These tasks have been enlightening and have – in almost every instance – showed my complete lack of knowledge surrounding the areas of inclusivity and diversity. When reading the blog posts of the others in my learning group I realised how embedded many of approaches and ideas that we have touched upon throughout this unit already were within their own teaching practices.
In my role my time is divided across 19 different course and trying to make the newly authored content relevant across all various courses has been an grueling undertaking and issue of inclusivity and diversity have not really been to the for front of my mind. When encountering people with disabilities I have had to deal with it on a case-by-case basis, but this unit will be a useful tool in moving forward developing course curriculum and overhauling my methods of delivery.
One of the core ideas that have come about through doing these tasks has been ‘universal design’, a concept lifted from architecture that can be applied to designing curriculum. I understanding of it is how doing something to enable a specific disability can also can improve the experience of everyone. This concept will be the foundation of my teaching innovation
I agree with Anna that we have perhaps failed as a group as despite the fact that we have often commented we have not managed to in a timely fashion so a deep dialogue has not been undertaken. Everyone seems to have engaged with the content but the teaching demands for our entire teaching group seem to be weighted to the end of the academic year so our focus has shifted from our own studies towards supporting our students. I hope that now I am winding down with teaching responsibilities for the year I can really get to grips with some of the suggested texts to give my assignments a strong pedagogic framework.
It has been interesting to see the perspectives of the different group members as we all come at from quite different angles. Anna has deal with cultural bias in curriculum and fought to overcome this, David and Daisy have both been very active in trying to inclusive teaching practices and delivery. I have been impressed by the energy and the eagerness they have shown in trying to improve their curriculum, physical teaching environments and means of study support.
My own attitudes in the sessions (last one in particular) has been slightly marred by my own frustrations at the recruitment practices at LCF and feel that there has become an emphasis on the PR and marketing with less of a concern for the students when they study with us. I genuinely want to see a more inclusive and culturally representative student cohort, but I feel that this is not just a case of opening up more places, as year groups seem to expand radically every year whilst academic resources seem to being cut. I think we need to be more responsible in our recruitment strategies, and make sure that we are offering to place to the most talented and driven students from ever background and making sure we are fully ready to support them once they decide to study with us.