Toolbox: Diversity-sensitive teaching

Why diversity in teaching?

The university is a space that brings different people together: people from different social groups, with different nationalities, religions, world views, gender identities, sexualities, levels of education, life plans and motivations learn, teach, research and work here. Differences in prior knowledge, interests, motivations, time and support requirements have a significant influence on the interaction in university teaching and learning spaces. Teachers and students are repeatedly confronted with discriminating and marginalising statements and behaviour. Recognising such statements and situations and dealing with them constructively is a challenge for teaching staff that very few of us are trained for. However, diversity and gender competence is an important part of the professional competence of teachers.

The following pages provide a basic introduction and, above all, offer assistance in dealing with discrimination in a sensitive manner in the context of university teaching. They show various aspects and phases of the sensitisation to discrimination-relevant content and situations and provide a series of references to background information and helpful concepts that can serve as support depending on the content, structure and needs of your course.

This includes:

  • Prejudices and stereotypes: The implicit bias
  • Privileges, power structures and hierarchies at university
  • Diversity-sensitive didactics
  • Racism-critical teaching
  • Recommendations for literature and further materials

This includes:

  • Seminar and Lecture Content 
  • Counseling Structures at the University
  • Fairness
  • Recommendations for Situations of Discrimination
  • Taking Care of Oneself

This includes:

  • Diversity-Sensitive & Gender-Equitable Language
  • Diversity-Sensitive Images and Visual Design
  • Participation and Diversity Of Methods
  • Culture of Constructive Criticism 
  • Dominant Speaking Behavior
  • Checklist

This includes:

  • Working Conditions, Technology and Accessibility
  • A Calm Working Environment 
  • Accessibility: Accessible for Many, Technically Robust
  • The Principle of 2 Senses

Reading Tip

Recommendation for action: Dealing with discrimination in teaching (in German)

published by the Equal Opportunities Office of Goethe University, 2023


Dilara KanbiçakELLVIS Logo
Tel.: +49 69 798-18 127

Dr. Anna Carolin Müller
Tel.: +49 160 967 665 45