Critical Perspectives on Teaching and Learning Series

Spring 2022

Inclusive Pedagogy and Leadership: Towards a Groundskeeping Approach

March 21-March 24 (See events below)

A weeklong, virtual CPTL event to engage in conversations about inclusive pedagogy and leadership. This event is a week of work for faculty, university administrators, center directors, and staff to convene, share best practices, and learn strategies to promote inclusivity in your classroom and/or leadership role. Participants will have the opportunity to attend panels, listen to a keynote address, and schedule a short consultation with an inclusive pedagogy fellow.

Monday, March 21st | 12:00pm-1:30pm 
Keynote: Promoting Growth Through Effective Environmental Stewardship 
Dr. Beronda Montgomery, Vice President for Academic Affairs | Grinnell College 
Dr. Raychelle Burks, Associate Professor | Chemistry | American University 

Mentoring and academic leadership are in urgent need of transformation. New conceptualizations and enactments of academic mentoring and leadership are needed at a minimum. The path to new conceptualizations of mentoring and leadership will require a deviation from gatekeeping norms. Significant reimagining will require elevating and altering several aspects of both mentoring and academic leadership cultures. Mentoring must evolve away from gatekeeping which functions through fixed-mindset perspectives to more supportive mentoring that centers growth-based support mechanisms. In parallel, leadership frameworks and practices must evolve away from gatekeeping to stewardship-based practices that are framed as groundskeeping. Mentorship and leadership practices that must evolve include leader selection and mentor/leader preparation, expectations and rewards, and advocating for equitable mentorship and leadership practices. Dr. Beronda Montgomery’s keynote will be followed by a conversation with Dr. Raychelle Burks. 

Tuesday, March 22nd | 4:30pm-6:00pm 
Impacts of Inclusive Pedagogy: Alumnx Panel 
Dr. Jane Palmer, Associate Professor | Justice, Law, & Criminology | American University 
Dr. Salvador Vidal-Ortiz | Associate Professor | Sociology | American University 

This session/panel brings together former AU undergraduate students to discuss some of their experiences with (often underrepresented) faculty in working with them as lead faculty in community-based participatory research, other forms of community engaged learning, or particular classes that were formative to their experiences. Students will reflect on how the mentoring from minoritized faculty influenced their trajectories and career choices – whether they moved to engage with research, community opportunities, government, or other employment. Panelists will respond to questions as to how, looking back, the mentoring they experienced opened gates for them which they would have not otherwise considered/had/experienced after graduation. 

Wednesday, March 23rd | 9:30am-11:00am 
Am I Inclusive Enough? Real Talk w/ the Inclusive Pedagogy Fellows 
Dr. Raychelle Burks, Associate Professor | Chemistry | American University 
Dr. TaLisa Carter, Assistant Professor | Justice, Law, & Criminology | American University 
Dr. Brian McGowan, Associate Director | CTRL | Associate Professor | SOE | American University 
Dr. Jane Palmer, Associate Professor | Justice, Law, & Criminology | American University 
Dr. Salvador Vidal-Ortiz | Associate Professor | Sociology | American University 

This panel will feature the Inclusive Pedagogy fellows as they describe the “ins and outs” of the Inclusive Pedagogy fellowship. Within, each of the panelists will provide insight into how they create environments in their praxis. They will draw on examples from their teaching, research, collaborations with students on research teams, and more. This panel will be moderated by Dr. Brian McGowan. 

Thursday, March 24th | Scheduled by Appointment  
Incl-You-sive Consults 

These 15-20 minute sessions offer faculty the opportunity to consult one-on-one with an Inclusive Pedagogy fellow. Inclusive Pedagogy Fellows will provide suggestions and tips for practical strategies to advance the inclusive needs expressed by individual faculty. All faculty, regardless of rank, are welcome to sign up on a first come, first serve basis.  

