Inclusivity in the Classroom: Strategies for Fostering Community

Inclusivity in the Classroom: Strategies for Fostering Community

Striving for an inclusive classroom is every instructor’s goal, but there is often ambiguity in what constitutes an inclusive environment and how instructors can facilitate it. This workshop will discuss the concept of inclusivity in the classroom and suggest concrete strategies for instructors to utilize in order to create a more welcoming and open learning community. While the strategies are designed to apply to both physical and virtual classroom environments, the workshop will also address the unique hurdles of online teaching and discuss ways to mitigate and navigate them.

 By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

- Create a working definition for the term inclusivity. 
- Assess various strategies for fostering inclusive classroom environments.
- Develop 2-3 strategies for building community in your own classroom. 


Aisha Valiulla is a 4th year in the History Department and the 2020-21 Teaching Coordinator for the department's Graduate Teaching Committee. Her research is focused on the literary legacies of Indian Ocean trade and cross-cultural exchange during the late antique era (900--1400). She has been a TA at Northwestern for two years and is particularly interested in thinking about ways to facilitate community within the classroom, to engage students through both active learning strategies and lectures, and methods of self-evaluation by which TAs can gauge the effectiveness of their teaching.

Samantha Freeman is a sixth-year PhD candidate in the Screen Cultures department. Her dissertation traces how television represents sexual violence in an effort to better understand how narratives have changed over time. She has TAed a variety of media courses in her time at Northwestern and taught #MeToo Media, a course she designed through the Searle Teaching Certificate program, this last summer. She is passionate about feminist pedagogy and is especially interested in how we as educators can best design inclusive and safe classrooms for our students.