JLDHE Reading Club 10 January 2024 - Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education

JLDHE Reading Club 10 January 2024

A big thank you to everyone who came to our Reading Club on 10th January – it was great to see new and returning faces alike! In this session we discussed Katie Stripe and Iro Ntonia’s Twenty-two recommendations for inclusive teaching and their implementation challenges from Issue 28.

We opened up with a discussion about inclusivity in general. We all took the viewpoint that inclusivity should be driven by a desire to do good / social justice (that it is indeed a core duty or any education provider) – not just because it is stated by law. Taking a more historical viewpoint, it was also highlighted that legislation had affected how support was / is delivered to students, and that this has not always been for the better. It was also discussed how working towards inclusivity can often fall on the shoulders of individual staff who champion it, or who themselves have different lived experiences, without added resource or time. On a practical level, we also shared experiences of how inclusivity can often be more difficult to achieve in larger classes when the range of needs can be larger.

As a group we certainly agreed with the authors that HEIs and we, as individual educators, need to take a more humane approach to ensuring inclusivity in higher education, that goes beyond the prevalent check-list approach. We argued that the (increasing) number of reasonable adjustments provided to individual students, shows that current approaches to HE teaching and learning – and assessment strategies – are evidently not built to be inclusive from the start.

A discussion point from the article on the need (or at least the debated need) for staff to teach without using their own colloquialisms and local metaphors, which the authors suggested seemed to go against what we espouse for students in embracing their own individuality and identity also sparked an interesting discussion amongst the group. We suggested that if all staff conform to an ‘expected’ way of talking when teaching, this could increase feelings of not belonging for students who have different accents or ways of talking themselves.   

The next Reading Club will take place on Wednesday 13th March at 17:30.

Please book a free ticket via the ALDinHE website. You will be notified in advance of the meeting with a selection of JLDHE articles for you to choose from. We will then confirm the piece with the most votes. The Zoom link, to access the meeting, is provided via your ticket.

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