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
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.