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A page within CATL Instructor's Guide to Inclusive Excellence

According to Hockings (2010), "inclusive learning and teaching in higher education refers to the ways in which pedagogy, curricula and assessment are designed to engage students in learning that is meaningful, relevant, and accessible to all." It thus includes a shift in our thinking about students and about learning as well as a set of practices that result in courses that invite every student in a diverse classroom to learn and all students to develop cultural competence.  Inclusive teaching is a first step in closing equity gaps.

Developing into an excellent inclusive college instructor takes time, reflection, planning, reading, learning, innovation, experimention, and monitoring. For instructors in the US and around the world, it simultaneously poses a career-long opportunity for personal intellectual growth.

This section of the Instructor's Guide to Inclusive Excellence explores the theoretical literature on designing and teaching a course that is more likely to engage students from a broad range of backgrounds and life experiences.  Culturally responsive teaching, universal design, feminist pedagogy, social justice education, and antibias education have much in common with each other.  They all:

  • demand that instructors learn and grow, and that disciplines develop and even transform
  • view students holistically, e.g., as embedded within a network of relationships, standing at multiple historical, social, political, economic crossroads, and bringing to the classroom knowledge and skills of their own
  • advocate shared responsibility between instructor and students in designing the course and making the experience an opportunity for growth for everyone
  • advocate teaching students how to analyze social hierarchies
  • seek to empower students to act

This section will highlight particular aspects of each.


Hockings, C. (2010). Inclusive learning and teaching in higher education: A synthesis of research. York: Higher Education Academy.