Designing for Diversity

By: Sheila Lakshmi Steinberg   Lata Murti  

This paper presents a unique, innovative approach for teaching about strengths of diversity at the university level through the use of applied examples and creative in-house produced media. Through focusing on social injustice and inequality, and the use of custom-created in-house technologies, educational tools, and approaches we have manifested a model that leads to maximum student engagement around topics of difference in communities. At Brandman University, we have a Center for Instructional Innovation (CII) that assists faculty in the creation of cutting-edge pedagogy, teaching materials, and online teaching strategies across our curriculum. CII partners with faculty to generate authentically engaged learning experiences for students. This study focuses on cross-curricular examples across the Integrated Social Sciences and Sociology curriculum that teach students about the power of diversity and difference. We often root teaching examples to the geographic places and cultures of our students. Our adult-learner students come from around the U.S. as well as internationally, thus having a variety of experiences. In the curriculum examined, we employ the power of narrative and storytelling along with the use of applied data rooted in diverse methodologies to illustrate how students can explore, analyze and learn to solve societal challenges associated with inequality, as well as make use of hands-on global activities rooted in data.

Higher Education, Course Design, Innovation, Social Justice, GIS, Applied Learning
Education and Learning in a World of Difference
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Dr. Sheila Lakshmi Steinberg

Brandman University

Dr. Sheila Lakshmi Steinberg is a Full Professor of Social and Environmental Sciences and Chair of the GIS Committee at Brandman University, Irvine, CA. Steinberg is an accomplished author having written books for Sage Publications, Springer Press and Esri Press. In 2015 she co-authored GIS Research Methods: Incorporating Spatial Perspecitves and in 2016 co-edited, Extreme Weather, Health and Communities: Interdisciplinary Engagement Strategies. She has also co-authored GIS for the Social Sciences (2006) Investigating Space and Place. 

Dr. Lata Murti

Associate Professor, Brandman University