I’m sharing here some work I’ve done on inclusion at Goldsmiths to get some feedback. Inclusion has always been a major concern for universities but with recent cuts in Disabled Students’ Allowance in the UK, academic staff are now legally obliged to teach in accessible ways. I think beyond legal obligations, we have a duty of care for our students (this was mentioned by George Siemens in tweet in response to xMOOCs but I now lost it, so please let me know if you have a record of it somewhere) and need to focus on learner engagement and well-being in this discussion.
With this work I’m trying to make sense of the larger picture and connect inclusion to student engagement and democratic education overall. I look forward to your comments!
|Context: Inclusion at a HE institution in the UK|
|For whom? (some specific groups)|
|People with disabilities||People who speak English as a second language + International students||Mature students (those who return to education after a gap)||Marginalized groups: LGBTQ, ethnic and religious minorities|
|For the learner: Better engagement with resources and connection with the learning community
For everyone: To learn from diverse experiences, expand worldviews. Learning within a community of co-learners (including the teacher/facilitator).
|Usually “Teacher → Student” but we need more “Student →Teacher” and “Student ↔ Student” communication on this.
Reasonable adjustments and universal design are usually teacher led and specific classroom pedagogies are chosen and applied by the teacher or the department. However, any effort on inclusion should be a multidirectional process among students, teachers and the larger community.
|If not provided?|
|Poor inclusion lead to disengagement and dissatisfaction with learning. Students might feel silenced or ignored. They might feel frustrated. This is more about the social aspects of learning than the technical aspects in many cases.|