Principles for Diverse, Equitable, Inclusive, and Culturally Responsive and Sustaining (DEI+CRS) Learning Materials
A textbook is more than just a curated collection of scholarship—it is a community of voices who contribute to it, an editorial process that hones it, and ultimately, a dialogue with the students and instructors who encounter it. So what voices are included in your learning materials? What standards are being used to combat bias? What methods are being used to help students see themselves in the material? At Macmillan Learning, we hear you. That is why our communication and college success teams are opening up our process and products to be more transparent. At the heart of this transparency is putting into words and sharing with you how we describe our editorial purpose: our principles for diverse, equitable, inclusive, and culturally responsive-sustaining learning materials.
How it Started
Bedford/St. Martin’s has long been synonymous with quality publishing programs in the humanities—a reputation built from an unwavering investment in its editorial process. However, we know that the textbook industry has historically failed to fully address the needs, lived experiences, and cultural diversity of students and instructors. We are making a conscious effort to reevaluate our publishing process in order to better address and reflect the communities we serve. Today, we call ourselves Macmillan Learning, but we are still the family-owned, privately held learning company that can draw on our core belief—that learning materials are a reflection of the people, process, and culture creating them—to forward the movement for inclusive, equitable education for all students.
A Transparent Process
Resources for how your learning materials are developed
The story behind this project and the development of our principles
Our three principles for diverse, equitable, inclusive, and culturally responsive and sustaining (DEI+CRS) learning materials that describe our editorial purpose
The work of our Editorial Board that guides and inspires our work
A new generation of learning materials that we believe reflect and honor our principles
A collection of research and sources that inform our principles
A short documentary film about a conversation that helped inspire this project
Our company’s overall DEI work to make Macmillan Learning a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable company
A conscious reflection on our process
“Who is making these books—are they people who look like you, or people who look like me?” In 2017, a communication professor asked her Macmillan Learning representative this simple question. It prompted a series of conversations that eventually led to an effort to fundamentally revise the process, standards, and aims of our editorial programs. This work has drawn on earlier efforts and will hopefully inspire future efforts for inclusive and equitable education.
Senior Program Director
I’ve been at Macmillan Learning for the last 15 years and one of the things I’ve seen—and I have a background in teaching prior to publishing—is that in order to succeed with any title that we’re working on, the best thing we can do is visit classes and see who the audience is, work with instructors, and overcome some of the challenges that students and instructors face. We are a company that cares so much about education and students and instructors. We need to be there with them and we need to support them to be the most successful they can be. I think the best thing a company can do is listen to their customers and respond, and I think is a bond of trust we create with one another.
The Editorial Board
How it grew
In 2018, Macmillan Learning convened an Editorial Board to review learning materials to better positively and fairly represent all students of all backgrounds. The board wrote a mission statement, guided the revision of a human communication title, and paved the way for a new development process. Since 2018, the board has reconvened multiple times to guide the development of additional titles and renew their mission.
Choices & Connections
The inaugural term of the Editorial Board focused on guiding the development of Choices & Connections, Third Edition, by McCornack & Ortiz. The authors and editor Will Stonefield were eager to partner with the board to better include a diverse community of voices in this human communication text. The board reviewed the text, line by line and photo by photo, providing guidance on how to improve the text. The groundbreaking new Third Edition, developed with the board’s guidance, published in Fall 2019.
How it works
In 2021, Macmillan Learning’s communication and college success teams came together to articulate our principles for making learning materials more inclusive, equitable, and effective for all students. This effort is a product of many years of work, but also a response to this critical time in our history, amidst the Black Lives Matter movement, the COVID-19 pandemic, economic dislocation, and a divisive election and its aftermath. These principles were made possible by the work of the Editorial Board, Liz Martin, the editorial teams across Macmillan Learning, our authors, reviewers (faculty and students), and the scholars and advocates leading the way. This is a collective effort and the work continues.
DEI at Macmillan Learning
Our DEI strategy and programs work to make Macmillan Learning a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable company. It has supported and advanced our principles for developing diverse, equitable, inclusive, and culturally responsive and sustaining learning materials.