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Developing an inclusive curriculum for ALL our students Mick Healey University of Gloucestershire, UK “The changes.

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Presentation on theme: "Developing an inclusive curriculum for ALL our students Mick Healey University of Gloucestershire, UK “The changes."— Presentation transcript:

1 Developing an inclusive curriculum for ALL our students Mick Healey University of Gloucestershire, UK “The changes needed to sustain the expanded and diversified student cohort require a sophisticated whole-of-organisation approach and response, and not just change at the individual academic level.” (Budge 2010: 7)

2 Inclusion and inclusive curriculum Part of diversification and expansion of HE agenda in Australia, as move towards universal system of HE: Dawkins reforms (late 1980s). Bradley Report recommendations (2008). “In response to the reshaping of higher education, there is a need for institutions to fully embrace inclusive learning and teaching practices to accommodate the needs of all students” (Budge, 2010: 5).

3 Inclusion and inclusive curriculum Agendas Widening participation – low SEGs International recruitment – cultural differences Equality and equity - age, disability, gender, race, religion and sexual orientation

4 Macquarie diversity and inclusion Our learning and teaching values. “We have established a new set of learning and teaching values, principles and priorities. These include conducting ourselves ethically, and with honesty, integrity and objectivity; valuing difference and being tolerant; and by promoting diversity, equity, social justice, and inclusiveness.”

5 Macquarie diversity and inclusion Assessment Procedure. “Assessment must abide by Macquarie University statements about equity and inclusiveness. They must reflect a positive value related to diversity among students in relation to process and content. Certain modes of assessment may privilege some students and disadvantage others. Every attempt must be made to identify and rectify any unintended negative consequences in the assessment design and processes.”

6 HE Consultant and Researcher, Economic geographer and Director Centre for Active Learning, Emeritus Professor, University of Gloucestershire, Director of Centre for Active Learning ( ), National Teaching Fellow and Senior Fellow HE Academy, Research interests – R&T links, SoTL, active learning, student experience of disability, Director of two HEFCE projects on ‘Supporting the learning of disabled students’ (Geography Discipline Network), Co-Director of ESRC TLRP Project Team on ‘Enhancing the quality and outcomes of disabled students’ learning in higher education’, Hon Prof University of Queensland, Visiting Prof Edinburgh Napier University and University of Wales Newport. Brief biography

7 Your experience One minute each way: In pairs you each have ONE minute to tell your partner about either an experience you have had or a story about making the curriculum more inclusive. The job of your partner is to listen sympathetically, but not interrupt. 2 mins

8 Structure 1.Nature of inclusion and inclusive curricula. 2.Examples of institutional initiatives to make the curriculum more inclusive. 3.The experience of disabled students of curricula and reasonable adjustments. 4.Principles and practice of inclusive and engaged learning and teaching.

9 Inclusion and inclusive curriculum Policy and legislative agendas. “Moving these agendas ‘from the margins to the mainstream’ (Thomas et al., 2005) remains a significant challenge. It necessitates a shift away from supporting specific student groups through a discrete set of policies …, towards equity considerations being embedded within all functions of the institution and treated as an ongoing process of quality enhancement.” May and Bridger (2010: 6).

10 Inclusion and inclusive curriculum “By ‘inclusion’ we mean the enabling of full and equitable participation in and progression through higher education for all prospective and existing students” (HE Academy 2009). “Inclusive curriculum design … involves the design, planning and evaluation of programmes, courses and modules not only in terms of their learning outcomes, content, pedagogy and assessment but also in ways in which they engage and include the needs, interests and aspirations of all students” (Hockings 2010: 15).

11 Edinburgh Napier diversity and inclusion “This means getting away from the traditional view that if we 'treat everyone the same' we will somehow have promoted equality. Edinburgh Napier University believes that true 'equality of opportunity' can only be achieved if we do not treat everyone the same. This is what we mean by equality (or, more correctly, equity).” “Society is made up of individuals and everyone's needs are different. So, it stands to reason that the way we treat a student or member of staff with a disability is going to be different from the way we treat someone without a disability in order to achieve equality of outcome. Recognising this difference, and making appropriate adjustments to the way we do things, is the 'diversity' part of our definition of 'equality and diversity'.”

12 Argument Developing an inclusive curriculum is about: a)Designing effective and varied learning, teaching and assessment practices for all students. b)Focusing on learner differences not learner difficulties. c)Valuing and working with differences to enrich learning for all. d)Making adjustments which are good teaching and learning practices to benefit all students. How far do you agree with these views and how far do they follow from your interpretation of the research evidence?

13 Argument Teaching for diversity in its entirety “includes the selection of course content and material, design of the classroom setting and teaching material, communication with students, and the role of the teachers” (Otten, 2003: 20). The emphasis should be on: - “teaching all students better” (Budge 2010: 6) - “culturally relevant pedagogy” (Ladson- Billings (1995: 159)

14 Flinders Culturally Diverse and Inclusive Practice Website (CDIP) “Culture is the basis of what people ‘take for granted’ or what they notice about others but is largely invisible to themselves. The invisibility of culture in educational settings can have unintended consequences. Despite the best of intentions, teachers and students might be unaware that what they say, do or teach in the classroom could seem strange or offensive to others. Sometimes doing what seems ‘normal’ means unintentionally excluding others from participating fully.”

15 Flinders Culturally Diverse and Inclusive Practice Website (CDIP) “If the lecturer does not answer a student’s questions in class but asks the other students what they think, in my country we would think that teacher is poorly qualified or lazy. But in Australia this way of not giving the answer … is common in our class, even when the Professor is our teacher.” (3rd year Botany student from Thailand cited in Ballard & Clanchy, 1991: 1).

16 Infusing the curriculum with health and wellness issues at Georgetown University Focuses on teaching of the whole student by bringing health and wellness issues into the classroom in a way that encourages student knowledge gain, as well as self reflection on their own attitudes and behaviours. Georgetown faculty link academic course content with wellness topics through readings, presentations, discussions led by campus health professionals, and reflective writing assignments. Since its inception in 2005, over 3000 students have been taught in 100 courses by 40 faculty from 20 different departments.

17 Institutional initiatives to develop inclusive policies and practices In pairs please discuss whether and how the ideas of infusing the curriculum at Georgetown are relevant to Macquarie 3 minutes

18 Disability studies “We believe that the claim that everyone is impaired, not just ‘disabled people’, is a far- reaching and important insight into human experience, with major implications for medical and social intervention in the twenty-first century.” (Shakespeare and Watson 2002: 25)

19 The experience of disabled students Despite growth of interest in the topic, the voice of disabled students, with a few exceptions (e.g. Riddell et al. 2002), has hardly been heard, beyond the anecdotal. Will draw on longitudinal interviews with 31 disabled students across the four universities about their experiences of learning and assessment. Supplement it with findings from a) two surveys at one of the universities: a survey of 178 disabled students; and a survey of 548 disabled and non-disabled students; and b) a survey of disabled students studying GEES subjects in six universities.

20 Statistically in a class of 200 students in UK higher education there will be 11 students who have declared a disability. Would you know who they are? It is likely that at least another 11 students in the room have an impairment, but have not declared it. Listening to students

21 The nature of disability ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’ Disability and Discrimination Act (1995). 5.4% of all undergraduates (121,085) in the UK self-assessed themselves as having a disability in 2003/04. The actual proportion may be closer to 10%.

22 Self-assessed disabilities by UK higher education students all years, 2003/04% Dyslexia41.3 Unseen disabilities (e.g. epilepsy, diabetes, asthma)20.1 Multiple disabilities9.9 Deaf/Hearing impairment5.1 Mental health difficulties4.4 Wheel-chair user/Mobility difficulties4.1 Blind/partially sighted2.8 Personal care support0.2 ‘Other disabilities’12.3 Source: NDT (2005) The nature of disability

23 HEIGEES Disability-related barriers% Lectures4454 Laboratories / practicals25 Other on campus classes2229 Fieldwork – residential19 Fieldwork – non-residential19 Fieldwork – Independent43 Off-campus sessions21 Using IT facilities1717 Barriers related to modes of teaching

24 What conclusions do you draw from the responses from the GEES students about the disability-related barriers that they have impacted on their learning in: a)Lectures (Fig 1, p3), b)Independent fieldwork (e.g. associated with dissertation) (Fig 2 p3)? Barriers related to modes of teaching

25 HEIGEES Disability-related barriers% Examinations30 Written examinations62 Multiple choice / other exams45 Coursework3463 Oral presentations1237 Barriers related to modes of assessment

26 What conclusions do you draw from the responses from the GEES students about the disability-related barriers which have affected their experience of different types of assessment (Fig 3 p4)? Barriers related to modes of teaching

27 Reasonable adjustments - need Legislation in the UK puts a duty on universities and colleges to make reasonable adjustments in advance for the needs of disabled students and to produce disability equality statements. All staff, academic and support, have a responsibility for providing a learning environment in which disabled students are not disadvantaged.

28 Reasonable adjustments - experiences Wide variation in the experience of the students in the reasonable adjustments made to learning, teaching and assessment (LTA) suggests there are differences in how the legislation is interpreted. Such findings help to explain why this is an area which features strongly in the cases brought against higher education institutions under the legislation in Australia and emerging case law in the UK (Adams and Brown 2002).

29 It is invidious to treat disabled students as a separate category; rather they fall along a continuum of learner differences and share with other higher education students similar challenges and difficulties; sometimes the barriers are more severe for them, but sometimes they are not. Reasonable adjustments - argument

30 Assimilate - special arrangements made for particular disabled students to help them cope e.g. provision of hearing loops; handouts in Braille; extra time in exams; stickers for students with dyslexia. Alternative arrangements - provided for particular students e.g. a virtual fieldcourse for a student with a mobility impairment; a viva is provided to test the same learning outcomes as a written assessment. Inclusive - all students are provided with adjustments e.g. handouts before lectures; alternative assessments designed to test the same learning outcomes. Reasonable adjustments - approaches

31 Reasonable adjustments - assimilate Daisy (Heritage & Tourism, visual & dyslexia) went on a fieldtrip without a note taker. “The lecturer said to certain people to take notes for that day for me but I never actually got round to pushing them to give them to me so I kind of ended up with my own hand written notes and a few gaps.” Jean (education, dyslexia) - extra time in exams “I have this label … you are treated a bit different, which is good because you think … I do need extra time in exams … but I am aware … of people saying to me ‘Oh I didn’t see you in the exam hall’.”

32 Andrew (education, cerebral palsy) was provided with an alternative fieldwork exercise. “Obviously there was a lot of stuff I couldn’t do because of my legs and whatever. The river study was one particular thing. They accommodated me really well. They just said ‘you don’t need to do that’ but Sheila, one of the assistants, she took me in the van and we went to a visitor centre and I evaluated the usefulness of the visitor centre. I was doing something, although it was different to the rest of them, I wasn’t just sitting in a cabin with my feet up.” Reasonable adjustments - alternative

33 Reasonable adjustments - inclusive Brandon (engineering, dyslexia), along with all the other students on his course, gets lots of handouts in advance which means he does not need his note taker. “I can listen to the lecture and remember. We get lots of handouts and notes, which is good for me because rather than look at my notes I can look at theirs. In maths they gave us a CD at the beginning of the year and that has all the notes for the whole year, exam questions and answers.”

34 Jean (education dyslexia) had different experiences with different lecturers. “ If she put an overhead up in a lecture theatre or a workshop … she would … do it paragraph by paragraph … and she would read it out as well … so I would get it audibly and visually.” “She moves into the group as overheads are swishing on and off, she is talking about something else which is so important that I am supposed to be taking it down and I am a bit like … ‘what do you want me to do?’” Variation in LTA experiences

35 Two students with the same disability may have widely different experiences. “I’m good at oral presentations but sometimes misspell on OHPs” (Dyslexia). “I hate oral presentations because it is very difficult for me to converse my ideas out aloud and this is not to do with confidence but speech problems” (Dyslexia). Variation in LTA experiences

36 This suggests that devising general policies may not meet the specific needs of individuals. However, making numerous individually- tailored adjustments is not sustainable; though may be essential in a minority of cases. What is required is an inclusive approach which removes the distinction between teaching and assessing disabled and non-disabled students. LTA experiences

37 Agree/Strongly agree % Dis Non-Dis I have had physical difficulties with writing 29 5 I have had difficulty with literacy skills I have had difficulty in taking notes I have had difficulties with the amount of time I require to complete assignments It’s easy to know the standard of work expected I have had difficulties with participation in group work I have had difficulties with oral presentations LTA experiences of disabled and non- disabled students

38 Using a catch-all category ‘disabled students’ is problematic. The findings show that for most part disabled students have similar experiences to non- disabled students of learning and assessment. However, disability-related barriers have had a significant impact on their experiences of learning and assessment in a minority of situations. LTA experiences

39 The main beneficiaries of disability legislation may be the non-disabled students because most of the adjustments, such as well-prepared handouts, instructions given in writing as well as verbally, notes put on-line, and variety and flexibility in forms of assessment, are simply good teaching and learning practices which benefit all students. LTA experiences

40 “One unintended consequence of this (disability) legislation is that as departments and institutions introduce more flexible learning and alternative ways of assessment for disabled students, demand is likely to rise for giving greater flexibility for all students. Disability legislation may prove to be a Trojan horse and in a decade, the learning experiences of all students may be the subject of greater negotiation” (Healey 2003: 26). LTA experiences

41 Designing inclusive teaching and learning Talk to your neighbour: When was the last time you found yourself in the minority at a social or educational event?

42 Designing inclusive teaching and learning Please work in pairs. One should read: Ten ways to design modules for accessibility (pp7-8) The other should read: Tips for designing culturally inclusive learning and teaching (p9) Tell each other at least ONE interesting idea. 5 mins

43 Reflections on developing an inclusive curriculum “no single curricular mode can achieve universality and serve all students equally. … classes must be built to work towards contingent universality of serving the students that are actually there.” Bruch (2003: 99) cited by Hockings (2010: 19)

44 Principles of inclusive & engaging L&T Creating safe inclusive spaces, Getting to know students, Setting ground rules, Developing strategies for sharing and generating knowledge: Creating flexible, student-centred activities, Encouraging students to articulate their thinking openly, Being uncertain, making mistakes and being different is OK.

45 Principles of inclusive & engaging L&T Connecting with students’ lives: Selecting / negotiating topics and activities relevant to students’ lives, backgrounds and (imagined/future) identities. Being aware: Adapting plans to address emerging interests. Hockings (2010)

46 Developing an inclusive curriculum for ALL students If we want to achieve equality of opportunity for all students, instead of classifying people by their age, class, disability, gender, nationality, race, religion and sexual orientation, we might do better to focus instead on their individual learning needs and entitlements.

47 Reflections on developing an inclusive curriculum In groups of threes and fours discuss what actions you intend to take which have been stimulated by today’s discussions. 5 mins

48 Reflections on developing an inclusive curriculum “ To embed widening participation and equality could arguably be not about doing different things, rather it involves doing things differently.” May and Bridger (2010: 9) See: Continuum model of equality and widening participation (Fig 5 p5).

49 Developing an inclusive curriculum for ALL our students THE END Thank You


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