Education Forum on Diversity in the Curriculum: Questions for Consideration
This focus group, centered on Diversity in
the Curriculum, will be this Thursday, 20 February, at 4:30 pm in the Laurel
Forum. The GERTF and Design Team
would like to invite all interested faculty and staff members to attend this
session (and the others), which will be facilitated by a GERTF member.
At this forum, members of the design team
will facilitate a conversation on some of the most common curricular models for
diversity education, and on the issues faculty indicated were most important to
them when asked about diversity during the Listening Project. We anticipate using these discussions to assist us as we
think about writing charges for the specific curricular requirements.
The Design Team has reached some preliminary conclusions about the
structure and content of this requirement, but would like the benefit of your
input on the following questions:
are your desired outcomes for students engaged in exploring diversity?
knowledge, skills, and awareness do you want to give students the
opportunity to develop in such a requirement?
moving from the Listening Project to the Institutional Principles for the
Design, there was divided opinion about how broadly or narrowly we should
construe “diversity.” The
institutional principle on diversity presently focuses on “racism, sexism,
and related forms of oppression/discrimination.” It was thought by some that if we allow too many
dimensions to satisfy a diversity requirement, we would dilute the
students’ engagement with the issue; others thought that if we narrowed it
too much, we would discourage faculty participation. What dimensions of diversity do you think we ought to
include in a UNCA diversity requirement?
the Listening Project, faculty and students indicated that they favored a
model infusing diversity across the curriculum, rather than in a specific
course or list of courses. Research
shows that each of these methods raises problems.
The design team advocates diversity intensive experiences, in which
students consider issues and problems of diversity in the context of course
content. Rather than limiting the number of diversity courses to
a static list or single set of courses, faculty who could satisfy
established criteria could have their courses designated as “diversity
intensive.” If we pursued
this approach at UNCA, what specific curricular components would be
necessary for a course to qualify as diversity intensive?
issues or concerns do you have regarding the oversight of such a
We are eager to have the benefit of
your input, ideas, and expertise as we move toward a model for the revised
general education curriculum.