A signpost indicating the way to various buildings of Freie Unviersität Berlin.

A signpost indicating the way to various buildings of Freie Unviersität Berlin.
Image Credit: CC Jamina Diel/Lian Hüntelmann BY-NC-SA

In addition to the recommendations for building your skills, here are some guidelines for gender- and diversity-conscious teaching. They tie into your interest in integrating gender and diversity in your teaching. Such an endeavor both presupposes and cultivates an attitude that views existing problems and hierarchies critically and hopes to change them – a critical attitude towards power:

Gender and diversity equality in teaching is about acknowledging the range of difference among students and lecturers without such differencing creating disadvantages. It is also about dismantling discrimination and inequality. Instead of discounting diversity, it reveals everyone’s strengths. The General Act on Equal Treatment (AGG) lists six categories of prohibited discrimination: “on the grounds of race or ethnic origin, gender, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual ...

When you teach, it is with specific preconceptions about the people you are addressing, the students. For example, you might have assumptions about whether students can read and understand texts in a language besides English (or German). You may assume they possess or lack particular skills. You can also consider whether your students have experienced racism, sexism, or other forms of discrimination. Alternatively, you might have prior assumptions about their average age. However, “you ...

Universities are obligated by law to treat all students equally. This is legally grounded in the German constitution as well as federal and state laws. The mandate of equal treatment is closely tied to the commitment to guarantee equality and fairness while recognizing different walks of life and sets of experiences. Social inequalities and power relations do not vanish at the gates of the university; they also affect students unevenly. For this reason, it is not fair to ignore students’ ...

To take action against discrimination, we must first perceive it and understand it as a problem – this especially holds for those who are not directly affected. In the domain of higher education, an assortment of studies and progress reports have been published on such issues as racism, transphobia, and sexism in the university and the workplace. When students have trouble reconciling their studies with paid work due to visa regulations, when lecturers use masculine terms by default, ...

Students differ and have varying interests and needs. To ensure everyone a successful education, the university needs to take these differing needs seriously. This can be achieved through policies that expect difference rather than assuming a common norm. For example, students who also have jobs, have family obligations, or who travel to campus in a wheelchair or on crutches particularly rely on having a schedule that is compatible with other aspects of their lives. Flexible policies such ...

The cultures of disciplines reflect societal norms, often unwittingly. These cultures may be gendered (through a normative gender division of labor) or may view their subjects from an exclusively Eurocentric perspective. When these viewpoints are taken to be the only possible objective and true approaches to the subject matter, the resulting knowledge neglects the multiplicity of possible perspectives and raises the risk of tunnel vision. Intersectional, gender- and diversity-conscious ...

Gender- and diversity conscious teaching aims to overcome existing inequalities and discrimination in the context of higher education. When dealing with inequalities, we must name them – that is the only way to counteract them in their specificity. This requires striking a healthy balance. On the one hand, discrimination should be called out. The underrepresentation of women, people of color, and people with visible disabilities in decision-making roles in business, the political system, ...

Gender- and diversity-conscious teaching can address gender and diversity both implicitly and explicitly . The Course Content and Methods sections give suggestions for both approaches. As a matter of principle, especially when raising these topics explicitly, keep in mind that students – as well as lecturers – are usually affected by inequality and discrimination unevenly. Students who have never experienced racist or sexist discrimination sit alongside classmates who are ...

Traditional patterns and roles (such as gender stereotypes) in teaching are reproduced in various conscious and unconscious ways. Here are some examples of stereotypes and discrimination: Using discriminatory language; selecting discriminatory images and other learning material or course content Assigning work based on stereotypical roles Recognizing the same performance inconsistently Granting trust and support unequally Granting time and financial resources unequally, for example ...

Repeatedly, students are singled out as “special” deviations from the norm. This occurs when people fixate on an “exotic” background, unusual needs or abilities, or fundamental difference ascribed to them. It doesn’t matter whether these singled-out attributes are considered positive or negative. However, in most cases this process of Othering – extracting individuals from a common norm – devalues the “other” and inflates the value of one’s own group. In your ...

