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Inclusive Teaching - Glossary

Glossary of terms for inclusive teaching

The materials in this document are taken from the Inclusive STEM Teaching Project course on the edX platform.

Agency - The ability to act independently and make free choices; the ability to make conscious decisions for oneself. 

Diversity - Individual differences (e.g., personality, prior knowledge, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability, as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations). 

Dominant Narrative - An explanation or story told in service of the dominant social group’s interests and ideologies. 

Classroom Climate - The social-ecological setting of the classroom is constructed from individual and collective students’ perceptions of their academic experience, including the rigor of the class, their interactions with their instructor and peers, and their involvement in the class. Classroom climate is “the social-ecological setting in which students’ function [and] can affect their attitudes and moods, behavior and performance, self-concept and a general sense of well-being. 

Critical Reflection - A reasoning process to make meaning of an experience. This process adds depth and breadth to an experience and builds connections between course content and the experience. 

Equity - The fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people while striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the procedures and processes of institutions or systems and their distribution of resources. Tackling equity issues requires understanding the root causes of outcome disparities within our society. 

Inclusion - The active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity—in the curriculum, in the co-curricular, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect—in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions. 

Inclusive Teaching - An approach in which instructors reflect critically on all aspects of their courses, rethinking their curricular choices, teaching methods, activities, assessments, and the intersections of their own identities and those of their students. Inclusive teaching approaches can also guide instructors to reflect on how power, privilege, and positionality play out in different learning environments. 

Privilege - a group of unearned cultural, legal, social, and institutional rights extended to a group based on their social group membership. 

Positionality - one’s social location or position assigned and negotiated as a result of combining various social factors or identifiers, including but not limited to race, sex, class, gender, ability, age, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, physical stature, education, religion, occupation, relational status, language. 

Identity - the social categories that represent how a person or a group understands themselves and how the world may perceive them. These complex interactions describe the qualities, beliefs, looks, and/or expressions that make a person or a group. Social identity is one of the ways of naming the complex interactions between how we understand ourselves and how others see us concerning major social categories. These identities are socially constructed and can be readily apparent to others or not, shared with others or kept private, self-claimed, and, or ascribed by others. We focus on visible and invisible social identities and less on relational or professional identities. 

Oppression - Describes policies, practices, norms, and traditions that systematically exploit one social group (the target group) by another (the dominant group) for the dominant group’s benefit. 

Power - a diffuse, dynamic, and relational concept that can facilitate or restrict the ability of an individual to influence or act within a classroom or research context. 

Social Belonging - A sense of having positive relationships with others.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) - a research-based set of principles that guide the design of learning environments such that they are accessible and effective to the broadest range of individuals possible 

Content provided by the Inclusive Stem Teaching Project

Keywordsglossary, DEI, diversity, equity, inclusion, inclusive, teachingDoc ID117954
OwnerTimmo D.GroupInstructional Resources
Created2022-04-14 08:09:13Updated2024-04-26 12:59:57
SitesCenter for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring
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