Building Communities of Belonging: Strategies for Inclusive Classrooms
The work of building a learning community that values wholeness and closeness is, as bell hooks reminds us, not only a creative act of love but also a political act of resistance, a purposeful break with the dominating culture that too often splits us up, closes us down, and hierarchizes us. In this workshop, we will consider proactive strategies for creating inclusive learning communities that explicitly center diverse perspectives and that are based in trust, choice, connection, and belonging. We will outline strategies such as forming Brave Space Agreements, implementing alternative modes of assessment, and facilitating collaborative learning activities. By the end of the session, participants will develop practical skills and resources for building community and fostering student belonging in their own classrooms.
About the Facilitators:
Owen Brown is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at Northwestern University and a part-time instructor in the Department of Liberal Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Both his teaching and his research center concerns of critical reflexivity, and aim to encourage deeper and more equitable engagement with the diverse world that we live in both inside the academy and beyond it. Owen is also interested in decolonial practices of knowledge cultivation and sharing that draw on multiple ways of knowing and learning.
Carter Moulton is a Graduate Teaching Consultant at the Searle Center for Advancing Learning & Teaching and a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Radio-Television-Film at Northwestern University. He is passionate about researching, imagining, and organizing around critical pedagogy. His article about fostering student belonging is forthcoming in the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies Teaching Dossier.