University of Washington School of Public Health

Classroom Climate Paragraph

Faculty who wish to foster an inclusive classroom climate may wish to include a syllabus paragraph notifying students that this is your goal. We offer a number of syllabus paragraph options for your selection, selected from various sources. These are not required, but made available here for your convenience.

#1 Multi-cultural Inclusion Commitment from Environmental Health
The UW School of Public Health seeks to ensure all students are fully included in each course. We strive to create an environment that reflects community and mutual caring. We encourage students with concerns about classroom climate to talk to your instructor, your advisor, a member of the departmental or SPH Diversity Committee and/or the program director. DCinfo@uw.edu is a resource for students with classroom climate concerns.

#2 Multi-cultural Inclusion Commitment from COPHP
The UW School of Public Health seeks to ensure all students are fully included in each course. We strive to overcome systemic racism by creating an environment that reflects community and mutual caring, while we ally with others in combating all forms of social oppression. This is a work in progress, as transformation is rarely a fully-completed project. In this course, we will look for opportunities to improve our performance as we seek to break down institutional racism. This can include course readings, class interactions, faculty performance, and/or the institutional environment. We encourage students to talk to your faculty member and/or the program director if you have concerns about classroom climate. DCinfo@uw.edu is a resource for students with classroom climate concerns.

#3  From the GRDSCH 630 Courses:
Diverse backgrounds, embodiments, and experiences are essential to the critical thinking endeavor at the heart of university education. Therefore, I expect you to follow the UW Student Conduct Code in your interactions with your colleagues and me in this course by respecting the many social and cultural differences among us, which may include, but are not limited to: age, cultural background, disability, ethnicity, family status, gender identity and presentation, citizenship and immigration status, national origin, race, religious and political beliefs, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and veteran status. Please talk with me right away if you experience disrespect in this class, and I will work to address it in an educational manner. DCinfo@uw.edu is a resource for students with classroom climate concerns.

#4  GRDSCH 525 Class:
We Are a Learning Community. The development of a supportive learning environment is fundamental to this course and to social change interactive theater.  As a learner-centered classroom, we all have wisdom and experience to share.  Students and the instructors are expected to share their knowledge, comments, critiques, feedback and alternate opinions.  Our learning space is the mutual responsibility of the instructors and the students; as such, we have a responsibility to engage in dialogue in a way that supports learning for all of us. The co-creation of this respectful environment will be fostered by listening to views other than your own with an open mind, being able to understand and appreciate another person’s point of view and the ability to articulate your own point of view using direct communication. Being conscious of not monopolizing dialogue and/or interrupting will help create this environment as well. DCinfo@uw.edu is a resource for students with classroom climate concerns.

We have the privilege of learning together and we have a responsibility to engage in dialogue in a way that supports learning for all of us. Here are some practices we as learning community members can strive to use in our learning process:  

  • My own viewpoint is important—share it.  It will enrich others.
  • My students’ and colleagues’ viewpoints are important—listen to them.  Do not judge them.
  • Extend the same listening respect to others I would wish them to extend to me.  We all have room to grow to become better listeners in non-judgmental ways.
  • Recognize that I might miss things others see and see things others might miss.
  • Raise my views in such a way that I encourage others to raise theirs.
  • Inquire into others’ views while inviting them to inquire into mine.
  • Ask questions when I don’t understand something.
  • Surface my feelings in such a way that we make it easier for others to surface theirs.
  • Test my assumptions about how and why people say or do things.
  • Challenge what was said or done, rather than make assumptions about the individual.  
  • Beware of either-or thinking.
  • Be willing to take risks in moving outside my comfort zones.
  • Affirm others.