Develop an Inclusive Culture

An inclusive culture is achieved when parties from different and diverse backgrounds work together in a functional and supportive fashion. In our classrooms this requires a mindfulness towards our students' social, physical, and emotional dynamics as well as our own internal biases and backgrounds. When a students' perspective is systematically excluded from course materials, class activities, or class discussions students can feel alienated.

Promote Implicit Bias Awareness

Implicit bias describes the unconscious attitudes and beliefs we hold about a particular social or ethnic group. These biases cannot be avoided but by acknowledging and identifying our own biases we can better understand how we relate to the world and avoid allowing our biases to negatively impact our teaching or classroom environment. Implicit bias may also affect the way our students related to us and to each other.

The Illinois team addressed Implicit Bias Awareness as the theme for their regional workshop in 2017.
The Texas team presented aggregate class data for geoscience classes across the six Lone Star College campuses to faculty showing the success rates for different demographic groups tracked by the college and then facilitated discussions on stereotype threat, implicit bias, and sense of belonging.

Foster a Safe Environment

Fostering a safe environment allows students to share and converse feeling comfortable with peers and faculty. Without a safe environment students may feel alienated and are less likely to express concern to faculty or other students. To do this, instructors can foster an environment where many different experiences and abilities are highlighted through online activities and group work. This allows students of all backgrounds to feel acknowledged by their peers and allows students to broaden their understanding of topics presented.