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Engagement with diverse perspectives helps individuals learn more deeply and broadly. Diversity can includes not only race and ethnicity, but also language, religion, ideology, physical ability, culture, cognitive ability, socioeconomic status, age, gender, and sexual orientation. Since much instruction is designed for groups of students with individual strengths and weaknesses, it is a challenge to be responsive to diversity in educationally sound ways. This column introduces important insights from educational psychology on how to use diversity to enhance critical thinking, help make students feel at home in their learning environment, encourage learners to challenge assumptions, and design instruction to meet diverse students’ needs.


Published as

Black, S., Krahmer, D., & Allen, J. D. (2018). Insights from educational psychology part 6: Diversity and inclusion. The Reference Librarian, 59(2), 92–106.

Revised version published as Chapter 6 of Educational Psychology for Academic Librarians at



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