At a time when higher education is experiencing unprecedented nationwide growth in populations of students of color, it is crucial to talk about inclusive practices in general, as well as in one’s own specific discipline. As a member of the department of Hispanic Studies at CSB/SJU, in the Fall of 2016, I had the opportunity to participate in the Humanities cohort of the inclusive pedagogy events sponsored by a Mellon grant. Coincidentally, our department had just decided to introduce a new course for advanced Spanish speakers geared to heritage speakers, which I volunteered to teach as a pilot in Fall 2016 to determine the needs of this student group. In an effort to emphasize the connection between inclusive pedagogy theory and classroom practice, I will share what I have learned through some of the Mellon grant activities and its application from my experience teaching this new course, as well as more established courses. For instance, I have learned that inclusion does not consist merely of avoiding overtly racist comments that can be considered “micro-aggressions,” but comprises encouraging students to value their experience as a minority group inside and outside of the classroom. This translates into facilitating students’ participation in their own learning by reflecting on their personal and social racial-ethnic identity through class projects such as presentations and essay writing. In addition, we in Hispanic Studies need to find a balance between mainstreaming our heritage students into learning Spanish language and culture with our white majority language learners and creating courses to meet their own individual needs to improve their academic skills.
Sánchez Mora, Elena
"Mainstreaming vs. Individuating: Incorporating Inclusive Pedagogy into Spanish Language and Culture Courses,"
Vol. 30, 98-113.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/headwaters/vol30/iss1/11