Teaching for Diverse Populations

Introduction

As colleges and universities become increasingly more diverse, instructors must understand the needs and behaviors of a broad range of students and develop techniques for working effectively with them. The first three links below present general strategies for teaching diverse populations. The succeeding links provide information on specific student populations: women; students of color; students with disabilities; gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students; adult learners; and international students.

 

General Resources

Creating Inclusive College Classrooms,” Shari Saunders and Diana Kardia. (University of Michigan, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching).
This article details specific strategies for creating a classroom climate in which all students feel safe, supported, respected, and equally valued. Covers such issues as inclusive course content, managing classroom activities, and dealing with problematic assumptions.
http://www.crlt.umich.edu/gsis/p3_1

Diversity in the College Classroom. (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Center for Teaching and Learning, 1997).
This online publication offers individual chapters on a dozen different types of students on campus. Each chapter describes the challenges faced by that group, including quotes from student interviews, and offers suggestions for enhancing instruction for that group. Also provides a chapter on general strategies for inclusive teaching.
http://cfe.unc.edu/pdfs/TeachforInclusion.pdf

Illinois Cultural Diversity Association (Western Illinois University).
Annotated bibliography of journals and videos on cultural diversity, multicultural education, and traditionally underrepresented groups.
http://www.wiu.edu/ICDA/resources.shtml

Recognizing and Addressing Cultural Variations in the Classroom ( Carnegie Mellon University , Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence Intercultural Communication Center ).
An online handbook for instructors to help them deal more effectively with today’s diverse classroom populations. Describes the areas of possible culture clash in U.S. classrooms and offers suggestions for instructors in areas such as expectations, skill development, teaching practices, and grading.
http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/resources/PublicationsArchives/InternalReports/culturalvariations.pdf

How to Teach to a Diverse Audience (Online Teaching Information Center).
This site offers a selected, annotated, collection of online resources dealing with several categories of diversity: race, disabilities, international, adult, gender and sexuality, and others. General resources offer links to two dozen additional university or government portals for materials on how to teach to our increasingly diverse student populations.
http://www.cfans.umn.edu/diversity/web%20text/How%20to%20Teach%20to%20a%20Diverse%20Audience.pdf

Making Excellence Inclusive in STEM Classes-Barrier #1: Stereotypes by Destiny Dawn Aman (Shreyer Institute for Teaching Excllence, Penn State University).
Provides a clear, concrete, data-driven analysis of how stereotypes are formed and the impact they have on STEM classes. A “What Can We Do?” section describes research- based interventions faculty can use to reduce the impact of stereotypes on student performance. Videos document ideas.
http://www.psu.edu/dept/site/2011/12/making-excellence-inclusive-in-stem-classes-thoughts-from-inclusive-excellence-workshop-3.html

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Women

Michigan State University’s Women’s Resource Center
Offers a wide-ranging body of resources and links at MSU and elsewhere related to women at all levels in higher education.
http://wrc.msu.edu/

Undergraduate Women in Science and Engineering: Providing Academic Support,” Susan Montgomery and Martha Cohen Barrett. (University of Michigan, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching Occasional Paper # 8, 1997). Adobe Acrobat/PDF.
Presents research findings on factors that influence the educational experience of undergraduate women in science and engineering, and makes suggestions for enhancing their support and success.
http://www.crlt.umich.edu/sites/default/files/resource_files/CRLT_no8.pdf

Women’s Studies Online Resources (University of Maryland, Baltimore County).
Contains links to high-quality web sites focusing on women’s studies or women’s issues, including the WMST-L File Collection, an international email forum on women’s studies teaching, research, and program administration; the Center for Women and Information Technology; and much more.
http://userpages.umbc.edu/~korenman/wmst/

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Students of Color

Perceptions of Faculty Behavior by Students of Color,” Mark Chesler. (University of Michigan, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching Occasional Paper #7, 1997). Adobe Acrobat/PDF.
Reports results of 15 focus groups with undergraduate students of color addressing issues of faculty behavior and classroom climate. Suggests ways faculty can achieve a more equitable classroom environment.
http://www.crlt.umich.edu/sites/default/files/resource_files/CRLT_no7.pdf

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Latino/Latina American Students

Latino Intersections (Dartmouth College)
An online resource in Latino/Latina studies. Offers 5 areas: academic journal, students' work, news and events, resource center, and bulletin board. Resources (links on left) include teaching materials for Latino issues, syllabi for courses in Latina Studies, lists of media and books, and more.
http://journals.dartmouth.edu/latinox/

Encrucijada Vol. 1, Issue 1 (2003)
An issue of this journal from Latino Intersections devoted to scholarly papers presented at the Latinos 2000 conference at Dartmouth College. Several papers are on the conference theme of "Latinos and Learning".
http://journals.dartmouth.edu/cgi-bin/WebObjects/Journals.woa/xmlpage/2/issue/2

