with our teaching. The following resources suggest a number of actions to take to make our classrooms as healthy and as safe an environment possible for all student learners. These resources also include a number of suggestions for engaging with particular diversity topics.

Please Note: The following resources are suggestions and are currently being vetted through the Faculty Business Committee.

Looking for something to place on your syllabus? Below are two paragraphs you may wish to consider using. The second paragraph is the basic statment, however our own Greg Miraglia suggests adding the first to address bullying as well. Thanks for sharing Greg! Please note, the following statment is a suggested addition to your syllabus. This statment, along with the other resources on this page are suggestions and are currently under review through the Faculty Business Committee

Students are expected to participate fully in all class activities. It is expected that students will be open-minded and participate fully in discussions in class and online and debate in a mature and respectful manner. Use of derogatory, condescending, or offensive language including profanity is prohibited. For example, words such as "stupid" and "dumb" have no place in describing another person's statement. Remember, disagreement is healthy and perfectly acceptable. Expressing disagreement should always include an explanation of your reasoning and, whenever possible, evidence to support your position. Class participation is included in the final grade.

In accordance with Napa Valley College Board Policies, the Student Code of Conduct, and applicable state and federal laws, discrimination based on gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability is prohibited in any form.

Engaging with Social Inequality and Current Topics in Class

  • The Zinn Education Project
    The Zinn Education Project website offers free, downloadable lessons and articles organized by theme, time period, and reading level. The Zinn Education Project is coordinated by two non-profit organizations, Rethinking Schools and Teaching for Change. Its goal is to introduce students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of United States history than is found in traditional textbooks and curricula.
  • SoJust: Primary Source History of Social Justice
    SoJust is a collection of historic speeches, songs, poetry, and essays on human rights and social justice. It is a project of EdChange, a source of professional development, research, and resources for diversity, multiculturalism, and cultural competence.
  • Without Prejudice: Resources for Change
    Resources for Change is a clearing-house for anti-discrimination education resources and is designed for educators and individuals committed to making positive change. It is a project of the Access to Media Education Society.
  • Media Education Foundation
    The Media Education Foundation produces and distributes documentary films and other educational resources to inspire critical reflection on the social, political, and cultural impact of American mass media. In addition to their films, MEF offers study guides, transcripts, and other materials that support the use of their films in the classroom and other venues.
  • Team Based Learning
    Team-Based Learning (TBL) is an increasingly-popular form of small group learning. The four components of TBL are permanent teams, readiness assurance, application activities, and peer evaluation. TBL is possible even in large theater-style classrooms with fixed seats. TBL teachers report high levels of student attendance, preparation, participation and critical thinking. TBL students report being more motivated and enjoying class more, even when the subject is not in their major.
  • Diversifying Economic Quality Wiki
    This wiki promotes best teaching practices in economics, particularly practices that encourage women, students of color, and members of other underrepresented groups to continue their study of economics. Here, economists can disseminate and discover prescriptions for improving our teaching and the inclusiveness of our discipline. The teaching strategies offered here are presented alongside evidence of their effectiveness and practical suggestions for implementation. The wiki also provides data describing patterns of participation in our profession and opportunities for thoughtful reflection on why inclusion and diversity are important to the future of economic theory and policymaking.