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Inclusive Pedagogies & Curriculum Development

After a year of learning from and sharing with other colleges and universities’ practices of inclusive pedagogy, in 2019-2020, the Inclusive Pedagogy working group continued their work toward co-creating a Collaborative for Learning, Teaching, and Inquiry at Vassar with the Dean of the Faculty Office. They envision the Collaborative as a space where pedagogy could be holistically reimagined and where students might play a greater role in developing inclusive pedagogies with faculty partners.  To support this vision, this working group launched the Student-Teacher Engaged Pedagogical Partnership (STEPP), in which student-faculty pairs reflect and work on practices of inclusion in the classroom. This work is  supported by Vassar’s Academic and Learning Resources Specialist. The group continued to make headway on last year’s Movement for Affordable Textbooks.

Our vision: In three to five years, inclusive pedagogy and curriculum are the core approaches to teaching at the college, a set of shared practices and principles that anchor how we work and learn together.

Inclusive Pedagogy

  • is a student-centered and equity-focused approach to teaching and learning.
  • is a method of teaching in which instructors and students work together to create supportive and open environments that value multiple social backgrounds, learning styles, and abilities.
  • imagines classroom success when students of different academic and social backgrounds, as well as physical and cognitive abilities, feel welcomed, valued, challenged and supported throughout their time at Vassar.

Inclusive Curriculum

  • includes course offerings that work to engage and provide access to all students, regardless of gender, sexual-orientation, educational, socio-economic, cultural, or national background.
  • makes explicit the rationales underpinning course design
  • acknowledges that any curriculum decision is a selection
  • values the backgrounds of all students and is responsive to their experiences and knowledge.

Through our work together, the Inclusive Pedagogies and Curriculum Group plans to foster pedagogical and curricular initiatives, including summer institutes and workshops:

  • that allow students multiple points of entry to the curriculum and access to a full-range of Vassar’s programs.
  • that render visible and pressure the categories we at Vassar use to think, teach, and learn.
  • that help faculty better acknowledge and recognize an increasingly diverse student body.
  • that build modes of connection between the classroom residential life, and further spaces both on-campus and off
  • that are innovative, experimental, risky, and challenge existing social, racial, and economic disparities among students and faculty.