As a lecturer, you can help to shape a university free of discrimination and a teaching practice that pays attention to gender and diversity – but you do not bear sole responsibility. You can acknowledge and expand your options for action. But you shouldn’t be left alone to confront this task. Advisory services at Berlin universities and external institutions are listed in the Resources section. To create resources that you need but do not exist yet, you and your department ...

As Urmila Goel has written, professional behavior that critically confronts social power relations and inequalities is faced with naming these circumstances in order to respond to them. People can only modify their ignorance, prejudices, and resentments once they have acknowledged them. This almost always happens in the presence of people who are directly affected by these resentments. The idea of error-friendliness is partly about preventing those who personally experience exclusion ...

There can be a considerable gap between aspirations and reality, a gap that you as a lecturer cannot bridge. Yet you can try to acknowledge it and live with it. Non-discrimination functions as an affirmative norm that can never be fully attained but that guides our actions. In view of the high demands on their time as well as structural inequalities that exist outside teaching, teaching professionals sometimes find themselves in the paradoxical position of seeking to challenge the very ...

Adams, Maurianne, Lee Anne Bell, und Pat Griffin, Hrsg. 2007. Teaching for diversity and social justice. 2. ed. New York [u.a.]: Routledge.

Bath, Corinna. 2015. De-Gendering informatischer Artefakte.

Beauvoir, Simone de. 1995. Das andere Geschlecht: Sitte und Sexus der Frau. 29.-32. Tsd. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt.

Collins, Patricia Hill, und Valerie Chepp. 2013. Intersectionality.

Crenshaw, Kimberlé. 1989. Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum 1: 139–167.

Crenshaw, Kimberlé. 1991. Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color. Stanford Law Review 43: 1241–1299.

Czock, Heidrun, Dominik Donges, und Susanne Heinzelmann. 2012. Diskriminierungsfreie Hochschule - Mit Vielfalt Wissen schaffen. Endbericht zum Projekt. Hrsg. Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes. Berlin.

Czollek, Leah Carola, Gudrun Perko, und Heike Weinbach. 2012. Praxishandbuch Social Justice und Diversity. Theorien, Training, Methoden, Übungen. Weinheim; Basel: Beltz Juventa.

Dhawan, Nikita. 2014. Decolonizing enlightenment: transnational justice, human rights and democracy in a postcolonial world. Opladen [u.a.]: Budrich.

Eggers, Maureen Maisha. 2005. Rassifizierte Machtdifferenz als Deutungsperspektive in der kritischen Weißseinsforschung in Deutschland. Zur Aktualität und Normativität diskursiver Vermittlungen von hierarchisch aufeinander bezogenen rassifizierten Konstruktionen. In Mythen, Masken und Subjekte. Kritische Weißseinsforschung in Deutschland, Hrsg. Maureen Maisha Eggers, Grada Kilomba, Peggy Piesche, und Susan Arndt. Münster: Unrast Verlag.

Frank, Karsta. 2011. [1992] Sprachgewalt: Die sprachliche Reproduktion der Geschlechterhierarchie, Elemente einer feministischen Linguistik im Kontext sozialwissenschaftlicher Frauenforschung. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter

Garske, Pia. 2009. Politische Bildung und die Interdependenz gesellschaftlicher Ungleichheiten. In Emanzipation in der politischen Bildung: Theorien - Konzepte - Möglichkeiten, Wochenschau Wissenschaft, Hrsg. Janne Mende und Stefan Müller, 155–179. Schwalbach am Taunus: Wochenschau-Verlag

