Norton is committed to publishing course materials that are inclusive and support equity-minded teaching.
At Norton, we are dedicated to helping our community of instructors create learning environments where every student can succeed. Building on longstanding efforts to publish inclusive content—course materials that incorporate diverse perspectives, avoid harmful biases, and are accessible to all—we’ve more recently formalized our commitment to supporting equity-minded pedagogy.
Working with leading scholars and teachers, we’ve crafted a research-based framework of practices that promote conditions in which all students—and, in particular, historically underserved students—can have an equal chance of success. These include fostering a sense of belonging, promoting culturally responsive teaching, and striving for transparency in assignments.
Drawing on the expert advice of reviewers, our authors and editors have collaborated to bring these practices to bear on our content and learning tools in each discipline we serve. The goal is to help instructors create more equity-minded learning environments and to help ensure students have rigorous, inclusive learning experiences.
How can these equity-minded principles inform course materials?
Fostering a sense of belonging for all students means:
Designing materials that convey a growth mindset, the belief that intelligence and skills can be developed.
Helping students understand that their challenges are a normal part of college.
Avoiding assessments that “catch students out” by requiring skills or cultural knowledge that aren’t part of the course.
Culturally Responsive Teaching
Promoting culturally responsive teaching, which entails:
Instructional content that allows instructors to leverage their students’ diverse cultural backgrounds, identities, and lived experiences as assets for learning.
Avoiding deficit-based approaches that imply there is something “wrong” with students who have been underserved in the past.
Ensuring assignments are transparent, so that students understand:
The purpose of the assignment, including transferable skills.
What to do, and how to do it.
Models of success, and rubrics for measuring and achieving it.
As a service to our academic community, we are also pleased to announce a free resource, the Norton Guide to Equity-Minded Teaching. Learn more here.
Check out upcoming and past events in Norton’s Workshop Series on Equity-Minded Teaching here.
A strength of Norton’s publishing program has always been the feedback loop between instructors in the disciplines we serve and our authorial and editorial teams. As we work to make our course materials more equitable and inclusive, we could use your help. If you are interested in participating as a reviewer for forthcoming equity-minded materials we’re developing in your discipline, please fill out the form below to sign up. Thank you!