Episode 11: Perspectives on the Total Classroom

Guest: Professor Cindy I-Fen Cheng

In this episode, we talk with Cindy I-Fen Cheng, Robinson Edwards Professor of American History and Asian American Studies and current Interim Director at the Center for the Humanities. Cindy speaks about her personal experience with inclusive teaching and how her teaching practice has evolved to better account for her own well-being and positionality.

See the transcript for this episode.

The L&S Exchange Podcast is brought to you by L&S Teaching & Learning Administration and produced by the Instructional Design Collaborative. This podcast is recorded on ancestral Ho-Chunk land, a place their nation has called Teejop (day-JOPE) since time immemorial.

Join the Conversation

How did this episode make you think? What’s on your mind about inclusive teaching? Leave us a message on Spotify for Podcasters, respond to a poll using the Spotify app on your mobile device, reply with a comment at the bottom of this post, or send us an email. We may ask to feature your contribution in this or a future episode.

Conversation Starters

  1. Cindy shares a moment from her journey as a student that changed the trajectory of her career. What moments from your time as a student have influenced your teaching today? How might you share these with your own students?
  2. Colleagues can provide support when teaching is challenging. If you are part of a teaching team, what kinds of support are most helpful for you? What kinds of support might you offer to your colleagues? If you are not part of a teaching team, how might you build a supportive network with instructors from other courses or departments?
  3. Cindy talks about the need to recognize priorities as an instructor and acknowledges that these priorities may change depending on one’s identity and the stage of one’s career. What are your priorities as an instructor? How do these priorities align with your values? How do you let go of work that doesn’t fit into your priorities?
  4. Have you noticed changes in your students or your classroom based on current social or political contexts? How have you responded to such changes and what areas of future growth do you see for yourself as an instructor?

Further Reading & Resources

In this episode we mentioned, were inspired by, or wondered about the following resources and topics.

  • Our conversation with Cindy was first sparked by an opinion piece in Inside Higher Ed, “Encouraging Inclusivity without Sacrificing Ourselves,” by Kerstin M. Perez.
  • Cindy references the Healthy Minds Study, in which UW-Madison participated in 2016, 2019, and 2022. The study has found that historically underrepresented and marginalized students are disproportionately impacted by mental health issues.
  • Looking for resources that can help you serve as a conduit between students and mental health services? University Health Services has created a Box folder with resources related to suicide prevention, campus mental health resources, and promoting positive social norms.
  • The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity has created a Mentor Map that can help faculty and other instructors visualize their professional and personal support network.

Production Credits

Producer: David Macasaet
Associate Producer: Molly Harris
Audio Engineer: David Macasaet
Audio Editor: David Macasaet
WiscWeb Administrator: Molly Harris
Post-Production & Studio Support: Erika Schock
Development Producer: Jonathan Klein
Planning Group: Jonathan Klein, David Macasaet, Molly Harris, Laura Schmidli, Erika Schock, Antonella Caloro
Executive Sponsorship: Shirin Malekpour

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.