About This Guide

By Rose Wong (Social Work)

Purpose

Our Diversity and Social Justice Teaching Guide (1st edition, September 2014) explores and addresses how we as a faculty can effectively teach and promote diversity and social justice (DSJ) to our diverse student body in a public university, California State University, East Bay (CSUEB). On our campus, students of color comprise 65% while faculty of color comprise 30% of their respective populations. Many of our undergraduate students are the first in their families to attend college, 61% are women, 45% are low income, and about 50% speak English as a second language. More than 70% of our students need math or English remediation. The average age is 24 and the majority of our students are employed and commute to campus. (See Our Faculty & Students.)

In this web-based Guide, we showcase DSJ needs and difficulties identified by our faculty and students and offer tips, effective practices, and useful resources. We aimed to develop a guide that is visually oriented and lively, containing videos and audio recordings with stories about our faculty and students' ideas and work as well as a guide that is interactive and alive, serving as an in-house resource as well as a resource for colleagues and students at other universities and the public at large.


Background: Advancing CSUEB's Diversity and Social Justice Institutional Learning Outcome

The Guide originated in an internal grant which was part of the campus Provost's Programmatic Excellence & Innovation in Learning (PEIL) fund ("Planning Project, 2012-13"). The purpose of that grant was to gather data to create a DSJ snapshot of our campus in order to implement a recently adopted university Institutional Learning Objective (ILO) that states that graduates of CSUEB will be able to:

"Apply knowledge of diversity and multicultural competencies to promote equity and social justice in our communities."

This Guide was specifically inspired by the syllabi analysis component of this grant. After analyzing eighty-five course syllabi drawn from across campus, findings revealed creative DSJ teaching approaches in in both DSJ-specific courses (e.g., ethnic studies and history) and some non-DSJ-specific courses (e.g., physics and mathematics). These results raised important questions of how we could infuse DSJ teaching into non-DSJ-specific courses in particular and what practical and easy-to-implement DSJ teaching methods we could offer to our faculty. We pursued these questions in our second grant, which we obtained the following year ("Implementation Project, 2013-14").

The DSJ ILO is one of six ILO adopted in 2012 which were crafted by a committee of professors over a two-year period based on interviews, forums, and surveys with the campus community. To detail how graduates might "promote equity and social justice" in their communities, the university included the following subset of six competencies:

  1. Maintaining respect for all cultures and groups based on understanding how culture and experience shape perspectives.
  2. Working in diverse groups effectively, respectfully and sensitively.
  3. Recognizing one’s own biases and stereotypes and seeing different perspectives.
  4. Identifying and addressing injustice and inequality, including developing strategies and tactics.
  5. Developing a sense of global citizenship by appreciating diverse experiences and values as sources of enrichment.
  6. Building coalitions with those who are different.

The Guide’s Approach: Addressing Requirements for Successful Implementation of the DSJ ILO

We designed this Guide based on what we learned from our first grant; specifically, that successful implementation of the DSJ ILO would require:

  1. Consideration of student and faculty needs, characteristics and constraints, particularly our students’ diverse sociocultural backgrounds and remediation needs and our faculty’s level of preparedness and time constraints for developing their DSJ-oriented teaching at a public university where full-time faculty teach nine courses (36 units) per year.
  2. Involvement of all disciplines, from humanities to the sciences, in developing and implementing DSJ education throughout the curriculum.
  3. Involvement of the entire campus community, from instructional programs to student clubs and student and faculty support services and offices, in providing coordinated activities that support DSJ education.
  4. Involvement of the university with the community to prepare graduates through structured learning and service/volunteer opportunities that bridge classroom and community.
  5. Development of faculty, staff and administrators’ capacity for providing DSJ-focused education and services and for practicing and modeling the values of openness, inclusivity, respect, fairness, and tolerance in interactions with students and each other as well as being agents of social change.

