Repost: How to Foster an Inclusive Classroom with a Constitution

by Nathan Loewen, Department of Religious Studies

In Fall 2018, Cathy Davidson invited me to repost from the Teaching Hub to the HASTAC (Humanities and Sciences Technology and Collaborative) site. And so I am returning the favor this semester by reposting something I promised to write for HASTAC:

“To follow up on my promise from last year, I wish to outline my process for creating a class constitution. Having a constitution is a workaround to other’s strategies of collaboratively revising syllabi at the opening of a course. For a variety of reasons, my institution asks that faculty post a publicly-accessible syllabus for courses one semester in advance. The process, which was inspired by Danicka Savonick’s approach to fostering inclusive discussions, was developed over the past two years at the University of Alabama. My objective with this process is to establish a way for to students have agency and ownership in their learning experiences. I think a constitution contributes to the possibility of having an inclusive classroom, too, as the process is one where I divest some of the powers granted to me as the teacher…” Read more

P.S. Taking some time to explore the HASTAC blogs is worthwhile for anyone from Arts and Sciences and across the UA campus. “HASTAC.org was developed to be a commons, an active, open online social network, where any member could contribute ideas and network with any other member.” The open network supports both faculty and graduate students with teaching and learning resources, conferences, initiatives, grant projects, and publishing opportunities. It’s well worth your time to see how HASTAC can support your teaching and research goals!

Two UK post boxes on a brick wall


Nathan Loewen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and Faculty Technology Liaison for the College of Arts & Sciences.