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Diversity & Teamwork: Classroom Activities

General Education Committee Guide on Diversity & Teamwork

What Can Teachers do to Encourage & Promote Diversity?

Instructors need to provide students with an environment that is conducive to learning. If the student feels comfortable, safe, and respected, their chances of success in that class will dramatically increase.

  • Take the time to learn about your students' background, interests, and learning style.
    • This will allow you to create an environment that is conducive to each individual student.
  • Allow time for the students to learn about each other and gain an appreciation for the diversity they bring to the classroom.
    • Remind them how boring it would be if we were all alike and there were no differences among us to make each person unique.
    • Teach students that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. When working in teams encourage students to take advantage of the strengths of the team members in order to produce the best possible results.
  • Bring in different people to the class as resources that students might be able to connect with.
    • Search out people that are different from yourself and that might share certain qualities with your students.
    • Students need role models. Many times when they see they are connected in some way to a person they will be more apt to listen and learn from them.
  • Never tolerate bullying, teasing, and other put-down behavior at any time in the classroom.
    • Implement a "zero tolerance" for anything that is disrespectful, hurtful, or intolerant of diversity.

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Teamwork Activity

RSA. (2013, December 10). RSA shorts: The power of empathy [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw 


Instructions

  1. Have students watch the video from Brené Brown on Empathy. Then, have students discuss their desired careers or fields of study, and how empathy plays a role in those fields. This might be a great opportunity to use small groups (campus) or breakout rooms (online).
  2. After the discussion, students write and submit a short (1-page) response about their views of empathy in their desired fields. This could be more of a reflective piece rather than one that requires any research. 

SImple Grading Rubric

20 points total

  • 10 points: Paper looks at specific aspects of empathy in his/her chosen field or career, including specific hypothetical examples.
  • 5 points: Paper acknowledges the value of empathy in the selected field/career and gives specific reasons for empathy being of value.
  • 5 points: Paper follows APA guidelines, grammar, punctuation, etc.