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From Elitism To Inclusion Developing an Inclusive Curriculum through an Appreciative Inquiry Approach Learning and Teaching Conference June 2008 Dr Val.

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Presentation on theme: "From Elitism To Inclusion Developing an Inclusive Curriculum through an Appreciative Inquiry Approach Learning and Teaching Conference June 2008 Dr Val."— Presentation transcript:

1 From Elitism To Inclusion Developing an Inclusive Curriculum through an Appreciative Inquiry Approach Learning and Teaching Conference June 2008 Dr Val Chapman (NTF) and Will Bowen Jones

2 Political, social and educational change Post war comprehensive education Mainstreaming – increased number of disabled children in non-specialised schools Raised aspirations Elite education – ‘traditional’ methods of teaching Staff with little/no personal experience of working with disabled students

3 As a result of engaging with this session you will be able to… Appreciate the legal and political context of the project Understand the philosophy underpinning the project and the adopted research approach Describe the activities undertaken in the Institute of Sport and Exercise Science in implementing the Appreciative Inquiry approach Make use of the web-based resource, SCIPS Discuss the issues and opportunities arising from the project

4 Increased diversity in HE 1960s: less than 10% population in HE Government’s agenda: target 50% 18-35 year olds in HE by 2010 ‘Massification’ of HE Widening Participation Legislation Disability Funding (funded projects; Disabled Student’s Allowance (DSA); Mainstream funding; capital funding for HEIs)

5 Inclusive Learning and Teaching (L&T) “…. An inclusive approach to learning and teaching avoids a point of view that locates difficulty or deficit within the student and focuses instead on understanding and responding to individual learners' needs.” (Tomlinson, 1996) Aligned with social model of disability Flexible Meets needs of all learners

6 I’m looking for a villain, a real nasty piece of work, someone who’ll make the public want to scream. He’s got to be so gruesome, not at all like you and me, so bad, they’ll even see him when they dream. Our hero gets to battle him, so he’s got to be quite small, in fact an evil dwarf could play the role. Or he could be in a wheelchair, or maybe use a hook, or with mental illness blackening his soul. And could you make him hunch-back, with maybe just one eye, or perhaps you’ve got a black one on your books? With our hero tall and handsome, and most definitely white, we’d want to make the most of how he looks. Forget about equality, it’s not what people want, distorting how we think is still the game. We’re very good at stereotypes, reinforcing the belief that you must be evil – if you’re not the same. Medical Model of Disability Lupton, D. (2008) ‘Evil in the Eye’, Crip Zone, p 12, Reprint


8 Social model Disability is defined as a social construct Disabling factors are located in social, educational, and working practices and in physical environments Example: a wheelchair user may have a physical impairment, but it is the absence of a ramp that prevents them from entering a building - the disabling factor is the inaccessible environment

9 Social model of disability

10 Legislation UN Convention (2006) promotes a universal inclusive language emphasising ‘rights for all’, and is based upon the principles of justice, respect, dignity, non-discrimination, equality and accessibility The Disability Discrimination Act (aka SENDA, 2001, UK) brought all education provision under the Act

11 Higher Education Academy (UK) Project Project title: Developing Inclusive Curricula in Higher Education Key features: Innovative staff development package Supplementary resources to support academics Embedding in institutional policy and practice

12 Project research question How can we engage the interest and commitment of staff to further develop their inclusive practice in learning and teaching? Selection of an Appreciative Inquiry approach AI has 4 phases: Discovery phase Dream phase Design phase Destiny phase

13 Appreciative Inquiry (AI) process AI workshop (students) Students’ Post-it activity Student’s interviews (VI) Focus group interview Generation of adjectives Briefing on inclusion and AI Generation of propositional statements Focus group interview questions Inaugural ISES staff/student research summit Student presentation Staff response Prioritisation meeting Further planning & embedding Inclusion survey DREAMDESIGNDESTINY DISCOVERY START Pre-workshop activity Staff development Roll out model to additional departments

14 Appreciative Inquiry Methodology developed by Professor David Cooperrider and his colleagues at Case Western Reserve University (US) in the 1980s Approach has been used throughout the world for organisational change (in companies such as BP, McDonalds and British Airways) and for community consultation and development. Conducted in 4 phases

15 Discovery phase (Jan/Feb 08) Selection of student researchers Pre-workshop activity AI workshop Data collection by student researchers Post it exercise Disabled student interview Focus group interview (conducted by student member of project team) Answers to reflective questions (pre-workshop activity) Development of propositional statements

16 Dream phase (Mar 08) Inaugural Institute of Sport and Exercise Science (ISES) staff/student research summit Student researchers’ presentation Audience: Vice Chancellor Guest speaker – Chief Executive, British Paralympic Association ISES staff Departmental Learning and Teaching (L&T) representatives

17 Post-it data from student lectures Adjectives (n=265): Enjoyable Interesting Challenging Fun

18 Student researchers’ experiences of learning Personal accounts Inclusive practices Challenges successfully overcome Engagement of staff

19 Propositional statement 1 All students make a positive contribution to the learning of their peers.

20 Propositional statement 2 Students value the School’s strong sense of community and being made to feel part of it.

21 Propositional statement 3 Students love it when staff support and celebrate their achievements.

22 Propositional statement 4 Staff inspire students through being role models.

23 Propositional statement 5 Students really enjoy learning through doing.

24 Propositional statement 6 The Institute of Sports and Exercise Science (ISES) offers students a ‘ticket to their future’; it gives them the opportunity to ‘do things for themselves’, ‘become more independent’, to ‘reinvent themselves’ and ‘be their own person’. It offers a ‘liberating’ and transformative experience.

25 Design phase (Apr 08) Prioritisation meeting to determine: Individual priorities Draft priorities for referral to departmental Learning and Teaching Committee Staff survey – staff confidence ratings in inclusive practice (survey monkey) Analysed to determine staff development priorities

26 Destiny phase (Ongoing) Implementation of innovative staff development package Supplemental resources SCIPS (Strategies for Creating Inclusive Programmes of Study) (used 24/7, page ranked by Google 5/10) Embedding inclusive policy and practice in existing departmental structures and systems e.g. peer observation

27 Opportunities (value added) Provides evidence of UW’s commitment to provide ‘excellent, inclusive education’ Review and revision of Open Day practice Research informed teaching Students as researchers Raised external profile, e.g. ‘360 degree’ conference presentation ‘Step by Step Guide to AI’ for University of Worcester

28 Issues Student involvement proved labour intensive for project staff Pressurised timescale Ethics and responsibilities Associated costs Alternative formats for disabled student researchers

29 Further work Institute of Sport and Exercise Science (ISES) project: ‘Disabled Students as Researchers, Mentors and Mentees’ Development of generic ‘Step by Step Guide to AI’ Development of ISES Research Centre with focus on inclusion

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