Diversity Statement for Syllabi
Diversity statements may be included in course syllabi to demonstrate a commitment to fostering an inclusive classroom that welcomes the range of human representations, including race, class, gender, religion, accessibility, and socioeconomic status. Fundamentally, the diversity statement signals belief that all students have value and bring unique perspectives worthy of consideration. Often included as a paragraph or section, the diversity statement allows instructors to set expectations for instructional accommodations, civil discourse, encouragement for varying opinions, and standards of behavior within the classroom. These statements signal instructor commitment to foster classroom environments that are welcoming to all.
Also, the diversity statement can provide a precedent for diversity practices in science and math classrooms throughout the term:
- Explaining how teaching practices are meant to address the learning needs of diverse students.
- Acknowledging the history of exclusion of people with diverse identities, backgrounds, or ideologies from the field.
- Structuring classroom and group activities that intentionally supports learning and collaboration between diverse populations of students.
Resources for crafting diversity statements for course syllabi and fostering inclusive classrooms.
The University of Arizona – Creating Inclusive Classrooms: http://diversity.arizona.edu/creating-inclusive-classrooms
The University of Michigan – Center for Research on Teaching and Learning: http://www.crlt.umich.edu/multicultural-teaching/inclusive-teaching-strategies
Brown University – Harriet W Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning: http://www.brown.edu/sheridan/teaching-learning-resources/inclusive-teaching/statements