Notre Dame professor hosts international conference on diversity and inclusion in the classroom

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Carol Tomlinson, William Clay Parrish Professor Emeritus, was the keynote speaker at the virtual event.

An international colloquium series on diversity and inclusion in the classroom attracted nearly 1,500 participants from public, private, charter, and religious sectors across thirteen countries. The virtual conference, “One Size Does Not Fit All: International Virtual Conference on Diversity and Inclusion in the Classroom,” launched on Dec. 1, 2020, and was led by Christine Trinter, faculty with the ACE Teaching Fellows and the Center for STEM Education in the Institute for Educational Initiatives at the University of Notre Dame.

The virtual event was part of a five-year collaborative project between Trinter and Tandem Profesores. Together, they have conducted workshops and designed coursework in Chilean schools. For the virtual event, they were hoping to reach a larger audience of educators around the world who were interested in adopting a philosophy of teaching based on differentiation.

“The global pandemic has exasperated the access that students from different regions of the country have to high quality learning experiences,” says Trinter.

“Now, more than ever, a differentiated approach to teaching is needed to close these opportunity gaps.”

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Pictured: Kira Ausin from Tandem Profesores

The two-day virtual event featured opening remarks by the Chilean Ministry of Education, as well as speakers from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Virginia. The closing panel included representation from policy, university, schools, and nonprofits.

“The closing panel was critical to the success of the conference because of their expertise and local lens,” says Trinter. “We were thrilled that this conference was freely available to all and that we were able to reach educators from the most remote regions who may not otherwise have been able to attend.”

The event was sponsored by the U.S. Embassy of Chile and the Institute for Educational Initiatives Seed Grant. Trinter was also a recipient of the Luksic Family Collaboration Grant through the Santiago Global Center (SGC) at Notre Dame International.

"It was a great pleasure and learning opportunity to work with Trinter and with her colleagues in Tandem Profesores in organizing this conference,” says Juan Esteban Montes, director of the SGC. “It was a tremendous success not only in terms of numbers of participants, but also in the substantive contribution to finding creative ways for more effective teaching and learning in a diverse classroom, a growing and challenging reality in Chile and the world."

The virtual conference was free to all participants and was available in both Spanish and English. Learn more about the conference and featured speakers.

Originally published by Colleen Wilcox at on February 04, 2021.