How the Guide is Organized

DSJ Timeline & Pedagogy at CSUEB tells the reader about our university's history of DSJ-related efforts in historical context, statistics on our faculty and students that are relevant to building our DSJ teaching capacity, and a first draft of faculty's guiding principles, which we invite faculty to co-create with us to inspire and guide our own development and commitment to DSJ-oriented education.

DSJ Research at CSUEB summarizes the results of the DSJ Planning Project (2012-13), which includes an examination of institutional needs and linkages (Julie Beck), focus groups with students, faculty and staff (Sarah Taylor), and syllabi analysis (Colleen Fong & Rose Wong).

HIGHLIGHTS is intended to show our latest and most interesting pieces. In inspiring personal stories, six faculty speak about their personal development and practices with regard to DSJ teaching. In managing hot topics, our project's student assistants re-enact two 'hot topic' or 'difficult dialogue' situations and give suggestions on how instructors can better manage these. First steps all can take contains tips for teaching our diverse student population. Understanding implicit bias contains a video of Dr. Alex Madva, invited by us to give a talk on implicit bias in higher education, which culminated our year of work on the DSJ Teaching Guide. Pronouncing Asian Pacific Names is a digitized version of the Guide to the Pronunciation of Asian Pacific Names, authored by our faculty.

Faculty's Projects describes several projects undertaken by our faculty with their faculty mentors, under the auspices of the DSJ Faculty Fellows & Teaching Guide Pilot Project. Andrew Wong (mentored by Colleen Fong) implemented a service learning option into his anthropology course on language and culture. Duke Austin (mentored by Colleen Fong), in his sociology of immigration course, had his students mentor immigrant high school students. Sukari Ivester (mentored by Sarah Taylor) allowed her social psychology students in the Sociology and Social Services Department to co-create their syllabus with her.

In Your Discipline contains the "in house" approaches toward DSJ faculty development, which Guide team members Shirley Yap (Mathematics and Computer Science), Ken Chung (Management), and Derek Jackson Kimball (Physics) carefully crafted for their own disciplines. This section also contains Eileen Barrett's (English) DSJ-oriented brief writing assignments, which she created for undergraduate courses taught by Shirley, Ken and Derek.

Resources contains a speakers bureau that will compile videos on diverse DSJ-related topics for faculty development or use in the classroom, news articles and reports and research articles on DSJ education related topics, and DSJ teaching support books and videos.

Give Us Your Feedback is the place for sharing our thoughts. We welcome our faculty, students and staff and all other users to give input on DSJ education on our campus and what to include in the next edition of this Guide as well as read what others have posted about DSJ education on our campus and their ideas for the next edition.


Authors & Acknowledgements

A multidisciplinary team designed this Guide. The team members were Rose Wong (Social Work, team leader), Shirley Yap (Mathematics), Ken Chung (Management), Eileen Barrett (English) and Derek Kimball (Physics). Colleen Fong (Ethnic Studies) provided significant guidance on design and content and authored the CSUEB DSJ Efforts Timeline with contributions from numerous colleagues. Gale Young (Communications) provided important direction on this project. We thank Glenn Brewster (Media and Academic Technology Services) for preparing and enhancing our videos and digitizing the Guide to the Pronunciation of Asian Pacific Names. We also thank Avi Fhima (Web Services) for developing this website.

The campus Provost established the Programmatic Excellence & Innovation in Learning (PEIL) grant program in 2012 which funded the two grants from which this Guide originated: DSJ Planning Project (2012-13; $70,000; PI: Julie Beck, Co-PI: Colleen Fong, Sarah Taylor & Rose Wong) and the DSJ Faculty Fellows & Teaching Guide Pilot Implementation Project (2013-14; $70,000; PI: Sarah Taylor, Co-PI: Colleen Fong & Rose Wong). (See Planning Project Final Report and Implementation Project Final Report.) The goal of PEIL is "to support innovation and excellence in education and to promote teaching that prepares students to meet the demands of the 21st Century global environment." PEIL grants are awarded competitively to faculty teams to achieve "widespread sustained improvements in undergraduate instruction using established best practices." (Go to PEIL.)

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