PSU workshop helps GSE faculty apply equity lens to curriculum

As part of the GSE’s mission to promote equity and social justice, our faculty consistently seek new ideas for adapting culturally responsive practices to their courses. In October, five GSE faculty members completed a new training sponsored by the PSU Global Diversity and Inclusion office in partnership with University Studies and the School of Gender, Race and Nations.

Anita Bright, Susan Carlile, Karen Haley, Holly Lawson, and Deborah Peterson attended the training entitled Exploring Inclusive and Culturally Responsive Curriculum. These faculty represent three departments, CI, ELP, and SPED.

Included in the training were two workshops entitled Embracing Equity as Our Lens and Uncovering the Hidden Curriculum.

The assigned work consisted of prereading, in-class activities, and a reflection paper on how the instructors would adapt their specific curriculum to fit an equity lens. The workshops culminated with a personal commitment from each participant to bring culturally inclusive practices into the courses they are teaching.

“These faculty members have taken the next steps to revise one of their current courses to better align with PSU EDI goals,” said Dean Marvin Lynn. “This is a good beginning in our work to model an equity lens for our candidates. Congratulations.”

These are examples of some specific changes they made as a result of attending the workshops:

  • Begin each class by sharing your story and your pronouns
  • Acknowledge our presence on the land that historically belonged to indigenous communities
  • Learn how to correctly pronounce the names of each student from the start
  • Avoid any assumption of gender
  • Use feedback to gauge the level of student understanding and comfort in the class
  • Consider the impact of religious holidays and other culturally related events when scheduling class meetings
  • Whenever possible, use gender-neutral examples in describing cases
  • Add content about bias to syllabus to set the classroom climate
  • Acknowledge personal bias during class discussions to set an example

Congratulations to our faculty who have successfully completed this series of workshops. By working to increase awareness and equity in their work, they will make GSE a better place to teach, learn, work, and achieve our goals.

The workshop series was developed and facilitated by Miriam Abelson, Ann Curry-Stevens, Pedro Ferbel-Azcarate, Oscar Fernandez, Carol Gabrielli, Cynthia Gomez, Lisa Grady-Willis, Neera Malhotra, and David Osborn.

More workshops are scheduled for winter and spring terms and are open to all PSU teaching faculty. Registration is now open for one or both courses and can be accessed here.



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