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Teaching/Learning Center: Faculty Learning Community on Diversity

The Faculty Learning Community on Diversity is meeting during the Spring 2019 semester to continue our discussions on diversity in the curriculum at Otis.

There is a discussion space for participants on OSpace.

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 is 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 year’s FLC will continue the work of last year's FLC by exploring and extending identified questions and research areas. If you apply this year, you are agreeing to continue this work.

New and continuing members are welcomed.


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 $250 for 4 meetings. 

Click here to apply for Faculty Learning Community Participation.

Deadline:  January 4, 2019  Extended

Questions We Need To Ask

The Curriculum

How do 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 in to 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?

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?


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?



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?

Readings Suggested by the Faculty Learning Community on Diversity

University Diversity Websites

Increasing Inclusivity in the Classroom from Vanderbilt University

Building Inclusive Classrooms from Cornell University

Diversity and Inclusive Teaching from University of Delaware

RISDiversity: Community Narratives from Rhode Island School of Design

Creating Inclusive Classrooms from University of Arizona

Diversity in the Classroom from Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Diversity & Creating an Inclusive Classroom from University of Illinois

Diversity and Inclusion in the Classroom from University of Rhode Island

Inclusive Teaching Resources and Strategies from University of Michigan

Strategies for Inclusive Teaching from Washington University

Inclusive Pedagogy from Humboldt State University

Diversity in the Classroom from UCLA Faculty Development

Literature Review

A New Rubric for Assessing Institution-Wide Diversity

Diversity in Teaching and Learning: Affirming Students as Empowered Learners

Reconsidering the Inclusion of Diversity in the Curriculum

Strategies for Inclusive Teaching

Diversity Assessment, Accountability, and Action: Going Beyond the Numbers

Teaching To and Through Cultural Diversity [PDF]

Does Diversity Make a Differece? Three Research Studies on Diversity in College Classrooms (AAUP) [PDF]

A Model for Diverse Learning Environments: The Scholarship on Creating and Assessing Conditions for Student Success [PDF]

Guidelines for Teaching Diversity and Inclusion

The Educational Benefits of Diversity: Evidence from Multiple Sectors

Helping Faculty Teach Diverse Students and Diverse Topics Effectively Principles and Guidelines [PDF]

Five Competencies for Culturally Competent Teaching and Learning

Perceptions of Faculty Behavior by Students of Color [PDF]

Creating Inclusive Learning Environment [PDF]

Teaching Diversity: Tips for Being Inclusive

Others/Otherness [PDF]

Proquest Articles (login from off-campus will be required)

How a Sustainable Campus-Wide Diversity Curriculum Fosters Academic Success


The Racialized Impact of Study Abroad on US Students' Subsequent Interracial Interactions

Diversity Multiculturalism and Pluralism: Moving From Hospitality and Appreciation to Social Inclusion on Campus and Beyond

Measuring the Diversity Inclusivity of College Courses

Disequilibrium and Resolution: The Nonlinear Effects of Diversity Courses on Well-Being and Orientations toward Diversity


Curricular Diversity Requirements: presence Substantial; Impact Debated

Faculty Teaching Diversity Through Difficult Dialogues: Stories of Challenges and Success

Experiencing the Unexpected: Toward a Model of College Diversity Experiences and Attitude Change

Adding Diversity to Curricula, Starting in the Classrooms

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