3.4 Teaching Diverse Classes

  • Give "minority" students equal attention in class, and equal access to advising outside class. Don't overlook capable but less experienced students.
  • Give "minority" students equal amounts of helpful and honest criticism. Don't prejudge students' capabilities.
  • Revise curricula if necessary to include different kinds of racial and cultural experiences, and to include them in more than just stereotypical ways.
  • Ensure that the teaching methods and materials you use are accessible to students with different learning abilities and disabilities
  • Monitor classroom dynamics to ensure that "minority" students do not become isolated.
  • Vary the structure during the course to appeal to different learning styles and modes of learning.
  • Don't call on "minority" students as "spokespersons" for their group, e.g.: "So how do Moslems feel about...?".
  • Recognise and acknowledge the history and emotions your students may bring to class.
  • Respond to non-academic experiences, such as racial incidents, that may affect classroom atmosphere and performance.

Adapted from "General principles in teaching 'minority students'", in A Handbook for Teaching Assistants, University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB)