Culturally Responsive & Inclusive Curriculum Resources: Social Sciences

Examples & Recommended Readings from Social Science Disciplines

Samanta, S. (2016). Making Visible Asians and Asian Americans in Introductory Women's Studies Courses: The Personal Voice in Pedagogy, Making Feminist Connections across Diversity. Feminist Teacher25(2), 94-110.

Motulsky, S. L., Gere, S. H., Saleem, R., & Trantham, S. M. (2014). Teaching social justice in counseling psychology. The Counseling Psychologist, 42(8), 1058-1083.

Riggs, D. W. (2004). Challenging the monoculturalism of psychology: Towards a more socially accountable pedagogy and practice. Australian Psychologist, 39(2), 118-126. 

This article "suggests that within a multicultural society psychology needs to develop an understanding of the ways that white systems of representation shape pedagogy and practice" and "outlines the ways in which the discipline may be conceptualised as a cultural practice that is both informed by, and constitutive of, racialised practices in Australia." (p. 118)

Fuentes, M. A., & Shannon, C. R. (2016). The state of multiculturalism and diversity in undergraduate psychology training. Teaching of Psychology, 43(3), 197-203.

This article critiques the practice of examining diversity as an isolated topic in psychology courses, and offers recommendations and resources to improve the design of psychology course curriculum in relationship to diversity. 

 ...As emphasized throughout this article, intersectionality is central to diversity (Davis, 2008). Instructors are reminded that intersectionality is not simply addressing a number of diversity factors in a course in a singular manner (e.g., 3 weeks on race, 3 weeks on gender, and 3 weeks on class), rather an intersectional approach helps students recognize that identity consists of a number of social–cultural factors (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender) and that these factors often intersect to enhance, compromise, or neutralize one’s identity as it relates to power, privilege, and oppression (Berger & Guidroz, 2009; Case, 2013; Pliner & Banks, 2012). (p.201)

Examples from Your Colleagues

The following are examples of a thoughtful approach to diverse perspectives and engagement, submitted to UCC in 2017/2018: 

Portland State Course Proposal Example: SPHR 222

SPHR 222, Introduction to Speech Language & Hearing Sciences, prepared by Jeff Conn
Diversity Perspectives: The objectives for this course and the student learning outcomes are designed to help students gain a more scientific perspective regarding human speech and language. Adoption of this perspective encourages students to investigate an unconscious social behavior (i.e., language use) and examine it from a more objective perspective. This transition will allow students to challenge their own cultural biases regarding language use and the people that use that language (i.e., ethnic-based dialects, non-standard dialects of English). Additionally, the concept of difference vs. disorder will be introduced, which encourages students to think about their own beliefs and opinions about what type of language is correct, what is considered difference (i.e., dialects, accents) and what the field classifies as disordered. Students will be encouraged to share their own personal perspectives in large and small group discussion throughout.

Diversity Engagement: The content if this course includes looking at language from a scientific perspective. This perspective includes addressing and discussing one’s own stereotypes about language usage and social factors (e.g., age, ethnicity, culture, social class, gender). Small and large group discussion to address these issues will be included in the course as they come up. Students are encouraged to work together and with the professor to address these often-biased opinions about language, and therefore, the people that use certain language/dialects. Part of the content includes discussions of speech/language disorders, people with disabilities, and the social context of language (including language and dialect prejudice). While the class is typically lecture based, students will work in small groups throughout to process and synthesize the information, and then come back to large group discussion to share these ideas. Furthermore, by having assignments that are not graded for accuracy but only for completion, student learners who learn best from their own mistakes have an opportunity to do this without being penalized in their grade. There is also information in the syllabus regarding fostering a classroom culture of respect for others and for other perspectives. Learning about language from a scientific perspective allows students the opportunity to analyze more objectively a cultural behavior that receives a lot of subjective evaluation in society.

Portland State Course Proposal Example: CFS 493

CFS 493, Professional Self: Ways of Knowing, prepared by Jana Meinhold
Diversity Perspectives: In CFS we have a curriculum commitment recognizing the need to represent the voices of many communities in our readings and course materials. We are committed to creating spaces for the voices of people who experience marginalization and other oppressions, with a focus to address racial inequities. We will strive to offer at minimum 50% of required readings from the perspectives of underrepresented groups or those disenfranchised in our communities.

Diversity Engagement: CFS 493 meets the requirement for diversity engagement in that its discussion and readings related to ways of knowing, informing practice with professional knowledge, and research methodologies will include indigenous ways of knowing, cultural and gendered contexts for knowledge creation, and effects of research and knowledge dissemination on marginalized and subordinated communities.

Portland State Course Proposal Example: EC 476

EC 476 Implementing Econometrics using Stata and R, prepared by John Gallup
Diversity Engagement: While this course involves instruction about data and methodology rather than content about economic or social issues, research examples given in class and included in assignments frequently concern important social and economic aspects of current diversity issues, such as analysis of differential labor market outcomes for ethnic minorities in Vietnam, the evolution of minimum wage rates over time, understanding international gender differences, income inequality, etc. Such exercises help by challenging racial and cultural stereotypes in some cases and, more generally, help foster a more objective approach to understanding diversity issues. The methodological training provided by the class will provide students with the tools to better understand the underlying related issues such as the causes of social conflicts or economic disparity that often underlie stereotyping and prejudice. More importantly, the course will help students acquire the tools necessary to discover and manage factual information about race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and culture using the best practices available from the scientific approach.