Austin Higgs- Refined Topic

If I were to refine my topic into a specific training module, it would be on how to manage and lead a diverse and inclusive classroom. The course would, ideally, be for educators in any learning context. The course would not be about a particular domain, but rather framework for any other course. I would believe that this framework can also work in conjunction with other frameworks as well. The module would be a tool to assess the use of equity principles in a course. It is designed to give educators an objective tool of considerations to allow educators to think critically about how their classes are setup, how interactions are framed, what resources are used to support the content, and how the material is delivered.

Some examples of considerations offered in the course will be:

-Accessibility of online presence (screen-reader friendly, iPad accessible, etc)

-Preferred name accommodations

-Opportunity for constant feedback

-Creating respectful virtual/physical spaces

-inclusive curriculums

Along, with areas of equity, I’d also like to offer a series of questions that will allow educators to evaluate their own content:

-Who is represented in the content? How frequently?

-Are all of the materials available online?

-Are the assignments due in a staggered fashion, or is everything due by the end of the course?

-Are the assignments all text-base?

-What do you know about your audience?

The fact that the course teaches a philosophical framework instead of objective content, will be a challenge. I think it is much harder to convey a fluid and abstract idea to a large group of people, let alone in a virtual context. The biggest misconception is that diversity work is all about race relations and addressing homophobia. This objective of this course is to make any context more equitable than it would be otherwise, relative to any marginalized group. Because the course would not consist of rules that are specific to one group, it can be easily adapted to one’s context. I would also need to be sure to manage the expectations of the course before people take it. I would not want educators seeking it out in hopes of getting a set of “catch-all rules”. Though I do think that no one should expect such rules in hopes of learning about equity, I would not want people only participating in hopes of learning about racism in the classroom.




One thought on “Austin Higgs- Refined Topic

  1. I think this is a great start. When you say, “how to manage and lead a diverse and inclusive classroom” – do you mean f2f or virtual classroom? SOme of your examples of considerations seem to straddle between f2f and virtual. Also you may need to tighten the topic to specific age groups. I imagine the conversation is different between kindergarten and adult learners. Let me know your thoughts on these.

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