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Teaching for Inclusion and Social Justice

As institutions of higher education welcome increasingly diverse student bodies and seek to expand the diversity of perspectives reflected in their curricula, faculty can sometimes struggle to carve out classroom spaces that support all students as they strive to meet their learning goals. The question of inclusion and social justice in the classroom has implications for all parts of our practice: curriculum development, pedagogical approach, and classroom interaction.

The “Teaching for Inclusion and Social Justice” cohort invites faculty to participate in a year-long inquiry into this complex pedagogical puzzle. All participants were asked to identify at least one new strategy they want to implement in one of their courses meant to improve either the inclusiveness of their course content or their classroom climate. We seek faculty from a range of disciplines to participate, particularly those whose subject matter doesn’t necessarily lend itself to discussions of “diversity.” Although we welcome a broad definition of inclusion and justice in this conversation, we focused most of our emphasis around questions of race/ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality, religion, and ability.

  • Audrey Friedman (Teacher Education, Special Education, and Curriculum and Instruction)
  • Lori Harrison-Kahan (English)
  • Melissa Kelley (STM)
  • Margaret Lombe (Social Work)
  • Timothy Mangin (Music)
  • Nelson Portillo (Counseling, Developmental and Educational Psychology)
  • Jennie Purnell (Political Science)
  • Colleen Simonelli (Nursing)
  • Christopher Stroup (STM)
  • Laura Tanner (English)
  • Brian Zimmerman (English)

Simulations in the Classroom

Simulations are being used by Boston College instructors across a range of academic disciplines to provide an engaged and interactive learning experience for their students. The purpose of the ‘Simulations in the Classroom Cohort’ was to connect these instructors and bring them together to share their knowledge and experiences with participants looking for guidance and support in refining their existing simulations with new and innovative practices, as well as those interested in exploring the use of simulations in their teaching for the first time.

The CTE defines simulations broadly as interactive experiences designed to teach students particular content or competencies by having them engage directly with the information or the skills being learned. This can take many forms, such as: a medical procedure taking place in an emergency room; member states of the European Union in a simulated summit; role playing key philosophers critiquing a specific text; or teams of students simulating chemical reactions to solve a problem.

Participants were asked to either incorporate a simulation into their teaching for the first time or identify one new strategy they want to implement into their existing simulations.

  • Kathleen Bailey (Political Science)
  • Sharon Beckman (Law)
  • Sarah Ehrich (English)
  • Jennifer Erickson (Political Science)
  • Elida Laski (Counseling, Developmental and Educational Psychology)
  • Scott McDermott (Business Law and Society)
  • Theresa O’Keefe (STM)
  • Lindsey O’Rourke (Political Science)
  • Erik Owens (Theology)
  • Delvon Parker (Operations Management)
  • Tracy Regan (Economics)
  • Carolyn Romano (Social Work)
  • Margaret Thomas (Slavic & Eastern Languages and Literatures)
  • Susan Tohn (Social Work)