Abstract: Research has suggested that faculty characteristics, academic discipline, course characteristics, department perceptions, and institutional commitment to diversity are all strong indicators of diversity and inclusion (Milem, 2001; Mayhew & Grunwald, 2006; Smart & Umbach, 2007; Umbach, 2006; Braxton & Hargens, 1996; Laird, 2011). The presenters will report a review of the literature on evidence-based research on diversity. In addition, they will examine the diversity and inclusion in their own courses with the nine critical elements, composed of purpose/goals, content, foundations/perspectives, learners’ characteristics, instructors’ characteristics, pedagogy, classroom environment, assessment/evaluation, and adjustment of pace, content, or assignments based on students’ learning strengths and needs (Laird, 2011). The presenters will provide hands-on activities, interactive questions and answers, and opportunities for discussion to enhance the participants’ self-awareness and understanding of diversity and inclusion.
Dr. Jie Zhang, assistant professor in the Department of Education and Human Development at The College at Brockport since 2008, teaches special education courses. She also supervises student teachers and taught graduate thesis seminar. Her research interests are: exploring the cultural and linguistic factors in the services for children with diverse backgrounds/abilities and their families; and investigating the efficacy of different instructional methods on teaching and learning. Dr. Zhang’s passion is to work with children with diverse backgrounds and their teachers and parents/families to enhance the quality of their lives.
Dr. Janka Szilagyi, assistant professor in the Department of Education and Human Development at The College at Brockport, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in elementary and middle level mathematics methodology, and educational research. Her research interests currently include developmental progressions in the learning of mathematical concepts, elementary and middle level mathematics teachers’ understanding of inquiry and a problem-based approach to learning and teaching, and the maintenance of the heritage language and culture in bilingual children.
Dr. Younkyeong Nam, assistant professor in the Department of Education and Human Development at The College at Brockport, teaches science methodology courses for elementary and secondary pre-service teachers. Her research interests are exploring science teachers’ beliefs, perceptions, practices of culturally relevant science teaching for students who have diverse cultural and language backgrounds, and socio-cultural aspects of diverse students’ conceptions and understandings of natural phenomena and science concepts.