Teaching Circles

What We Are Doing

Our Inclusive Excellence project, Northeastern University Skills and Capacity for Inclusion (NU-SCI) has organized peer-facilitated Teaching Circles for College of Science faculty, designed to help faculty develop course-specific strategies around inclusive practices in the classroom. The monthly Circles are led by faculty peer facilitators and combine learning with plenty of discussion and feedback about what is, and isn’t, working for participants. We recognize that individual faculty members have different styles and that our College of Science has many different levels, sizes, and types of courses. Therefore, we don’t seek to tell faculty what to do, but instead encourage them to think about how best to adapt inclusive strategies to their own classrooms.

What We Are Learning

We originally asked that colleagues participate for one semester, but most participants return semester after semester, year after year. When pandemic restrictions were implemented, our Teaching Circles made the switch to virtual in 2020, resulting in increased membership and requests for more frequent meetings. We have also learned that many of our colleagues, although they are supportive of diversity, equity and inclusion, do not have a full understanding of what it means in the classroom context. The Teaching Circles are filling this gap.

Teaching Circle Topics
  • Implicit Bias
  • Stereotype Threat
  • Starting Semesters Inclusively
  • Building Relationships with Students/Mentoring
  • Team Learning
  • Online Teaching
  • Student Panels on Inclusivity in the Classroom

Where We Are Headed

As the team looks toward year five of our IE initiative, we are looking forward to resuming our in-person Teaching Circles. We will also be taking our program to individual department faculty meetings, as we had planned before the pandemic, and will increase our engagement of student groups as partners in our department-specific IE efforts. We look forward to reaching more colleagues in the coming year.