equality-diversity-inclusionHEAEmbedding equality and diversity in the curriculum: an art and design practitioner’s guide

1. Setting the scene 3

This is a practical guide to issues of equality and diversity in the curriculum specifically related to the art, design and communication subject discipline. It considers relevant discipline specific theories and strategies and reflects on the challenges the sector still faces within this area. It also shares concrete examples of good practice through a series of short case studies that can support and inspire teachers. It is by no means a definitive guide and only provides some initial signposts, which can be built upon and disseminated more widely. The importance of this resource is linked to the increasing student diversity within our institutions who expect a broader curriculum and learning experience, which reflects more closely the global diversity of the international creative industries. The National Union of Students has produced a document entitled Liberation, equality and diversity in the curriculum (NUS 2011a) that supports the view that students are seeking something more from UK higher education (HE) than they once did. This change in context has also been informed by widening participation, a rise in international students, and changes to disability legislation. What this means to us as a sector is that who we teach, what we teach, how we teach, and why we teach is increasingly under the microscope and it is essential to practice a pedagogy that offers equality of success and value. The value in this context is visual, through representation in the curriculum and through making all spaces more inclusive, whether they are studio, workshop or digital spaces, thereby creating more opportunities to share and engage more diverse perspectives, knowledge, contributions and concepts.

How we respond to and develop a supportive student experience is through:

inclusive pedagogy within the studio/workshop;

inclusive curriculum within the course;

inclusive institutional policies and practices.

In short, this is everybody’s concern and we need to find creative, flexible and sustainable ways to go forward in partnership with students. This guide acts as an addendum to the extremely useful publication Inclusive Practices, Inclusive Pedagogies: Learning from Widening Participation Research in Art and Design Higher Education, edited by Bhagat and O’Neil (2011), which is available online.

2. Current state of play 3

3. Challenges 4

4. Theories and strategies 5

5. Case studies 6

5.1 Staff training on inclusivity 7

5.2 Shades of Noir 8

5.3 The new model dissertation 9

5.4 Seeing is believing 10

5.5 Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice 11

5.6 Use of English and modes of thinking 11

6. Guidance on implementation of inclusivity 12

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