Previous Events

AY 20-21

Strategies for Promoting Racial Consciousness and Equity in the Classroom

Tuesday | September 28 |12:00pm-1:15pm EST

Dr. Lori Patton Davis | Ohio State University

Race and Racism continue to be challenging topics in collegiate classrooms. Oftentimes, faculty feel uncomfortable about effectively broaching these topics, are underprepared, or see no connections with course content. In this workshop, participants will have an opportunity to reflect on their racial consciousness and consider strategies that they can implement to promote racial consciousness among their students.

Insights for Faculty: Persistence in Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

Wednesday | March 24 |12:00pm-1:15pm EST 

Dr. Shari Watkins | CTRL

In what ways to we as faculty support all students including those on the margins in persisting in our postsecondary environments? This workshop will explore the connections between persistence in postsecondary environments, marginalized student populations, and the role of faculty. Informed by critical perspectives, this workshop offers empirical evidence about how faculty should consider their roles in promoting students’ academic achievement and retention in postsecondary environments regardless of the discipline. We will collectively engage in dialogue to reflect upon practices enacted while challenging ourselves to identify and employ new practices, strategies, insights, and perspectives in our teaching and service.

Our Old Normal Cannot Be Our New Normal

Tuesday | February 9 |12:00pm-1:15pm EST 

Dr. Kevin Gannon | Grandview University

Dr. Raychelle Burks | Chemistry, CTRL IP Faculty Fellow

In our times of remote teaching and Zoom fatigue, it’s understandably tempting for us to yearn for getting “back to normal.” But we must realize that the pre-Covid normal was neither good nor sustainable for many of the students with whom we work in higher education. Of course, there will be a “new normal,” but its shape remains amorphous. This session will challenge you to consider ideas to shape the “new normal” for your pedagogy and practice. We’ll do this by examining what we and our students have experienced in “College during Covid,” and confronting the inequities and disparities these experiences have revealed. In doing so, we’ll consider what a “new normal” based upon radical welcoming, inclusion, and belonging, and an explicitly antiracist praxis might look like in our own teaching and learning practices. Participants will have the opportunity to not only clarify their own pedagogical stance but to leave with specific strategies that can readily be incorporated into their teaching.

Watch the recording

News You Can Use: Inclusively Integrating Current Events in the Classroom

Tuesday |October 20th |12:00pm-1:15pm EST 

Dr. Talisa J. Carter | Assistant Professor, Department of Justice, Law, & Criminology 

To bring learning to life, many educators include current events in their classrooms. Despite the best of intentions, using the news as a teaching tool can go wrong. This workshop explores how educators can integrate current events into their courses in inclusive ways that promote critical thinking, community, and learning outcomes. The session will provide examples, practical tips, and opportunities for attendees to develop and receive feedback on “news you can use” activities for personal use. By relying on literature, discussion, and peer feedback, participants will strengthen their teaching toolkit via the inclusive integration of current events. 

Engaging the Issues, Needs, and Challenges Faced by AU Undergraduate Students of Color

Monday, November 2nd | 12:00-1:15 pm EST 

Dr. Salvador Vidal-Ortiz | Associate Professor, Department of Sociology

AU students confront the everyday impact of shallow terms like diversity, equity, and inclusion. Students of color in particular often voice being read as “diversity service providers,” and are expected to speak about their experiences, whether it be discrimination, or are asked to explain and justify their presence as a “success story.” These are strategies that solidify whiteness as a natural, hegemonic, and an explicit norm on campus. Using data from a student-led class exercise based on an analysis of focus groups with non-White AU students, this workshop will offer examples for faculty to consider in their teaching and interactions with students and illuminate some of the frustrating engagements with student life and other campus offices.  

Interrogating Whiteness, Antiblackness, and Racism in Practice, Curriculum, and Policy 

Tuesday, November 17th | 12:00-1:15 pm EST 

Dr. Traci Dennis | Professorial Lecturer, School of Education 

Dr. Joshua Schuschke | Postdoctoral Fellow, School of Education

This session begins the self-reflection process of unlearning biases and identifying racist structures in the academy. Participants will partake in a series of exercises to interrogate how their positionalities across their social identities are situated within the U.S. racial caste system. Furthermore, participants will reflect and question how their upbringing, training, and internalized racist assumptions about students of color function within higher education. Participants will critically reflect on their experiences and practices with students of color, as well as how they design and structure their course content and syllabi. These honest self-evaluations and critical analysis tools will serve as the building blocks for educators to begin their work in antiracism.

