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Getting DEI into Your Curriculum

Foster Open Dialogue page

Module 2: Getting DEI into Your Curriculum

From Ways to Incorporate DEI into Your Courses
By David J. Luke, Chief Diversity Officer, University of Michigan, Flint



Build Inclusive Syllabi

As you endeavor to build DEI in your course curriculum, an important step is to build an inclusive syllabus.  The syllabus, as the learning contract between the instructor and students, sets the tone for the course, so building it in an inclusive way indicates to the students that DEI is valued in the course.  There are a number of ways to make the syllabus inclusive...more.


Assign Readings from Diverse Perspectives

Whatever the discipline, it’s likely that some scholarship has been elevated while other scholarship has been overlooked. Academia does not operate within a vacuum, so when we see systemic racism, sexism, heteronormativity, etc., this is reflected in our institutions and our disciplines as well. I’ll use sociology, my discipline, as an example...more.



Utilize Diverse Examples

Building DEI into your curriculum means the examples used in class should resonate with a diverse group of students. Often, examples resonate with white, middle-class, cisgender, heterosexual students, who are largely centered in our institutions. Thus, building in more diverse examples will be a significant undertaking, but it will make the course more equitable...more.



Embrace Critical Pedagogy

Paulo Freire’s classic book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, made explicit the connections between democracy and social justice, and teaching and learning. In his seminal work, Friere endorsed the belief that classroom instruction should challenge learners to interrogate systems of oppression, power structures, and patterns of inequality in society...more.


Three Important Takeaways

When building your course, everything from the syllabus, assigned readings, lesson plans, etc., need to deliberately incorporate principles of social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion...more