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How to Use This Resource

Northwestern Principles of Inclusive Teaching is organized around eight principles of inclusive learning and teaching. For each principle, we explain the theoretical framework and describe its impact on learning. We provide broad strategies that instructors can use to implement the principles in their course preparation and teaching and an example of how an instructor has applied the principle in class. We also list further readings for those who are interested in learning more (in addition to a comprehensive bibliography at the end).

Inclusive teaching requires continuous learning and adaptation on the part of the instructor. This resource can be used in many ways to facilitate that learning. You may find it useful to read the entire guide and choose several promising strategies from different principles to begin implementing in your courses as a first step. You may prefer to work through the document more slowly, reading and applying one principle before moving to the next. Either way, we encourage you to return to the Northwestern Principles of Inclusive Teaching each time you prepare your syllabi for an upcoming term, adopting a new strategy or focusing more deeply on one principle each term.

Prioritizing which principles and strategies to implement first may depend on whether you teach in STEM or humanities fields, large lectures or small seminars, in person or online. Instructors are not expected to read the guide and then be able implement all of the strategies suggested.

You may want to work with a small group of peer faculty or your department to discuss and implement these principles, assessing and providing feedback to one another. We hope that this resource will also inspire faculty who mentor students to consider how these principles might apply to the mentoring relationship.

The strategies presented will resonate with instructors differently according to not only their disciplines or course modality but also their social identities, such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status. Nonetheless, this resource is intended for all instructors. By collectively engaging with the principles, we are ensuring that we are taking the necessary steps to foster a more equitable and inclusive experience for all Northwestern students.