Universiteit Leiden

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Intervision group on diversity for mid-career lecturers

The university is diversifying in a rapid pace. More international students and students from diverse background find their way to Leiden University, and find ways for their presence being noted. The increased diversity of the student body, also comes with its own challenges in the classroom. How do we ensure a safe and nurturing learning environment for students from different backgrounds and with different needs? How do we navigate classroom discussions when students increasingly seem intolerant of differing opinions? How do we respond to the demand of students to provide trigger warnings for course material, or when they challenge us to decolonize the curriculum?

Target group
Looi van Kessel  (University lecturer)

This intervision group is designed to give mid-career lecturers the tools to navigate didactic challenges that are informed by questions of diversity and inclusion. These include tools to provide a safe learning environment for students from various backgrounds, tools to critically reflect on course material, and tools to diffuse polarizing classroom situations.

The intervision group is set up in two blocks of three sessions. Each semester we will meet three times on Wednesday morning from 11:15 to 13:00 (dates, times, and location are subject to change). Each block is organized around a specific them. In block 1 we will focus on identity categories and consider how these categories play a role in learning challenges and classroom situations for both students and instructors. In block 2 we will focus on specific D&I challenges that instructors might encounter in and outside of the classroom.

The intervision sessions are dependent on the dynamic and presence of the group. By registering for this group, you commit to it. This means that you are expected to attend all sessions and enter these sessions with an open attitude. You can register for the intervision group online via this form.

Please note that the intervision sessions will be held in English.


Block 1 - Identities

A) Session 1 (Race & Ethnicity)
Proposed time: Wednesday 27 September, 11:15-13:00

B) Session 2 (Gender & Sexuality)
Proposed time: Wednesday 25 October, 11:15-13:00

C) Session 3 (Class & Disability)
Proposed time: Wednesday 29 November, 11:15-13:00

Block 2 - Challenges

D) Session 4 (Accessibility)
Proposed time: Wednesday 28 February, 11:15-13:00

E) Session 5 (Classroom polarization)
Proposed time: Wednesday 27 March, 11:15-13:00

F) Session 6 (Curriculum building)
Proposed time: Wednesday 24 April, 11:15-13:00


'In my field (American Studies) we often discuss highly sensitive material in class, e.g. around race, ethnicity, and gender. I have noticed that it can be difficult to facilitate a good, safe classroom discussion about these topics that gives room for mistakes, and differences of opinion and approach, while also including all students and forging an environment in which everyone can learn. This intervision group has proven to be a good setting in which to think through my own positions, experiences and choices in this matter. I appreciated the format, the attention to process, and the safety of the small-group setting, which allowed us to learn from each other’s experiences and to have very high-level discussions of matters that do not always receive the care and attention they need in order to really unpack the issues at stake. Looi is a fantastic facilitator.' - Sara Polak

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