Queen’s develops faculty guidelines for anti-racist & anti-oppression course content

Faculty also has access to resources for Indigenizing remote course offerings

Faculty will be able to use the guidelines to inform course content in both remote and in-person learning environments.  
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This story was updated with new information on June 19 at 11:00 a.m.

Queen’s is developing new guidelines to assist faculty in implementing anti-racist and anti-oppression content in existing courses.

In a statement on June 8, Provost Mark Green announced the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is collaborating with the Equity and Human Rights Office and anti-racist activists to develop guidelines for anti-racist and anti-oppression content, inclusive teaching methods, and frameworks for teaching “controversial” subjects.

While Green did not initially specify which subjects the University considers controversial, he later clarified that "frameworks will be developed to assist instructors in building community in the classroom and to facilitate respectful discussions on challenging, complex, and critically important topics such as racism.”

“Education is power, and some of the most powerful recommendations in the [Principal’s Implementation Committee on Racism Diversity and Inclusion] (PICRDI) and [Truth and Reconciliation Commission Task Force] (TRCTF) reportsrelate to ensuring Queen’s graduates understand racism, unconscious bias, and oppression,” Green wrote in a statement to The Journal. 

The Faculty of Education’s Aboriginal Teacher Education Program and the CTL have previously developed strategies for implementing Indigenous content into remote delivery. These resources are available to faculty through the Indigenizing Online Learning guide

According to Green, many members of Queen’s faculty have integrated Indigenous content into their teachings and will include this component in remote offerings. 

Last year, the CTL revised their Course Design Institute programming to include the priorities of decolonization and inclusive pedagogies. Throughout the summer, the CLT will offer a regular series of curricula to teach faculty members about the foundations of Indigenous ways of knowing and approaches to learning and to help them integrate these resources into their remote courses.

As outlined in the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Annual Report released in August 2019, Green said many Queen’s faculties are also working to diversify their curriculum.

“A priority for all faculties and schools at Queen’s is to enhance diverse perspectives in their programming,” Green wrote. “Instructors … are being encouraged to identify unintended biases in course content and resources and to adopt broader perspectives in that content and the pedagogies used.”

The CTL also offers modules on equity, diversity, and inclusion in pedagogy and practice for faculty use in collaboration with the Human Rights and Equity Office.

“Queen’s instructors are able to use the content from those modules to help inform their approaches to teaching and to supplement course content,” Green added. 

Following the shift to remote learning, the CTL also developed a Transforming Teaching Toolkit that includes resources related to inclusive teaching methods, decolonization, accessibility, Indigenous pedagogies, and social presence. The tools can be used by course instructors in both remote and in-person learning environments.

“Faculty members will be able to consult the new anti-oppression and anti-racism resources to incorporate into their courses,” Green wrote.

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