Inclusion of new groups not traditionally found at the university has led to an increased interest and awareness of multicultural understanding. Teaching in a diverse classroom presents a unique and significant challenge. This means more than merely addressing issues of diversity and multiculturalism. Teachers must be aware of how we relate to students, how our students relate to us, and how students relate to one another. Diversity issues are an important component of any class, regardless of the teaching style, format, or discipline; every class offers the opportunity to increase awareness of diversity and multicultural issues.
Cultural Sensitivity To be effective with American Indian students, you must be attuned to their different learning styles and cultural backgrounds. Recently a group of MSU Indian students in the American Indian Research Opportunities program participated in a discussion about their experiences at MSU. They offer several suggestions for those teaching Native American students.
Learning Styles Howard Gardner is best known as the father of "multiple intelligences", the idea that human intelligence is much more diverse and complex than previous single intelligence models would suggest. This paper serves to introduce the reader to the work of Howard Gardner and the work of authors who have expanded his ideas into classroom applications. In addition, it will provide several examples of how one instructor has made use of multiple intelligences teaching at MSU-Bozeman.
Ideological Conflict Democracy in the classroom can mean many things. Here it means creating a learning environment in which students are participants, in which all positions are equally respected without necessarily being equally valued, and where the evaluation of varying positions takes place through critical, informed and knowledgeable dialogue. However, it should be remembered that all pedagogy takes place within an institutional setting and that the institution also has a responsibility to both protect the academic freedom that is the foundation of higher education, and assure that students are treated with respect in the classroom.
Disabilities The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the first national civil rights legislation ever enacted for persons with disabilities, mandated that recipients of federal funds accommodate the needs of the disabled. MSU, as a recipient of federal money, was among hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide required under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act to make its facilities and programs accessible to persons with disabilities. There is no one correct way to work with students with disabilities. But hopefully the tips and strategies from our Web-site can offer a starting point.