American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education
An association dedicated to improving educational success for Hispanics. See especially their online publications.
http://aahhe.org/

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Asian-American and Pacific Islander Students

"Asian-American and Pacific Islander Students Are Not Monolithically Successful, Report Says" by Jennifer Gonzalez. The Chronicle of Higher Education, Monday, July 11, 2011
Summary of the summer 2011 report that refutes prevailing stereotypes of the education and financial success of Asian-American and Pacific Islanders students.
http://chronicle.com/article/Asian-AmericanPacific/128061/

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Students with Disabilities

Making Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: A Guide for Faculty and Graduate Instructors,” Crisca Bierwert. (University of Michigan, Center for Research on Learning and Teaching Occasional Paper #17, 2002). Adobe Acrobat/PDF.
Presents federal legislation and data on students with disabilities in higher education. Discusses resources and support strategies for helping these students succeed.
http://www.crlt.umich.edu/sites/default/files/resource_files/CRLT_no17.pdf

Teaching Resources Guide: Disability Services (University of California, Irvine).
Specific ideas for supporting students with several kinds of impairments from physical problems to learning disabilities.
http://www.disability.uci.edu/index.php

The Faculty Room: Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology, DO-IT (University of Washington).
This site focuses on providing access for students with disabilities in postsecondary education. Links help faculty consider strategies for maximizing learning for all students. Also links to DO-IT Home, the site designed to “increase success of people with disabilities in college and careers.”
http://www.washington.edu/doit/Faculty/

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Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Students

Campus Climate and Needs Assessment Study for GLBT Students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.” (University of Nebraska-Lincoln).
Discusses results of a GLBT student survey done at UNL, and lists several ways faculty members and departments can create a climate respectful of all students.
http://www.unl.edu/cglbtc/reports/GLBT%20Executive%20Summary.pdf

LGBT Resources (University of Georgia LGBT Resource Center).
Provides numerous links to valuable LGBT information, such as coming out guides for various ethnic communities, workplace issues, census data, and campus climate issues.
http://lgbtcenter.uga.edu/safespace/resources.html

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Adult Learners

Teaching Tips: How People Learn (Honolulu Community College, Faculty Development).
This page has 5 links to information on understanding adults as learners and strategies for success with adults in the classroom.
http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/intranet/committees/FacDevCom/guidebk/teachtip/teachtip.htm

Teaching Adult Students,” Cheryl J. Polson, Kansas State University. (IDEA Paper No. 29, 1993). Adobe Acrobat/PDF.
Characteristics of adult learners and implications for teaching.
http://ideaedu.org/sites/default/files/Idea_Paper_29.pdf

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Veterans in the Classroom

Resources for Teaching Veterans
http://fod.msu.edu/oir/veterans-classroom#teachers

Resources for Veterans as Students
http://fod.msu.edu/oir/veterans-classroom#Veterans_as_Students

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International Students

Tips for Better Cross-Cultural Communication (Michigan State University Office of International Students and Scholars)
A list of suggestions for working with or teaching international students more effectively.
http://oiss.isp.msu.edu/resources/culture/tips.htm

Suggestions for Teaching International Students More Effectively (Oxford Brookes University). Adobe Acrobat/PDF.
Useful guidelines for attending to the special needs of international students, from being more explicit to teaching “Western” academic skills.
http://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/ocsld/resources/briefing_papers/international_students.pdf

Teaching International Students Across the Curriculum: Supporting Academic Listening/Speaking,” prepared by Soonhyang Kim (Ohio State University, Faculty and TA Development).
Research findings and pedagogical suggestions focused on 3 areas of difficulty for international students: note-taking and comprehension, lack of confidence, and unfamiliarity with U.S. discourse patterns.
http://ucat.osu.edu/Publications/intloral.html

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Assessing Cultural Understanding

Intercultural Knowledge and Competence VALUE Rubric
http://www.aacu.org/value/rubrics/pdf/InterculturalKnowledge.pdf

Civic Knowledge and Engagement—Local and Global-- VALUE Rubric
http://www.aacu.org/value/rubrics/pdf/CivicEngagement.pdf

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Michigan State University Resources

Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives
http://www.inclusion.msu.edu/

Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities
http://www.rcpd.msu.edu/Home

Web Accessibility
http://webaccess.msu.edu/

Office of Accessibility and Usability
http://usability.msu.edu/

Women's Resource Center
http://wrc.msu.edu/

Office of Study Abroad
http://studyabroad.isp.msu.edu/

Office of International Studies and Programs
http://www.isp.msu.edu/

Office for International Students and Scholars
http://oiss.isp.msu.edu/

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