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Inclusive Pedagogy | CETL

Facilitating diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom.

Classroom Techniques | Activities

Research Articles

Cokley, K., Smith, L., Bernard, D., Hurst, A., Jackson, S., Stone, S., Awosogba, O., Saucer, C., Bailey, M. & Roberts, D. (2017). Impostor feelings as a moderator and mediator of the relationship between perceived discrimination and mental health among racial/ethnic minority college students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 64(2), 141-154.

This study suggests that among ethnic minority students one of the reasons perceived discrimination is harmful to mental health is related to feeling like an impostor, which makes the impact of perceived discrimination on mental health much worse. Ethnic minority college students’ mental health assessments should include factors related to environmental and academic stressors such as impostorism and perceived discrimination.


Ogunyemi, D., Clare, C., Astudillo, Y. M., Marseille, M., Manu, E., & Kim, S. (2020). Microaggressions in the learning environment: A systematic review. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education13(2), 97–119.

A systematic review of the literature on microaggressions in the learning environment of  higher education was performed from 1998 to 2018: Microinsults were reported in 82.5%, microinvalidations in 4.5%, microassaults in 20%, and institutional microaggressions in 27.5%. Microaggressions were prevalent and in colleges with minority students seemingly worn down by ongoing strategies used to confront the inherent associated stresses. Difficult racial dialogues were characterized by intense emotions in both professors and students that interfered with successful learning experiences. Coping strategies that correlated positively with microaggression and psychological stress included disengagement, cultural mistrust, stigma for seeking psychological help, alcohol use, and intolerance of uncertainty. Factors tending to ameliorate microaggression and psychological stress included engagement, dispositional forgiveness, help-seeking attitudes, self-efficacy in coping with daily hassles, and social connectedness. Political activism was helpful in Latinx, but exacerbated microaggression related stress in African American students. Multicultural curricula were associated with increased racial awareness. Innovative intervention strategies included brief video interventions and utility of mobile apps. Microaggressions are associated with ongoing major negative impact on the learning environment. By ameliorative coping mechanisms and institution intervention strategies, the associated toll and stresses from microaggressions may be reduced.


Platts, T. K., & Hoosier, K. (2020). Reducing stereotype threat in the classroomInquiry23(1), 1-19.

This brief pedagogical essay, focusing on social science classrooms, provides fellow instructors with practical strategies and advice in reducing the presence of stereotype threat in their classrooms. Techniques of task reframing, practices of positive affirmation, the providing of constructive criticism, the incorporation of marginalized groups into course content, and suggestions for meeting stereotype threat head-on are discussed as are some strategies students can adopt themselves. While the methods of stereotype threat reduction addressed in this essay can help curtail some of the negative impacts of racism's micro-level forces, stereotype threat must also be considered a structural problem that requires structural solutions.


Suarez-Orozco, C., Casanova, S., Martin, M., Katsiaficias, D., Cuellar, V., Smith, N. A. & Dias, S. I. (2015). Toxic rain in the classroom: Classroom interpersonal microaggressionsEducational Researcher, 44(3), 151-160.

In this article we share exploratory findings from a study that captures microaggressions (MAs) in vivo to shed light on how they occur in classrooms. These brief and commonplace indignities communicate derogatory slights and insults toward individuals of underrepresented status contributing to invalidating and hostile learning experiences. Our aim is to expand the ways in which we research and think about MAs in educational settings. Our data are drawn from structured observations of 60 diverse classrooms on three community college campuses. Our findings provide evidence that classroom MAs occur frequently—in nearly 30% of the observed community college classrooms. Although cultural/racial as well as gendered MAs were observed, the most frequent types of MAs were those that undermined the intelligence and competence of students. MAs were more likely to be delivered on campuses with the highest concentration of minority students and were most frequently delivered by instructors. We conclude by reflecting on the implications of these events for classroom climate and make recommendations for both future research and practice.