The annual Inclusive Excellence Workshop is a two-day, off-campus immersion workshop for UCLA instructors. This workshop was designed to educate faculty about the substance of inclusive pedagogy relating to social identity and implicit bias, engage faculty in dialogue around the issues impeding student success in STEM classrooms, and help faculty move beyond awareness of the problems undermining student success to an internalization of their role in overcoming these problems. The goals of the workshop are (1) to help faculty improve their knowledge of social identities and, in so doing, become more aware of their own and their students’ social identities, (2) to support faculty in their learning about the barriers to student success such as faculty attitudes, stereotype threat, microaggressions resulting from the manifestation of implicit biases, and fixed mindset, and (3) to inspire faculty to take action to remove these barriers from their classrooms by adopting instructional strategies that enable all students to be academically successful.
Life Science Dean Victoria Sork conceived of these workshops, which have been offered annually since 2015. The Inclusive Excellence Workshops are facilitated by outside experts in inclusive pedagogy and critical race theory. Life Science Professor Tracy Johnson was recently awarded an HHMI Inclusive Excellence grant, which has extended these workshop offerings through at least 2021. CEILS team members attend and contribute to the workshops each year, lending their expertise in inclusive and evidence-based teaching practices. In addition, Director Sanders O’Leary has been working with Dean Sork and members of UCLA’s Center for Educational Assessment to evaluate the impact of this intervention. Key findings from assessment of the 2015-17 workshops indicate that attendees 1) increased their knowledge of social identities and the barriers to learning in STEM classrooms, particularly those faced by underrepresented and disadvantaged students, 2) changed their attitudes about students’ abilities as science majors, shifting away from a fixed-mindset perspective in which characteristics such as intelligence are perceived as innate and unalterable, and 3) modified their teaching approaches to promote inclusivity and cultural responsiveness. A manuscript describing these outcomes in detail is under review with the International Journal of STEM Education.