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The Tilford Group

What is a diverse learning environment?

In brief outline, its structural components are:

  • content viewed from more than one cultural perspective
  • learner-centered as well as teacher-centered classroom philosophy: faculty member as facilitator as well as source of knowledge
  • interactive teaching techniques: student/student as well as instructor/students
  • supportive, inclusive classroom climate  that recognizes the need for identity support as well as thinking outside individuals' cultural parameters

In the AAUP/ACE report some faculty indicated that they had not changed content, but still found that discussion in a diverse environment produced better ourcomes.  Note as well that a diverse learning environment can exist in classrooms where there is only limited racial/ethnic diversity.