Inclusive Pedagogy

The global world we live in today demands a great emphasis on diversity. Most universities recognize the importance of diversity of being beneficial for the learning environment. It also enriches the culture within the university campus and extends cross-cultural relations between students. Academic diversity is essential in helping students develop an understanding and appreciation for other cultures. Inclusive pedagogy advocates for incorporating varying ethnic, social, and intellectual elements to the academic environment. In order to create an inclusive learning environment, universities should pave the way to giving a voice for different ideas, thoughts, and opinion. So, in order to be more inclusive, should universities use race as an admission criteria?

A recent poll by WBGH concluded that 3 in every 4 Americans do not want race to be used as a factor in deciding who gets admitted into universities. It is important to note that by the current laws by the Supreme Court, universities are allowed to use race as an admission criteria. The Supreme Court affirmative action policy was implemented to ensure diverse student body. However, many of the people participated in the poll indicated that students should be judged by their merits. Although a lot of support exists on diversity on college campuses, there seems to be a disconnect between diversity and meritocracy. Students grades and achievements are typically influenced by their access to information and how it is presented to them. So, what can universities do to ensure an inclusive and diverse learning environment?

Universities need to go beyond just providing information about diversity. Universities should develop an engaging learning environment that cultivates awareness about bias and inclusivity at their academic resources and the community at large. This should be a collective effort that inspires students to think critically about cultural differences. Universities are leveling fields that have immense leverage in closing the cultural awareness gap.


3 thoughts on “Inclusive Pedagogy

  1. Hi Ziyad !

    I like the idea of going beyond the status quo when it comes to diversity and inclusion. I am right there with you when you say we need to work better on explaining bias and its existence and its causes to people.The strong reactions against affirmative action are in part because people are not truly aware how deep the roots of bias go. When we advocate Pure Meritocracy in higher ed, we are dismissing a history of discrimination that benefits some of us and hurts others. I think there is room for seeing “potential merit” as well as “realized merits”.


  2. Great post, Ziyad! You raise some important questions there. Actually with your post, I might have completely changed my perspective on the admission system in India. In India, there is not a race based admission but there is a caste-based reservation system where a certain percentage of the seats are reserved for the students from what it is called ‘the lower caste communities’. I was against the idea of reservation, and thought that it should be based completely on merit. But I was missing the whole point of the diversity. And now that I try to see back, I think it makes a lot of sense to have people from from all background present in a system. This is when it could flourish. Though there are still limitation to the way the system is based currently, I think with some modifications it can really help. Your point that awareness to the biases should be cultivated is very valuable and the universities can play a big role in creating an environment where collective growth is given importance.


  3. Hi Ziyad! I enjoyed reading your post! I completely agree that it is simply not enough for Universities to talk about “diversity.” Last winter, I got to see comedian W. Kamau Bell talk about diversity and race in America for MLK day. He made what I thought was a very compelling joke that “diversity” only gets talked about in America in January (for MLK) day and that it paradoxically gets used so often during that month that the word itself is nearly meaningless. I like your suggestions surrounding thoughtful pedagogy and universities’ abilities to close the cultural awareness gap.


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