Classroom Climate Guidelines

The Carleton Classroom Environment

The best possible education for all students requires a learning environment that is both supportive and challenging in productive ways. The Carleton Classroom, Studio, and Laboratory are therefore:

  • Spaces in which faculty, staff, and students strive to create positive atmospheres that value the diversity, backgrounds, and perspectives of all members of our communities.
  • Spaces for discussion and experimentation with ideas and opinions where students, staff, and faculty interact in a variety of ways. Together, we present information, work in groups on problems or projects, build and criticize arguments and opinions, and develop creativity and critical thinking.
  • Spaces in which individuals should feel at liberty to express their considered views on relevant materials and issues, to challenge their fellow students and instructors to explain or refine views, and to ask questions when they need clarification or further explanation.  At the same time, these are spaces where they should be prepared to be challenged by others in the service of the learning process.
  • Spaces in which generalities, labels, assumptions, and stereotypes may be identified, interrogated, and challenged,  and ideas , interpretations, and hypotheses will be proposed, refined, and criticized.  Challenging ideas and opinions respectfully does not constitute a form of disrespect but is an aspect of the learning process.
  • Spaces in which individuals treat themselves, their classmates, and their instructors with respect and consideration in what they say and the manner in which they say it so as to foster a productive learning environment.

If students believe that any learning environment at Carleton does not meet any of the criteria detailed above, they are encouraged to communicate their concerns to the faculty member. As leaders of these spaces, faculty have a responsibility to establish and maintain a positive learning environment.