Diversity & Democracy: Civic Learning for Shared Futures
Diversity Innovations Curricular Transformation
Diversity Digest Volume 10, Number 2

Diversity Digest
Volume 10,
Number 2
(2007)

Download our print issue (PDF)
Institutional Leadership and Commitment
Diversity and Learning: “A Defining Moment”
Institutional Diversity in a New Nation: Lessons Lived, Lessons Learned
The Pedagogy of Sentipensante: Recasting Institutional Core Agreements
Transforming Our Institutions for the Twenty-first Century: The Role of the Chief Diversity Officer
Creating Institutional Transformation Using the Equity Scorecard
Curricular Transformation
Service Learning, Multicultural Education, and the Core Curriculum:
A Model for Institutional Change
Drop It Like It’s Hot! Hip-Hop in the Twenty-First-Century Classroom
A Sustainable Campus-Wide Program for Diversity Curriculum Infusion
Campus-Community Involvement
El Camino Real: Where Culture and Academia Meet
Faculty Involvement
Advancing Diversity through a Framework of Intersectionality: Inclusion of LGBT Issues in Higher Education
Transitioning on Campus: Creating a Welcoming Climate for Transgender People
Complicating Diversity Categories: Jewish Identity in the Classroom
Student Experience
Dealing with Student Resistance: Sources and Strategies
Beyond Tourism: Race, Space, and National Identity in London
Research
Graduate and Professional Degree Attainment for Students of Color
Affordability of Postsecondary Education for Students of Color
Resources
Diversity and Learning Resources

A Sustainable Campus-wide Program for Diversity
Curriculum Infusion

By Omiunota Nelly Ukpokodu, founder and facilitator of the Diversity Curriculum Infusion Program and associate professor in the Division of Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education at the University of Missouri–Kansas City

Inclusive teaching does not come easily to faculty members who were themselves taught from monocultural perspectives and with limited knowledge of diversity. Often the requirement to incorporate diversity generates fear and resistance. As a result, many faculty and college instructors continue to be complacent about monocultural curricula, even as they increasingly interact with students from diverse racial, ethnic, gender, and linguistic backgrounds. It is critical that we provide structure for such faculty members to ease the process of incorporating diversity. The University of Missouri–Kansas City (UMKC) has responded to this challenge by instituting a campus-wide program that empowers its faculty to successfully engage in curricular and pedagogical transformation in a non-threatening, synergetic, collegial, and collaborative environment.

When UMKC conducted a series of campus–community conversations in 2000 concerned with making the university more inclusive, diversity emerged as a core value. Several diversity “breakthrough projects” evolved, including the curriculum transformation project and its Diversity Curriculum Infusion Program (DCIP), established in 2003. The aim of the DCIP was to provide a forum where faculty from across campus, in various disciplines, would come together in dialogue to collaborate and learn, developing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to successfully infuse critical diversity into coursework for more inclusive teaching.

With the support of the provost’s office and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access, select faculty members participate in the DCIP, a yearlong institute with four daylong workshops. Guided by workshop curricula, participants revise an existing course by infusing the curriculum with diversity and social justice, implement the course the following semester, and make a presentation about the experience at the campus-wide culminating celebration held in April. The first workshop serves as orientation; participants focus on community building, collectively define critical diversity, and examine their teaching using the rubric of the six areas of potential diversity curriculum infusion (see sidebar). The second workshop focuses on self-transformation by encouraging participants to examine their biases and their commitment to diversity. The third workshop provides an opportunity for participants to present preliminary drafts of their course revisions and receive constructive feedback from the group. The fourth and final workshop is a celebratory experience: participants present the pre- and post-syllabi and discuss the implementation experience.

The outcomes of the DCIP, now in the planning stages of its fourth year, have been very encouraging. Faculty members have not only revised existing courses, but also created new courses to enhance their programs. Further, the program has aroused faculty interest in the scholarship of diversity. Participants have expressed appreciation for the opportunity to be empowered and challenged; for the chance to discuss diversity and curriculum infusion; for their raised consciousness of diversity and its enrichment in the curriculum; for their newly energized teaching; for their increased knowledge of diversity; for the new teaching strategies they have learned; and for their heightened sensitivity and responsiveness to diverse groups of students.

Six Areas of Diversity Curriculum Infusion: Workshop Questions
  1. Course description and objectives that reflect diversity—How does my discipline help prepare students to live and work in today’s multicultural democracy and interdependent world?
  2. Content integration that includes multiculturalism—What issues of diversity, social justice, and civic engagement are infused in my course curriculum and how?
  3. Instructional resources and materials—How inclusive are my selected materials?
  4. Faculty and student worldviews and learning styles—How do student and faculty worldviews, learning styles, and teaching strategies match, and how are my students’ learning styles accommodated?
  5. Instructional strategies—How diversified are my strategies for facilitating instruction and classroom dynamics?
  6. Assessment diversification—How do assessment activities accommodate my students’ learning styles?

 

Questions, comments, and suggested resources should be directed to campbell@aacu.org.
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