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Respecting individual learners and diverse learning communities Dr Elaine Clark 27th September 2013.

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1 Respecting individual learners and diverse learning communities Dr Elaine Clark 27th September 2013

2 Objectives… By the end of this session you will have awareness of the key drivers relating to this topic and awareness of its growing import. awareness of some of the ways in which you can work to respect individual learners and diverse learning communities. planned a session which identifies strategies that will engage diverse learners.

3 Key drivers Areas of Activity Core Knowledge Professional values UK Professional Standards Framework (2012) Dimensions

4 Professional values Respect individual learners and diverse learning communities Promote participation in higher education and equality of opportunity for learners Use evidence informed approaches Acknowledge wider context in which higher education operates

5 Of the 491,300 participating in further education in 2011 54.0% were female, 46.0% were male 15.5% of learners declared a learning difficulty, disability or health problem 21.0% were from a Black or minority ethnic background 39.7% were aged under 19; 14.1% were aged 19-24 and 46.1% were aged 25 or older. Department for Business, Innovation & Skills ( 2011)

6 Key aim for HE sector is to embed equality Recruiting, and ensuring success for, a more diverse student population remain key priorities for the UK funding councils HEFCE’s Strategic Priorities in Widening Participation (2006–2011) in order that it becomes “part of the norm for the sector”( HEFCE 2006) Institutions are required to respond to key performance indicators (KPIs) with respect to widening access and participation. For instance, in England, HEFCE have set KPIs to increase participation in higher education and to increase the proportion of students (full-time and part-time, both young and mature) from under-represented groups in HE, together with a continued commitment to embed support for disabled students.

7 Equality legislation Equality Act 2010 “…everyone has the right to be treated fairly at work or when using services.” An attempt to simplify and strengthen the law relating to equalities. Recognises nine factors - called 'protected characteristics' - that are known to contribute to disadvantage and discrimination in people's lives Section 36 imposes a duty to make reasonable adjustments to prevent discrimination against an individual with disabilities Outlaws any form of discrimination

8 Defining discrimination Under the act, there are six different types of discrimination Direct discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favourably than another because of a protected characteristic. Associative discrimination is discrimination against someone because they are associated with another person with a protected characteristic. Discrimination by perception is direct discrimination against someone because others think that they possess a particular protected characteristic. They do not have to actually possess the characteristic. Indirect discrimination occurs when a rule or policy applies to everyone but disadvantages a person with a particular protected characteristic. Harassment is behaviour that offends the recipient. People can complain of behaviour they find offensive even if it is not directed at them. Victimisation is when someone is treated badly because they have made or supported a complaint or grievance under this legislation.

9 Discrimination A student dresses flamboyantly and is somewhat effeminate. He is abused by other students who think he is gay. In fact, he is straight. What kind of discrimination is this?

10 A course director has a policy of reminding potential students of important appointments and coursework deadlines solely by telephone. The course has a wide selection of students, including deaf and visually-impaired students. What form of discrimination is this?


12 In groups of 3 or 4, come up with a list of ways in which our students might demonstrate diversity?

13 Equality Act 2010: Protected Characteristics Age. Disability. Gender reassignment. Married or in a civil partnership (not generally counted as protected in service contexts). Pregnancy and maternity. Race. Religion or belief. Sex. Sexual orientation.

14 Disability and learning difficulty Disability: ‘ a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities’ Disability discrimination act 1995 Learning difficulty: those who have ‘a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of people of that age, or a disability which prevents the use of facilities generally provided by post-16 training’ Learning and Skills Act 2000

15 STUDENT DIVERSITY – STUDENTS AS INDIVIDUALS Social & Ethnic backgrounds Life, work and educational experience Differently abled Prior knowledge and ways of knowing Approaches to learning

16 Respecting individual learners and diverse communities As a group consider the ways in which you could respect, and proactively work to enhance the learning experience of, the learners within the category defined.

17 Principles and strategies Create ‘safe’, inclusive spaces Get to know students as individuals Establish ground rules for collaborative learning Ensure that every one has the chance to participate work with the student (s) to identify how the learning space can be adapted to enhance participation

18 Harness students’ experience and knowledge Start with what students know, then apply theory Connect with students’ lives and future aspirations Facilitate uncertainty, confusion & difference Encourage articulation of thinking & problem solving

19 Teach reflexively and with sensitivity to differences Mindful of impact of own beliefs and identity on student learning Coordinate interaction, mixing different students (with a purpose) Anticipate, prepare & respond flexibly to different and emerging requirements and interests

20 Planning Consider resources that can enhance access Consider learning activities Consider student groupings Consider assessment

21 Planning for diversity In groups of five or six, think of a session that you have run or will be running soon. Identify a suitable one between you. Prepare a plan for that session with a focus upon how you will respect student diversity. I would like you to focus on just one of the categories of diversity. Consider resources, activities, how you will evaluate the session.

22 This morning you have shown awareness of… Areas of activity Designing and planning activities Supporting learning Developing effective learning environments and approaches to support and guidance Core Knowledge Appropriate methods for teaching, learning and assessing Professional values Respecting individual learners Promoting participation Acknowledging wider context

23 Sources of support Course director Student support and assessment centre University of Manchester website Myself:

24 Any questions

25 References and resources Anglia University resource pack for diversity and-diversity and-diversity Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (2011) Post- 16 Education & Skills Statistical First Release DS/SFR DD37-42BA-91DB- 8593C893D13F/0/SFRcommentaryFINALPublished.pdf Accessed 25/09/13 University of Manchester Website

26 MBS – Student support and assessment centre Disability toolkits -

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