Inclusive Excellence in Honours: A cross-cultural conversation and creation
The question of “inclusion” is a very hot topic in both the United States and the Netherlands but, too often, honors is excluded from the conversation. In the Netherlands, honors education is seen as elitist and exclusive; inclusive education continues to be framed as helping less talented students keep pace with the basic curriculum. In the United States, there is a false dichotomy between “high ability” (honors) and “high need” students (students living in poverty, of color, or otherwise marginalized.
In both countries, it is often incorrectly assumed that all highly-engaged and creative students come from affluent backgrounds, and that such students, regardless of the resources afforded them by their institutions, will excel due to their outstanding abilities.
In fact, research shows that students of similar abilities graduate at higher rates when they participate in the experiential learning, research and community-building opportunities of honors, and that those high impact practices are of particular benefit to students from under-represented backgrounds. How can we ensure that honors is, and promote it as, a locus of inclusive excellence?
After sharing an overview of the concept of “inclusion” from both a Dutch and an American perspective, we will first examine the question of “inclusive excellence” through an interactive conversation regarding two key issues: what is the actual purpose of honors education? (Why do we exist?) What is inclusive honors education?
Participants will then divide into groups, based on disciplinary or other affinities to brainstorm, how do we create a model of inclusive excellence in honors? What would it look like?
After each group presents, participants will reflect on “one idea I will take home with me.”
This workshop is given by Naomi Yavneh Klos, of Loyola University New Orleans.