STEM Faculty Resources

STEM classrooms are often overlooked in the area of inclusive education. However, there are a few techniques that can be added to any STEM classroom to improve the experience of all students and increase the inclusivity of the course. Introducing the class to a diverse body of experts in the field who are women or people of color can go far to improve the experience of the course. You will also find a section devoted to STEM Education on the Recommended Readings page.

An Instructor’s Guide to Understanding Privilege

This page helps instructors better understand and attend to the ways that privilege operates in the classroom. Privilege refers to the systemic or structural advantages that affect people based on identity factors, such as race, gender, sex, religion, class, sexuality, and disability. Depending on their proximity to privilege, students and instructors may find that thinking about and discussing privilege can be difficult. Students and instructors can navigate this difficulty by acknowledging discomfort without avoiding discussion. Instructors should familiarize themselves with the ways that privilege can impact their classroom and implement strategies to mitigate this impact.

Incorporating Language about Gender-Based Violence and Sexual Abuse into Your Course Syllabus

Students may experience sexual or gender-based violence before arriving at college or while they are on campus. In fact, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of male undergraduates experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation. Moreover, 8.8% of females and 2.2% of male graduate students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapcitation. Instructors should consider whether their course structure and content might create a difficult learning environment for students who have had these experiences. This page provides language that instructors can include in their course syllabus to let students know they are supported and welcomed into an inclusive learning community. For example, instructors can address faculty support, content notifications, and self-disclosure/personal sharing in their course syllabus.

Doing One’s Own Personal Work on Privilege and Oppression

This page is intended as a starting place for instructors to think about their own experience of privilege and oppression as a crucial part of the foundational work of inclusive pedagogy. It is important for instructors to learn about and reflect on topics like social identity, social relations, inequality, and social justice education because we expect our students to do the same. Instructors can share with students their own learning process, but only when such sharing is done appropriately and with educational benefit. This guide offers reflective questions for instructors to explore and suggestions for ways to work through the personal challenge of anti-oppressive work.

Stereotype Threat

This page explains the stereotype threat, provides strategies for instructors to counteract the stereotype threat, and directs instructors to further resources. Stereotype threat is the risk that people who fall into identity groups that are often negatively stereotyped may underperform in evaluative settings like the classroom, as a result of feeling the pressure of the stereotype. Although stereotype threat can impact student performance in any course, it is particularly prevalent in STEM courses, so this page focuses primarily on the context of STEM courses. To overcome the stereotype threat, instructors should emphasize that course skills are learned rather than innate in addition to fostering an inclusive classroom environment.

Inclusive Syllabus Language

This page offers inclusive language that instructors may adopt and adapt for their own syllabi, such as sample syllabus sections and examples of discussion guidelines. Some sample syllabus sections that promote inclusivity include Religious/Cultural Observance and Student Mental Health and Well-being. Additionally, the discussion guidelines can be used to communicate expectations to students on how to approach material and one another in the classroom. This page demonstrates how inclusive pedagogical practices can be implemented in syllabus construction.

Inventory of Inclusive Teaching Strategies

The Inventory of Inclusive Teaching Strategies has 50 concrete strategies to help instructors build an inclusive classroom. The Inventory has four course components: student-instructor interaction, student-student interaction, content, and instructional practices. Instructors can use this resource to reflect on their classroom practices and decide which strategies they would like to implement.