Political Science Education and the Profession

Fostering Student Sensitivity to Diversity and Inclusion in Today’s Classroom

John (Pat) Willerton University of Arizona
,
Mikhail Beznosov University of West Georgia
Abstract
Engaging diversity and fostering inclusion – across various dimensions (nationality-ethnicity, age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and socioeconomic development, among others) – are critical to the teaching goals of the two co-presenters of this Inclusive Classroom Track proposal. The authors are comparativist political scientists who engage issues of diversity and inclusion in different -- yet interconnected-- ways. One of us uses an early-in-the-semester task, drawing upon personality types (Myers-Briggs Test Indicator) and a policy task (enhancing inclusion of Native Americans into the American societal mainstream), to sensitize his students to diversity at the most basic level. The other of us develops a collaborative classroom experience that spans students in the U.S. and Ukraine. Drawing on the "Global Classrooms" program, he is able to foster international interaction and collaboration in tackling group-level diversity and cross-national acceptance. Our combined efforts are intended to foster enhanced student sensitivity to diversity and inclusion.
Content