Trauma-Informed Pedagogy: Teaching in Uncertain Times

(Recorded Webinar – password: trauma372)

Dr. Mays Imad | Professor and Coordinator, Pima Community College

 Learning Outcomes:

  • To promote collaboration, ask students what matters to them now, what they want to learn, and what interests them. Take notes and incorporate their ideas into your communications and instructions. 
  • Make a commitment to learn about and implement accessible and equitable teaching & learning strategies. For example, consider an assessment framework that is less focused on grading and more on learning. 
  • This webinar introduces faculty to the six guiding principles to a trauma-informed approach and offers numerous strategies (such as the ones outlined above) to mitigate the impact of trauma in the learning process.

Watch recorded webinar

Inclusive Teaching: Meet the Inclusive Pedagogy Faculty Fellows

Dr. Brian McGowan | Associate Director CTRL | Associate Professor School of Education
Dr. Amaarah DeCuir | Professorial Lecturer School of Education
Dr. Krisztina Domjan | Professorial Lecturer School of Professional and Extended Studies

Inclusive classrooms are places in which thoughtfulness and mutual respect are valued and promoted. Inclusive teaching considers the needs and backgrounds of all students, regardless of their identity to create a classroom where they feel valued and have equitable access to learn. Unfortunately, some students, particularly those from underrepresented and minoritized backgrounds report having negative experiences with faculty in the classroom. Given the importance of inclusive teaching, we must place pedagogy at the center of our efforts. This workshop will showcase our Inclusive Pedagogy Faculty Fellows program, as well as three important considerations for creating an inclusive classroom.

AY 19-20

The 10th Anniversary of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Friday, January 31 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Washington College of Law – NT01

Keynote speaker: Judy Shepard

Michael Lieberman, Anti-Defammation League
David Stacey, The Human Rights Campaign
Kirsten Clark, The Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights

The Program on Law and Government, Lambda Law Society, Jewish Law Society and Black Law Students Association are co-hosting an event on January 31st to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This law allows federal authorities to intervene when local authorities are unable to or refuse to prosecute a hate crime. Read and learn more about the act.

Navigating Gender Pronouns: How Professors Can Create More Inclusive Classrooms

Tuesday, November 19 | 11:20 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. | Mary Graydon Center (MGC) 245

Moderator: Anna Olsson, Associate Director of Programs and Events, CTRL

Anna Morrison, Center for Diversity & Inclusion
Perry Zurn, Philosophy & Religion
Nabina Liebow, Philosophy & Religion

Eager to learn more about how and when to ask students for their pronouns? Want to get a deeper understanding on why students use pronouns other than she/her or he/him? Join the Center for Teaching, Research & Learning (CTRL) and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion for an interactive panel and discussion on how to navigate pronouns and create an inclusive classroom environment where all students feel welcome. Recent research shows that affirming young people’s genders decreases suicide risk significantly. Come learn more about how folks at AU, in service of the Inclusive Excellence Plan, are working to create a campus where all students feel respected and how you can help.

AY 18-19

An Intersection of Production, Research, Teaching and Play

Wednesday, March 6 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Don Myers Building, Game Lab, Room 117

Andy Phelps

This talk explores the integration of teaching, research, and creative practice as a basis for computing and arts education though a retrospective of the design, development, history and analysis of the programs, projects, related work of Professor Andrew Phelps at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  Specific focus is placed on the integration of computing and the arts, the role of and support for multidisciplinary teaching and research, and lessons learned, current challenges, and related national and international trends in games development education.  This session features numerous examples from curriculum design, current research projects, creative practice, student work, and academic/industry partnerships.