From Institutional Commitment to Classroom Practice: The Challenge of Making "Diversity" Work
This presentation will address the challenges and explore successful strategies of practicing inclusive and diverse pedagogy in the undergraduate classroom.
The University of Toronto is one of North America's largest research-intensive , publicly funded Universities, located in one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world. The University is a community of 70,000 students and approximately 10,000 faculty and staff.
The University has compressive commitments and strong values in support diversity and equitable practices as in the Statement of Equity, Diversity, and Excellence (2006) which upholds that "diversity in our own community is uniquely valuable to the University as it contributes to the diversification of ideas and perspectives" and that we will "work to eliminate, reduce or mitigate the adverse effects of any barriers to full participation..." Indeed, the University has been recognized for its efforts as it has been named on of the Top 25 Diversity Employers in the country.
While changes toward equity and diversity have demonstrated successes in the area of human resources, changes in pedagogical practices are more difficult to move forward. In a decentralized environment such as the University context, it is difficult to monitor and evaluate teaching and curriculum in relation to diversity. This presentation will identify the challenges and explore some of the successful strategies to enable the professoriate to meet the larger institutional vision of equity and diversity. Such strategies include the development of Universal Instructional Design assistance and guidelines toward creating an accessible curriculum
Keywords: Diversity in Practice, Equity in the Classroom
Prof. Connie Guberman
Special Advisor on Equity Issues, Office of the Vice-President Human Resources and Equity, University of Toronto