Volume 5, Number 1; March 2013
Open Teaching Concept 2013: Teaching Diversity Across the Curriculum
Written by Aliza Wong and Jobi Martinez
The aim of the Open Teaching Concept is to explore the issues of diversity and social justice, access and disparities, policy and poverty over a variety of disciplines, methods, theories, and paradigms. Looking at such topics as human rights, civil rights, hunger, multiculturalism, gender, labor and production, health, education, LGBT rights, economic opportunity, sexual violence, class, religious difference, environmental sustainability—OTC 2013 will allow students, faculty, and staff to dialogue on the larger questions of social responsibility, global citizenship, and the ever-widening, ever-constricting local global nexus.
OTC 2013 Theme - Civil Rights, Human Rights: Questioning the 'Pursuit of Happiness'
Even as the full impact of global interconnectedness becomes recognized, the conflicting needs and desires of individual, group, regional, state, national, and international identities have come into question. In holding certain truths to be self-evident, promising certain unalienable rights, in guaranteeing "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness," how do we, as global citizens, have to be aware of the price of those rights, the impact of that pursuit on others who have not been assured of those same freedoms and protections? For whom does the pursuit of happiness apply? And to what degree does our understanding of global citizenship, civil rights, and human rights, change the parameters of the way to happiness, dignity, and equality?
Even as the full impact of global interconnectedness becomes recognized, the conflicting needs and desires of individual, group, regional, state, national, and international identities have come into question.
About the Program
The Cross-Cultural Academic Advancement Center is a unit of Texas Tech University committed to working with faculty, staff, and students in designing meaningful cross-cultural dialogues intended to inculcate well-informed global understandings and cross-cultural competencies. "Teaching Diversity Across the Curriculum: Open Teaching Concept" is an initiative first undertaken in 2012 by the Cross-Cultural Academic Advancement Center (CCAAC) and faculty members that are part of its Teaching, Learning, and Connecting (TLC) Through Diversity Advisory Council. The TLC is composed of faculty and staff committed to the ideas of access to education, diversity, open and difficult dialogue, and the important intersection of curricular and co-curricular learning. Owing to the successful pilot in 2012, the TLC and CCAAC are expanding the OTC initiative in 2013 to broaden student learning by promoting open teaching.
The Open Co-Curricular Experience
Considerable research strongly indicates that interactions with diverse peers, participation in well-informed and research-inspired diversity-related coursework, and substantive co-curricular activities animate students to challenge their own prejudices and promote inclusion and social justice. CCAAC continues to partner with other campus units to develop specific, co-curricular learning opportunities that engage students in personally and professionally meaningful cross-cultural explorations.
How It Works
- Selected faculty will open their classrooms on designated dates to other students interested in the topic. The faculty will provide a 50- to 70-minute lecture, presentation, or workshop related to the 2013 theme.
- CCAAC staff will provide additional resources needed by a faculty member, including logistics support (booking new classroom space, copies, ordering books, films, or other materials).
- The class will be recorded by the Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Center for future use. Permissions will be secured from both faculty and students in the class.
- Dates and times will be organized by faculty in collaboration with OTC faculty and CCAAC.
Together, the CCAAC and faculty members of the Open Teaching Concept program hope to provide faculty, staff, and students with unique opportunities to engage in cross-cultural dialogue, explorations, and research as peers committed to advancing inclusive excellence and global citizenship. Other suggestions are welcome and may be directed to email@example.com.
About the Authors
Aliza Wong is an associate professor of history and is the 2012-2013 faculty liaison to the Cross Cultural Academic Advancement Center.
Jobi Martinez is director of the Cross-Cultural Academic Advancement Center.