In response to the Principal’s vision statement and, in particular, section 1. c. of the academic planning report form, the following are some suggested considerations for incorporating diversity and equity dimensions more completely in departmental and faculty reflections on “curriculum reform and inclusivity.”
As the new Senate policy articulates, the values of diversity and equity intrinsically contribute to the educational enterprise and its academic quality. Consequently, these concepts and approaches should inform the academic planning exercise currently taking place, particularly in re-thinking curriculum and insuring an inclusive educational environment.
These suggestions are by no means comprehensive guidelines encompassing the full range implied by the broad concepts of diversity and educational equity; these are simply initial points of departure that develop concepts articulated in the vision statement.
Generally, what does your department/faculty do to prepare students to live and work in an increasingly multicultural society and globally integrated world? How are these objectives reflected in curriculum or in plans for curricular development? How are these goals expressed in attempting to foster an inclusive learning environment inside and outside the classroom? What ideas do you have for enhancing this preparation and what resources and measures are needed?
How does your department/faculty meet the educational needs and interests of an increasingly diverse student body? Consider both the changing Canadian demographics as well as international students. How can your department/faculty attract and support students of diverse backgrounds, ethnically, culturally, linguistically, …? What issues and challenges arise and what measures and resources are needed to insure that students of all backgrounds are valued and included successfully in the educational enterprise?
How are diverse approaches, perspectives, and knowledges integrated in your department/faculty’s curriculum? For example, in disciplines in the social sciences and humanities: how does your curriculum incorporate global perspectives in conceptualizing your discipline? How does or might more effectively your curriculum contribute to the understanding and appreciating of diverse cultures, ethnicities, and religions and to issues of difference and identity, whether gender, sexual orientation, or race? Similarly, in applied and scientific disciplines, how does or might global perspectives, cultural contexts, social values and ethics inform teaching and research? What opportunities and challenges are there for cross-faculty collaboration to achieve curricular goals in these areas?
What efforts, and with what success, has your department/faculty enhanced the diversity of its staff and their capacity to engage and improve educational equity? What measures could be taken to achieve greater equity and to support faculty and staff members of equity-seeking groups in their teaching, research, and career development?
We urge you to consider these issues in departmental and faculty discussions and to incorporate them in your responses.