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Teaching/Learning Center

How to Participate in the Faculty Learning Community

The growth of any craft depends on shared practice and honest dialogue among the people who do it. We grow by trial and error, to be sure—but our willingness to try, and fail, as individuals are severely limited when we are not supported by a community that encourages such risks.” —The Courage to Teach

Teaching is too often an isolated endeavor. A faculty learning community is a committed, collaborative, collegial group of faculty across disciplines who are interested in participating in discussing, researching, and recommending meaningful curriculum and pedagogy to improve teaching and learning. The topic for this FLC is infusing diversity into the curriculum. Infusing diversity into the curriculum means that multiple social, historical, political, and theoretical paradigms and concepts, based on the knowledge and experience of diminished groups, are included in all areas of study.

This Spring 2019 FLC established a definition of diversity that will be presented to the community for stakeholder input through the now-forming Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council.  In 2019-20, the FLC will continue to explore issues of diversity around critique, campus programming, curriculum, and inclusive pedagogy.


All full-time, adjunct and part-time faculty who have taught for a minimum of 1 year at Otis and have Chair approval are eligible. All faculty are encouraged to apply. Those selected will receive FLC Participation grants of $400 for 6 meetings. 

University Diversity Websites

  1. Increasing Inclusivity in the Classroom from Vanderbilt University
  2. Building Inclusive Classrooms from Cornell University
  3. Diversity and Inclusive Teaching from the University of Delaware
  4. RISDiversity: Community Narratives from Rhode Island School of Design
  5. Creating Inclusive Classrooms from the University of Arizona
  6. Diversity in the Classroom from Yale Center for Teaching and Learning
  7. Diversity & Creating an Inclusive Classroom from the University of Illinois
  8. Diversity and Inclusion in the Classroom from the University of Rhode Island
  9. Inclusive Teaching Resources and Strategies from the University of Michigan
  10. Strategies for Inclusive Teaching from Washington University
  11. Inclusive Pedagogy from Humboldt State University
  12. Diversity in the Classroom from UCLA Faculty Development

Literature Review

  1. A New Rubric for Assessing Institution-Wide Diversity
  2. Diversity in Teaching and Learning: Affirming Students as Empowered Learners
  3. Reconsidering the Inclusion of Diversity in the Curriculum
  4. Strategies for Inclusive Teaching
  5. Diversity Assessment, Accountability, and Action: Going Beyond the Numbers
  6. Teaching To and Through Cultural Diversity [PDF]
  7. Does Diversity Make a Differece? Three Research Studies on Diversity in College Classrooms (AAUP) [PDF]
  8. Guidelines for Teaching Diversity and Inclusion
  9. The Educational Benefits of Diversity: Evidence from Multiple Sectors
  10. Helping Faculty Teach Diverse Students and Diverse Topics Effectively Principles and Guidelines [PDF]
  11. Five Competencies for Culturally Competent Teaching and Learning
  12. Perceptions of Faculty Behavior by Students of Color [PDF]
  13. Creating Inclusive Learning Environment [PDF]
  14. Teaching Diversity: Tips for Being Inclusive
  15. Others/Otherness [PDF]
  16. How a Sustainable Campus-Wide Diversity Curriculum Fosters Academic Success
  17. Institutional Commitment to Diversity and Multiculturalism Through Institutional Transformation
  18. The Radicalized Impact of Study Abroad on US Students' Subsequent Interracial Interactions
  19. Diversity Multiculturalism and Pluralism: Moving From Hospitality and Appreciation to Social Inclusion on Campus and Beyond
  20. Measuring the Diversity Inclusivity of College Courses
  21. Disequilibrium and Resolution: The Nonlinear Effects of Diversity Courses on Well-Being and Orientations toward Diversity
  22. Assessing the Level of Curriculum and Scholarship Diversity in Higher Education 
  23. Curricular Diversity Requirements: presence Substantial; Impact Debated
  24. Faculty Teaching Diversity Through Difficult Dialogues: Stories of Challenges and Success
  25. Experiencing the Unexpected: Toward a Model of College Diversity Experiences and Attitude Change
  26. Adding Diversity to Curricula, Starting in the Classrooms

Readings Suggested by the Faculty Learning Community on Diversity

Diversity and the Curriculum

  • How do you embed inclusivity and diversity in various forms of the curriculum?
  • How do you assess the “literate arts of the contact zone?”
  • How can diversity, equity, and inclusion be incorporated into learning outcomes?
  • In what ways can we integrate diversity and inclusion into curricular development that can cut across any discipline?
  • How to approach curriculum development and implementation where diversity consideration is a methodology and not just an antidotal topic?
  • Are curriculum changes enough to address the cultural insensitivity felt by staff and students?

Diversity, the Classroom, and Pedagogy

  • What are the basic ground rules in the classroom if you are trying to create a contact zone, or a space where diverse histories and perspectives can emerge and where discomfort will almost certainly arise?
  • Is the culture of studio/classroom different than the culture of the curriculum?
  • How can we best support our non-binary and gender queer students in our classrooms?
  • How many of us assume that our classes are governed by a single set of rules or norms shared by all?
  • Can and should a course that is required and not chosen by students (e.g., a Foundation studio class with a shared curriculum and common course description) attempt to operate as a contact zone?  Should students know what they are getting into?
  • Imagery—what do trigger warnings mean in art schools?
  • How can we address the issues with the terminology around "value" in first semester principles of design courses?(from faculty member)
  • Have we evaluated how well our programs address the needs of older students in general and veterans, single mom, etc. in particular? How are we going to deal with more mature students and their diverse needs?

Diversity and Faculty Development

How can Otis College enhance/improve multicultural competence for faculty and staff across campus?

How can we encourage and facilitate multiculturalism and inclusion beyond structural diversity? What does this look like?

How can we train our faculty to discuss/present diversity content in their courses in a way that is respectful, sensitive, and accurate, especially concerning issues of race and ethnicity of which they have no direct experience?

Diversity and Community

The students are concerned that the emphasis of diversity initiatives will be primarily focused on visual diversity, but they are concerned about gender fluidity and the challenges they face with faculty and during the job interview process.

  • How will we address this based on the President's focus?
  • How can we help prepare our non-binary and gender queer students for potentially unwelcoming employment environments?
  • How do we broaden the scope of diversity in an all-inclusive way that doesn’t create alienation or prioritize certain criteria over another?
  • How will we scaffold "contact zone" types of interactions into all aspects of the Otis educational experience?
  • How do we convey quantifiable benefits of diversity to faculty and students?
  • How can we motivate our faculty who also didn’t learn about artists of color in their education to learn more about artists of color so they can incorporate them as examples in their teaching?
  • How can white people deal with diversity without being racist?
  • Is there an assumption that language trumps image in the college?
  • Is there an assumption that language trumps image in this college?
  • What type of actions can we take to increase the sense of belonging for all students?
  • How can we use diversity and diversity based learning to help create and maintain an even more intellectually and artistically excellent campus curriculum and community?
  • How do we use these in a complementary way, curriculum/ programming/ structure/ community?

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