This week, CRLT kicks off our Inclusive Teaching at Michigan 2021 May Series. Our theme for this year, "Widening the Lens: Equity Focused Teaching," emphasizes the need for instructors to more clearly focus on developing an equity-driven teaching practice. We will offer a range of workshops designed to help U-M instructors think beyond inclusion in order to explore and develop equity-focused commitments and practices in their teaching. Register now to attend some or all of the workshops in the series.
An Invitation to the 2021 Inclusive Teaching @ Michigan series: Widening the Lens: Equity Focused Teaching
In light of the disruptions that have characterized the year, including a global pandemic, civil and political unrest, racial reckoning, and widespread shifts to remote teaching and learning, the need to widen our lens from inclusion to a more equity-focused view of teaching and learning has become all the more evident and urgent. At CRLT, we have found ourselves asking a range of questions to help us move toward more equitable practices, including ones aimed at reevaluating our framework for inclusive teaching. While inclusive teaching practices are important, they often don’t foreground larger systems of inequity (e.g., racism, classism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, nativism, etc.). Without explicit attention to the impact of systemic inequity, inclusion efforts can approach all forms of student difference as equal and often ignore the specific social and political conditions that shape our students’ experiences in the classroom differently. For example, instructors are frequently encouraged to include all students or all voices in the classroom, without also being asked to consider which voices have been persistently excluded or marginalized within and beyond the classroom.
While final exams are a stressful time for all U-M students, in the Winter 2021 semester, Muslim students will face an additional set of challenges. This year, the Muslim holiday of Ramadan will fall during finals (the full holiday runs from April 13-May13), and students observing the holiday will be fasting from dawn to sunset. For many students this entails maintaining concentration and energy for exams that might fall late in the afternoon after waking up before dawn to have an early meal; having to postpone breaking the fast until after taking a late exam; or losing sleep while studying late into the night after breaking the fast.
By: Lyss Shumaker
In this guest post, our partners from the Student Parent Excellence Committee offer key insights into the experiences of student parents and strategies that can be applied in the classroom to support their excellence. To learn more about this cross-campus committee, please visit: http://www.cew.umich.edu/advocacy-initiatives/student-parents/
During the Covid-19 pandemic, many instructors have found themselves balancing a disproportionate workload, where the intersection of work and personal boundaries are blending together. The current remote learning landscape has also given instructors a window into students’ lives and the complex commitments they are balancing–especially those with caregiver responsibilities, including parents. Based on financial aid data alone, we know that there are over 700 student parents actively enrolled at U-M. This blog post will provide context for the challenges student parents face in the classroom and strategies for how you can support the learning of student parents enrolled in your courses.
This is the third of a three-part series by CRLT and the Ginsberg Center outlining strategies and resources that instructors can use to plan, frame, and facilitate conversations about the 2020 Election.
In Part 1 of this CRLT/Ginsberg Election Resource series, we suggest that instructors from every discipline can address the 2020 Election in their courses in order to help students build and practice fundamental skills required for democracy. In Part 2, we outline a step-by-step process for making decisions about how to structure and facilitate an actual classroom conversation about the election.
After the election, students may experience a range of reactions that may impact their ‘bandwidth’ for learning and participation in your course. Regardless of political affiliation, students may be focused on managing the impacts of the election on their own lives and thinking about ‘what happens next.’ One way that you can support students in this moment is to highlight civic engagement as an ongoing, active practice that includes, but is not limited to, voting in an election.
U-M has now officially transitioned to entirely remote instruction, but we know that instructors’ process of figuring out how to navigate this enormous change will be ongoing. CRLT consultants are available to provide ideas, tools, and resources as you think through ways to shift your teaching methods and expectations -- and then rethink them as the trial and error process unfolds. We know that instructors will continue to navigate a series of pedagogical, technological, and social-emotional challenges in their teaching for the remainder of the term, and we’re committed to providing support for U-M’s teachers throughout. Following public health recommendations for, CRLT staff are primarily working and consulting remotely. But there are many ways you can get in touch with us to arrange a phone call, video meeting, email exchange, or online chat:
As the situation around the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to evolve, we know that many instructors are looking for resources to prepare for or respond to a range of teaching challenges that might emerge. Here are some topics to consider and resources to know about during this uncertain time:
We wish we did not have so many occasions to provide guidance to instructors on teaching in tumultuous times. The campus community is beginning yet another new term amidst a range of distressing events: from hate-based violence in the U.S. and around the world (including but certainly not limited to a series of anti-Semitic attacks in New York, a church shooting in Texas, and violence against Muslims in India), to environmental disasters in many parts of the world, to escalating conflict between the US and Iran. As we return from the break to the regular work of teaching and learning, many people in our community are feeling threatened and terrorized, grieving deeply, experiencing intense anger, or fighting a sense of despair at a swelling of hatred and violence in our nation and world. CRLT regularly re-posts the guidance below because it is important to remember that these emotions enter our classrooms, studios, and labs, and they can understandably and significantly affect students’ ability to focus on their learning and work with peers in our intellectual community.
University of Michigan students identify across a full spectrum of gender identities and gender expressions. As instructors, how can we cultivate gender-inclusive teaching and learning environments -- that is, environments that invite the full participation of students of all genders and respond to the harmful impact of gender stereotyping and misgendering on student learning?
Instructors in any discipline can promote gender inclusivity in their courses by trying out some or all of the strategies below. This list is not exhaustive and represents just some of the many intentional practices you might incorporate into your curriculum, policies, classroom facilitation, and interactions with students.