Goel, Urmila. 2016. Die (Un)Möglichkeit der Vermeidung von Diskriminierungen. In Diskriminierungskritische Lehre. Denkanstöße aus den Gender Studies, Hrsg. Geschäftsstelle des Zentrums für transdisziplinäre Geschlechterstudien der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Goel, Urmila, und Alice Stein. 2016. Mehr als Geschlecht - Machtkritische Bildungsarbeit und verflochtene Machtverhältnisse. In Geschlecht ist politisch: Geschlechterreflexive Perspektiven in der politischen Bildung, Hrsg. Madeline Doneit, Bettina Lösch, und Margit Rodrian-Pfennig, 107–119. Opladen: Barbara Budrich

Goel, Urmila, und Alice Stein. 2012. Mehr als nur ein Machtverhältnis – machtkritische Bildung und Zugänge zu Intersektionalität. portal-intersektionalität.

Kuria, Emily Ngubia, Hrsg. 2015. eingeschrieben. Zeichen setzen gegen Rassismus an deutschen Hochschulen. 1. Aufl. Berlin: w_orten & meer.

Lebert, Andreas, und Katrin Zeug. 2016. Lann Hornscheidt: „Es ist eine Frage der Zeit, bis wir bei der Geburt kein Geschlecht mehr zugewiesen bekommen“. Die Zeit, 20.07.2016.

Matsuda, Mari J. 1991. Beside My Sister, Facing the Enemy: Legal Theory out of Coalition. Stanford Law Review 43: 1183–1192.

Mecheril, Paul. 2013. „Kompetenzlosigkeitskompetenz“. Pädagogisches Handeln unter Einwanderungsbedingungen. In Interkulturelle Kompetenz und pädagogische Professionalität, vol. 13, Interkulturelle Studien, Hrsg. Georg Auernheimer, 15–35. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

Münst, Agnes Senganata. 2005. Lehrstrukturen in natur- und ingenieurwissenschaftlichen Studienfächern und die Herstellung der Geschlechterhierarchie in Lehrprozessen. In Naturwissenschaft und Technik - (k)eine Männersache. Aktuelle Studien zur Förderung des weiblichen Nachwuchses in Naturwissenschaft und Technik, Hrsg. Diana Steinbrenner, Claudia Kajatin, und Eva-Maria Mertens, 103–112. Rostock: Koch.

Münst, Senganata. 2008. Hierarchie, Fachkompetenz und Geschlecht in Lehrveranstaltungen: Ergebnisse einer ethnographischen Teilnehmenden Beobachtung. In Perspektiven der Hochschulforschung, Hrsg. Karin Zimmermann, Marion Kamphans, und Sigrid Metz-Göckel, 179–196. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften.

Rosenstreich, Gabriele. 2006. Von Zugehörigkeiten, Zwischenräumen und Macht. Empowerment und Powersharing in interkulturellen und Diversity-Workshops. In Spurensicherung – Reflexion von Bildungsarbeit in der Einwanderungsgesellschaft, Hrsg. Gabi Elverich, Annita Kalpaka, und Karin Reindlmeier, 195–231. Frankfurt am Main: Iko-Verlag Berlin.

Rosenstreich, Gabriele. 2007. The Mathematics of Diversity Training: Multiplying Identities, Adding Categories and Intersecting Discrimination. In Re-Präsentationen. Dynamiken der Migrationsgesellschaft, Hrsg. Anne Broden und Paul Mecheril, 131–160. Düsseldorf: IDA-NRW.

Said, Edward W. 2009. Orientalismus. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer.

Sauer, Arn, und Jannik Franzen. 2010. Benachteiligung von Trans*Personen, insbesondere im Arbeitsleben. Berlin.

Walgenbach, Katharina. 2014. Heterogenität - Intersektionalität - Diversity in der Erziehungswissenschaft. 1. Aufl. Stuttgart: UTB

Winker, Gabriele, und Nina Degele. 2009. Intersektionalität: Zur Analyse sozialer Ungleichheiten. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag.


Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz.

Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

Version April 2017. Unless otherwise stated, this content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International licence