Creating an Equitable Learning Environment - Dr. Victoria Rodriguez

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

image of Victoria Rodriguez

How do you get to know your students?

I try to construct assignments that allow students to share a little bit about themselves and bring in their own personal experiences. For example, in my Understanding Racial and Ethnic Identity course last semester, I asked students at the beginning of the semester to write their own personal history with the topic of race and/or ethnicity. I understand that students normally come into a class with experiences of their own that relate to the content. At the end of the semester I ask them to revisit these papers to see if any of the course content is reflected in their own personal experiences and anecdotes, allowing them to apply the academic material they’ve learned to their own lives. Providing them with the opportunity to reflect on this helps solidify that information.   I also really enjoy getting to talk with students before and after class, asking them about any exciting or not so exciting experiences they’ve had since I last saw them. Students are usually quite eager to share the latest experiences they’ve had. I also try to check-in with students that are not as eager to share, providing opportunities for one-on-one communication instead of demanding that they share in front of an audience.

Read the complete interview here

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