The following terms have been sourced from the "Guide to Inclusive Teaching at Columbia"
is the consideration of various barriers to full participation in teaching and learning activities. Accessible learning environments allow students with disabilities to “acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as students without disabilities, with substantially equivalent ease of use” (Center for Applied SpecialTechnology). Components of accessibility could include accommodations for assignments, adjustments in physical space or with classroom technology, or providing alternative assessments. Colorblind ideology
is a belief that assumes institutional racism and discrimination have been largely eradicated, and that “equal opportunity, one’s qualifications, not one’s color or ethnicity, should be the mechanism by which upward mobility is achieved”(Gallagher, 2003, 22). This belief can lead to a dismissal of social and cultural factors still affecting many people of color, as well as a rejection of policies that attempt to address existing inequalities (e.g., affirmative action).Course climate
is the “intellectual, social, emotional, and physical environments in which our students learn. Climate is determined by a constellation of interacting factors that include faculty-student interaction, the tone instructors set, instances of stereotyping or tokenism, the course demographics (for example, relative sizeof racial and other social groups enrolled in the course), student-student interaction, and the range of perspectives represented in the course content and materials. All of these factors can operate outside as well as inside the classroom” (Ambrose et al., 2010, 170).Cultural learning assumptions
are often unspoken expectations shaped by affiliation with a broadly stable set of attitudes and beliefs shared by a group of people.These assumptions could give rise to habits of learning and assumptions about the ways teaching and learning are practiced (Gurung and Prieto, 2009).Growth mindset
is “based on the belief that...although people may differ in every which way—in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments—everyone can change and grow through application and experience” (Dweck, 2016, 7). This idea stands in contrast to a “fixed mindset,” characterized by the belief that one’s qualities are carved in stone and unchangeable. Implicit bias
“refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases, which encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments, are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control” (Kirwan Institute forthe Study of Race and Ethnicity, 2015, 61).Intercultural competency
is the “ability to communicate effectively and appropriately in intercultural situations, to shift frames of reference appropriately and adapt behavior to cultural context”(Deardorff, 2006, 249).Intersectionality
is a concept used in critical theory to highlight the interconnected nature of socially constructed categories (such as race, class, and gender) as they apply to a given individual or group.This concept can be key to illuminating overlapping Guide for Inclusive Teaching at Columbia Glossary 31 and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage (Mitchell, Simmons, and Greyerbiehl, 2014). Learner-centered teaching
calls for students to actively engage in their learning process and for faculty members to facilitate that process, rather than relying on faculty to do the “heavy lifting” (Weimer 2013).Learning objectives specify the knowledge, information, and skills instructors want students to have at the end of the course. Learning objectives
are generally student-oriented (i.e., “at the end of this course, students should be able to _____”), focus on concrete actions and behaviors, and should be measurable.Microaggressions
are “brief and common place daily verbal, behavioral and environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults to the target person or group” (Sue et al., 2009, 183).While Sue et al.’s definition specifically indicates race as the focus of bias, the term has since been expanded to apply to a variety of identity factors, such as sexuality,gender, and ability.Monocultural education
is “an education largelyreflective of one reality and usually biased toward the dominant group” (Ginsberg and Wlodkowski, 2009, 25). Positionality is the way one’s social location or position is assigned and negotiated as the result of combining various social factors or identities (e.g., race, sex, class, gender, ability, sexual orientation) (Hearn, 2012).Rubrics
are “a scoring tool that lays out the specific expectations for an assignment. Rubrics divide an assignment into component parts and provide a detailed description of what constitutes acceptable or unacceptable levels of performance of each of those parts” (Stevens and Levi, 2013, 3).Stereotype threat
is defined as “being at risk of confirming, as a self-characteristic, a negative stereotype about one’s social group” (Stroessnerand Good, 2011, 1). Stereotype threat can occur related to many different facets of identity, including race, ethnicity, and gender. In educational settings, research has demonstrated students’ performance may be negatively impacted “by the awareness that one’s behavior might be viewed through the lens of stereotypes” if those identities (or stereotypes related to those identities) are highlighted prior to the performance (Stroessner and Good, 2011). Situations that highlight one’s social identity factors (e.g., asking demographic questions before an assessment) can activate stereotype threat.Tokenism
is the practice of making a cursory or symbolic effort to employ inclusive practices to give the appearance of inclusiveness and fairness. In the classroom, this could involve an instructor asking a student to act as spokesperson for a certain identity group, or hiring a TA from an underrepresented group to assuage criticism about inclusiveness and diversity in the classroom.Underrepresented groups or individuals
have been shown to be underrepresented nationally in their fields relative to their number in the general population; typically refers to members of racial/ethnic minority groups (African-American or Black,Hispanic or Latino, American Indians or AlaskanNatives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders),and individuals with disabilities (National Institute of General Medical Sciences).
The following content was sourced from the Creative Reaction Lab "Equity-Centered Community Design Field Guide. Download your free PDF here
We believe that common language is an crucial foundational step in dismantling systemic oppression and designing equity. We offer the following definitions for a few core terms that are vital to the work of Equity-Centered Community Design.
Diversity is when there is a variety of characteristics within a group, such as a neighborhood, school, community, or city. Diversity is defined by a variety of identifiers and characteristics that, in the case of people, reflects our individuality. However, definitions of diversity are often limited and largely confined to visible aspects such as race, age, or gender rather than less visible aspects such as ability status, nationality, or mental well-being. When we say that a group of people is diverse, we mean that the people that make up the group represent different backgrounds, perspectives, and life experiences.
Inclusion is the leveraging of difference by integrating diverse perspectives and creating a better outcome for all. Inclusion is an invitation that not only accepts differences, but celebrates and embeds them.
Note: Diversity and inclusion are not interchangeable. There can be diversity without inclusion and inclusion without diversity.
Equality is the basic need of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities. EQUITY Equity revolves around systemic outcomes and exist when outcomes are no longer predicted by any aspect of an individual’s identity. LIBERATION
Liberation is the freedom from limits on thought and behavior. Understanding how equity, equality, diversity, and inclusion are by design is one of the first steps towards liberation, when everyone is free from systems of oppression. OPPRESSION
Mistreatment at scale. DESIGN
Design is the intention (and unintentional impact) behind an outcome. It’s also the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with physical products, such as a plan, visual and textual content, or attire. Every design has an impact on equity, including the decisions we make in a community project, the blueprints created for a new building, and the policies implemented in our workplaces. COMMUNITY
Community is a group of people in a shared space or with a shared interest, identity, or goal. Some communities bring