Why an Ohio State inclusive teaching resource?

At UCAT and across The Ohio State University, we value diversity and inclusion for teachers and students. We strive to provide resources and support that foster inclusive learning environments for our community, both on campus and online.

THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY IS COMMITTED TO FOSTERING A CULTURALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY DIVERSE ENVIRONMENT AND ENCOURAGING ALL MEMBERS OF OUR LEARNING COMMUNITY TO REACH THEIR FULL POTENTIAL.

-The Ohio State University official diversity statement 

Why do we need inclusive teaching now?

In our work as a teaching center, we hear personal experiences from teachers and students across the disciplines. Recently we have noticed a common theme in questions and concerns being raised: uncertainty. In the past year, our university has experienced a series of challenges including a violent incident on our main campus, a divisive election, and increasing incidents of incivility. Some of these issues affect the higher education community at large, but others have been deeply personal to Ohio State students, faculty and staff.  Our teachers, many for the first time, are coming to us with very real fears and questions about policies and scenarios ranging from guns in classrooms, challenges to authority based on gender or race or nationality, and what to do when the political climate impacts the classroom.

Of course, not everyone shares these concerns. A collegial counter-point raised by an experienced lecturer is that it is not worth talking about the “worst-case scenarios”. More often than not, the hypothetical will not become reality and we don’t want to overshadow the overwhelmingly positive interaction and experience of learning and teaching at Ohio State.  From a practical standpoint, we don’t want to lose our focus on preparing for the day to day challenges of good teaching at the expense of the extreme possibilities.

Inclusive teaching is an evidence-based approach to better learning outcomes in any course that can also help us manage conflict.

Our mission at UCAT is to serve all who teach at Ohio State. In pursuit of this goal, we want to acknowledge the events that are shaping teaching and learning at our university and meet the changing needs of our instructors while reinforcing the principles of inclusive teaching that make our university accessible to all. The resources here are intended to provide an introduction to inclusive teaching and just-in-time support. You will find overviews and deeper readings on current issues in higher ed., as well as Ohio State-specific voices, teaching resources, and events.

As always, you are invited to schedule a free and confidential appointment with one of our instructional consultants to further discuss your personal teaching goals and challenges.