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Inclusive, Socially Just Teaching: Inclusive Course Design

Find resources to guide your approach to classroom approaches


Inclusive course design involves intentionally creating a course that embraces diversity, addresses the learning needs of students, and challenges socially oppressive barriers to learning. It requires the creation of learning objectives, teaching activities and assessments that are equitable.

Inclusive course design is multipronged and multilayered. This is framework provides a starting place.


1. Create active learning objectives that are relevant to your discipline, Adler's mission, and the perspectives and needs of your students. The example outcome below recognizes diversity, inequality, clinical practice, and the need for students to know how to bridge differences. 

Example: Students will be able to describe a process for navigating a therapist's privileged racial identity in order to mitigate a stifled interaction with a client who has a marginalized racial identity.

2. Consider how you will help students reach learning objectives through effective, equitable engagement.

What content (texts, videos, podcasts, images etc.) will you include? How will this content reflect various dimensions of diversity?

How will you ensure students' deep understanding of the content? Will they listen, read and reflect? Discuss and debate with each other? Etc.

3. Establish an effective way of assessing what students have learned, aware that mastery of the objective is your goal and not subjective measures of participation, effort, or speed. The learning outcome above might be assessed by presenting a case study and asking students propose a 3-step process for managing this interaction.