In addition to the required content, there are many other types of information you might want to include on your syllabus to help provide a framework for your class. You might consider adding a Diversity Statement to your syllabi. A diversity statement is a section that welcomes the range of human representations including race, class, gender, religion, accessibility, and socioeconomic status. At root, the diversity statement signals belief that all students have value and bring unique perspectives worthy of consideration.
Recommended additional syllabus content:
Statement of Inclusivity:
This class strives to be an inclusive learning community, respecting those of differing backgrounds and beliefs. As a community, we aim to be respectful to all students in this class, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
Multilingual Student Testing Statement:
I am committed to making course content accessible to all students. If English is not your first language and this causes you concern about the course, please speak with me.
Diversity Statement on Respect:
Students in this class are encouraged to speak up and participate during class meetings. Because the class will represent a diversity of individual beliefs, backgrounds, and experiences, every member of this class must show respect for every other member of this class.
In addition, the diversity statement can provide a precedent for diversity practices throughout term:
- Giving explanations of why certain authors from marginalized backgrounds or identities are present or lacking on the syllabus reading list.
- Providing personal stories of how the instructor has been affected by the lack of diversity in their field.
- Giving examples of how the instructor struggled with the course material as a student because of challenges tied to background or identity.
- Acknowledging the history of exclusion of people with diverse identities, backgrounds, or ideologies from the field.
- Providing ground rules for discussing hot topics, such as national politics or campus controversies.
- Explaining how teaching practices are meant to address the learning needs of diverse students