Sent on bahelf of Dr. Alisa Wade, Assistant Professor of History and READI Equity Fellow
While serving as a Research on Equity, Antiracism, Diversity and Inclusion (READI) Equity Fellow this past year, I’ve spent a lot of time reading about and reflecting on inclusive and equitable pedagogy. Part of the process of working toward a student-centered approach to teaching entails empowering our students as active agents and considering ways we as educators might draw on their cultural knowledge and creativity in the classroom. How might we, as instructors at a Hispanic-Serving Institution with a growing percentage of first-generation students, find ways to continue to support our students and encourage them to take ownership of their own learning experiences?
In Active Learning Strategies in Higher Education: Teaching for Leadership, Innovation, and Creativity, the authors advocate for a pedagogical approach that “promotes creativity, imagination, and emotional depth of students along with knowledge acquisition and development” and “cultivates a participatory culture in academia at all levels” (5-6). In this framework, the goal is to embed students actively in work of our disciplines in the classroom and to encourage them as participatory and engaged local, national, and global citizens. In turn, the process of working closely with faculty members can help them learn and grow in new ways, build confidence, bolster their academic success, and give them relevant skills for their academic and professional careers.
One program on campus designed to facilitate this process is the Adelante Postbaccalaureate Pipeline. The Adelante Program’s mission centers on supporting Latinx and low-income CSUC students, and includes a Summer Research Program for undergraduate and graduate students to participate in a “faculty-mentored, funded research experience” that will give students a hands-on opportunity to engage in—and, later, present on and consider publishing—their research under the guidance of their faculty research mentor. Applications for this summer just opened last week, and the deadline for submissions is April 24, 2023. For those in Agriculture, Engineering, and the Natural Sciences, CSC² offers additional student resources, including a Summer Undergraduate Research Program.
For details, tips, and resources on encouraging students as active classroom agents, take a look at the FDEV teaching guide for building student agency.