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Inclusive Pedagogy

Inclusive Pedagogy resources curated by
Dr. Shamaine Bertrand, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Faculty Fellow
Spring 2023

This page has been created to help the TCNJ community think about race and racism and our roles in it. To understand race and racism, we must first have an understanding of what it is.

Understanding Race, Racism, & Our Role in it

Race: “A social construct that artificially divides people into distinct groups based on certain characteristics such as physical appearance (particularly skin color) ancestral heritage, cultural affiliation, cultural history, ethnic classification…Racial categories subsume ethnic groups.” According to the Washington University in St. Louis Center for Diversity and Inclusion site, “refers to the concept of dividing people into groups on the basis of various sets of physical characteristics and the process of ascribing social history to these groups.”

Racism: “The systemic subordination of members of targeted racial groups who have relatively little social power in the United States (Blacks, Latino/as, Native Americans, and Asians), by the members of the agent racial group who have relatively more social power (Whites). This subordination is supported by the actions of individuals, cultural norms and values, and the institutional structures and practices of society.”

Wijeysinghe, C. L., Griffin, P, and Love, B. (1997). Racism Curriculum Design. In M. Adams, L. A. Bell, & P. Griffin (Eds.), Teaching for diversity and social justice: A sourcebook (pp. 82-109). New York: Routledge

» Video: How just six words can spark a conversation about race in America

Defining racism

While race is a social construct and has no biological basis, race and racism continue to significantly shape education and student opportunities and outcomes. Black, Indigenous, and Students of Color frequently face racist educational policies, practices, and perspectives. 

» Video: What is the biggest misconception about racism?

» Video: New York Times Conversations About Race: A Conversation about Growing up Black
By Joe Brewster & Perri Peltz, May 7, 2015
In this short documentary, young Black men explain the particular challenges they face growing up in America.

» Video: A Conversation with Native Americans on Race
By Michele Stephenson & Brian Young, August 15, 2017
In this short documentary, Native Americans challenge their visibility in society.

Acknowledging Internalized & Interpersonal Racism

Everyone has internal biases rooted in our experiences and worldviews. Some of these biases reflect stereotypes and prejudices that when acted upon is discrimination. A responsive anti-racist educator does not ignore the biases and worldviews they bring into the classroom, but rather acknowledges and works to disrupt them. 

Read the Learning for Justice Bias Page to further your understanding of the relationship between biases and behavior. To start, take a few Project Implicit Social Attitudes Test (click on: “test yourself for hidden bias” at top of page). Use these tests to reflect on internalized biases you may harbor. Think about how these biases might guide your interactions with different groups of students and what you might do to push beyond such biases. 

Acknowledging Institutional & Systemic Racism

Institutional and systemic racism in education places Black, Indigenous, and Students of color at a disadvantage while awarding white students opportunities and privileges. Racism manifests in many aspects of schooling including disciplinary policies, school funding, classroom resources, curricular representation, and identification of disabilities. 

Read this recent article in The Seattle Times that explores institutional racism in education. Additionally, explore this page in The Seattle Times that explores terms related to race and racism in this Under Our Skin site.

Understanding Anti-racism in our Teaching and Learning

What does it mean to be antiracist?

Being antiracist is fighting against racism. Racism takes several forms and works most often in tandem with at least one other form to reinforce racist ideas, behavior, and policy (NMAAHC, n.d.). Types of racism are:

Individual racism​ refers to the beliefs, attitudes, and actions of individuals that support or perpetuate racism in conscious and unconscious ways. The U.S. cultural narrative about racism typically focuses on individual racism and fails to recognize systemic racism.Examples include believing in the superiority of white people, not hiring a person of color because “something doesn’t feel right,” or telling a racist joke.

Interpersonal racism​ occurs between individuals. These are public expressions of racism, often involving slurs, biases, or hateful words or actions.

Institutional racism​ occurs in an organization. These are discriminatory treatments, unfair policies, or biased practices based on race that result in inequitable outcomes for whites over people of color and extend considerably beyond prejudice. These institutional policies often never mention any racial group, but the intent is to create advantages. Example: A school system where students of color are more frequently distributed into the most crowded classrooms and underfunded schools and out of the higher-resourced schools.

Structural racism​ is the overarching system of racial bias across institutions and society. These systems give privileges to white people resulting in disadvantages to people of color. Example: Stereotypes of people of color as criminals in mainstream movies and media.

» Video: How to be Antiracist

This conversation between Professor Ibram Kendi X and Jemelle Hill was recorded during the 2019 Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado. 

Where are you when it comes to antiracism? Are you in the Fear Zone, Learning Zone, or Growth Zone?

Please view the article below about teachers reinventing how Black history, antiracism are taught in schools and think about your role as a teacher scholar, how can you address this topic in the courses that you teach?

» Teachers are reinventing how Black history, anti-racism are taught in schools as system falls short


Watch the videos and reflect on the questions below:

Black Gaze Podcast

» Video: Conversations with the O.G.’s Series with Dr. Gholdy Muhammad ‘Cultivating Genius and Brilliance’

Haymarket Book

» Video: Abolitionist Teaching and the Future of Our Schools

Reflection Questions

  • What are three things that you learned?
  • What are two things that you will commit to changing in yourself?
  • What is one thing that you are going to change in regard to your teaching?


Please review the resources and intentionally use at least one to help you with your teaching.