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Teaching Strategies: Students with Minority Status

CRITERIA   Teach your students not only "what," but also "so what?"

Don't assume a certain level of experience.

Show your students what it means to be in your field.

DISCUSSION Don't ask students to give the "minority" point of view of a subject.

Don't underestimate student responses that indicate an emotional investment.

Be honest about your own ideas and convictions.

Don't shorten or change students' names without permission.

Learn the order and pronunciation of students' names and use these names when calling on them.

Move, or use a procedure that will make students move, if you find that certain students always sit together and participate less.

If some students hesitate to speak up in class, let them contribute first in small groups.

LECTURE Avoid falsely inclusive or exclusive terms. Don't say "women" if you mean only certain types of women, or "all Americans" if you mean only certain Americans.

Use examples that include people of differing races and ethnicities.

Be honest about your own relation to the material.

Don't just give rules, but explain the reasons behind the rules.

Move around if you find only certain students sit close to you.

TEACHING / WRITING Allow students to use "I" in their papers.  
DYNAMICS Challenge students' statements when they make unwarranted generalizations about types of people ("All Xs are like Y"). Pay attention to the dynamics of the class. If you sense unusual tension, address the situation clear the air.  
STRUCTURE   Use small group activities and projects.

Let learning be more than just individual.

EVALUATION   Evaluate students' progress more often than just midterm and the end of the course.

Let students know early in the course if they are not doing well.

Take notes or have a colleague take notes to see who is talking when. Use these notes to counter non-productive participation patterns.

Make sure the students do not think you are paying attention to some types or students over others.

Have your class videotaped and review it with a consultant from the TA Development Program.

consultation contacts

George Michaelsexecutive director2130 Kerr Hall
lisa berrysenior instructional consultant1130 Kerr Hall
mindy colininstructional consultant1130 Kerr Hall
Mary Lou Ramos database and ESCI administrator1130 Kerr Hall
TBD ESCI assistant1124 Kerr Hall


TBDoffice manager 1130 Kerr Hall
faxfax: 805-893-5915