Journal of College Teaching & Learning (TLC)

The Invisible Hand: The Power Of Language In Creating Welcoming Postsecondary Learning Experiences

Lisa C. Clinton, Jeanne L. Higbee


This manuscript discusses from the joint perspectives of an undergraduate student and a faculty member the often invisible role that language can play in providing postsecondary learning experiences that can either include or exclude students on the basis of social identity. The authors discuss ignorance, uncertainty, and political correctness as barriers to open communication about race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and other aspects of social identity. They then address writing about diversity and provide ideas for engaging in conversations about diversity in the classroom.


communication; diversity; inclusion; social identity

Full Text: