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Inclusive teaching in psychology Dr Julie Hulme. To introduce you to your students – diversity of psychology students; To reflect on how your teaching.

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Presentation on theme: "Inclusive teaching in psychology Dr Julie Hulme. To introduce you to your students – diversity of psychology students; To reflect on how your teaching."— Presentation transcript:

1 Inclusive teaching in psychology Dr Julie Hulme

2 To introduce you to your students – diversity of psychology students; To reflect on how your teaching might accommodate students’ needs and help promote learning inclusively. 2 Aims of the session

3 In pairs, jot down some ideas about who you think your students are. – What will they have in common? – How will they be different? Join another pair – have you got the same ideas? Be prepared to report to the whole group. 3 Who are my students?

4 How do you deal with a student who regularly does not attend lectures/seminars/tutorials OR misses appointments? What is your initial reaction? What reasons might there be for their behaviour? Discuss: 4

5 5 Diversity Religion Ability Attention span Personal circumstances Educational history Learning styles Learning preferences Mood Race Sexuality State of health Aspirations Areas of interest Age Employment status Sex Culture Disabilities Learning difficulties Expectations Prior knowledge …..

6 Implications for teaching How do we engage students with diverse backgrounds, motivations expectations and interests? Engage different learning styles by presenting material in different ways. Use Vygotsky’s ideas of peer collaboration. 2zcmb3yAQ 2zcmb3yAQ – the link between feeling and knowing

7 Increasing proportion of disabled students attending university in the last two decades. Psychology attracts more students declaring a disability, proportionately, than does HE as a whole: E.g. 2007/08 6.5% students declared themselves disabled 8.8% psychology students declared themselves disabled (HESA statistics) 7 Students taking psychology

8 Frequently occurring declarations: Dyslexia and related specific learning difficulties Mental health problems Unseen/multiple disabilities Psychology students are more likely to declare mental health difficulties than students in most other subjects. 8 Declared disabilities in psychology

9 “Good practice for disabled students is good practice for all ” (Gravestock, 2008). In your groups: What impact do you think disabilities might have on learning? Choose one problem a disabled student might have in one of your classes – what can you do to help them? How will this help other students? Share your ideas with the larger group. 9 What does this mean for teaching?

10 Talk to departmental disability advisor; Ask students what helps beforehand; Plan ahead; Vary your teaching methods; Where possible, provide alternative materials for independent study; Check learning frequently; Ask students again! 10 Inclusive practice: disability

11 Teaching diverse students inclusively means:  Using a variety of examples to illustrate ideas;  Remembering that students of different ages, backgrounds and cultures might not know the same things that you do or hold the same values;  Being aware of students’ prior learning. 11 Inclusive practice: in class

12 Some topics in psychology are “sensitive” in nature – e.g. depression; child abuse. – Can you think of aspects of your own teaching that might be sensitive? – How might you help to support students who find the topics you teach difficult? – How can you approach teaching such topics? 12 Sensitive teaching

13 “Some subjects, like study of repressed memories and social psychology, have made me feel more depressed and made me focus on my own problems and made me feel more hopeless and helpless”. 13 The student voice

14 “They are scientists, but don’t appreciate the knowledge they have that explains my behaviour, and how they can help. A lecturer that specialises in reading, and in dyslexia and reading, doesn’t apply what she teaches when she knows she has students that match the case studies that she presents. It’s very frustrating”. 14 The student voice

15 Teaching sensitively 15 Is it possible to respond to these student frustrations?

16 Carl Rogers: Qualities that facilitate learning Empathic understanding Realness – be yourself. Allows learner to be themselves and more ‘real’ in the relationship Prizing, acceptance & trust. (Rogers, 1967, 304-311)

17 Too ‘idealistic’? In large classes – even small groups – difficult to focus on individuals; However – can cultivate an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding within boundaries of education role by: – Treating student contributions / questions as genuine rather than ‘testing’ your knowledge; – Being real about what you know and don’t know (good learning for students); Rogers’ focus is on the learning relationship.

18 Inclusive teaching Principles for inclusive teaching &learning Hockings et al (2010) Connect with student’s lives Select or negotiate activities relevant to their lives, backgrounds and future. Being culturally aware – use of resources, examples, sensitive examples. Facilitate collaboration Set ground rules for collaborative behaviour (TEAM work vs Group work). Encourage students to articulate thinking and lack of understanding. Accept mistakes as a route to learning. Develop strategies for sharing and generating knowledge Create flexible activities that allow students to draw on own knowledge and experience. Encourage sharing different experiences and perspectives by treating all with respect.

19 Don’t be afraid to ask! – students, colleagues, disability support services. Be approachable. Try new things. Don’t make assumptions, avoid generalisations. Check you’re “doing a good job”. 19 Golden rules

20 “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original” Sir Ken Robinson Quote 20

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