Penn State University

Conversation Circle: Teaching Toward Equity & Inclusion

Moving from Awareness to Action

This conversation circle is a space in which participants can hold themselves and each other accountable, a space to move from raising their awareness around questions related to equity and inclusion in higher education towards taking responsibility for meaningful action within our own classrooms and teaching praxis. The meetings are intended to be a series of discussions around teaching practices, equity, race, and the barriers that might obstruct progress from awareness to action.

Readings and conversation topics for the fall will be determined by the group and might focus on topics such as anti-racist pedagogy, decolonizing the curriculum and our teaching practices, and equity in the classroom. During the spring semester, the focus will shift toward action as participants work on small projects of relevance to their own teaching while continuing to meet and hold each other accountable for moving toward action.

We ask that participants commit to the conversation circle for the entire academic year. The group will be limited to 15 participants so that all can fully participate. The conversation circle will meet bi-weekly (on Zoom) throughout the fall semester and monthly meetings will be set for the spring.

The specific interests of the group will drive these conversations. We see our role as co-facilitators, seeking out and providing resources, while holding ourselves to account and processing these questions alongside participants. Topics may include:

  • Defining equity in teaching and learning
  • Assessment and equity: merit, grades, and learning
  • Anti-racist pedagogy
  • Decolonizing the curriculum
  • Decentering whiteness
  • Other topics as determined by the group

If you have any questions, please contact Adam Smith or Beate Brunow.


Penn State University