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Embracing cultural diversity - Towlson

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Presented at LILAC 2019

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Embracing cultural diversity - Towlson

  1. 1. Embracing cultural diversity to enhance information literacy learning Help and hurdles in closing the BAME Attainment gap Kaye Towlson Academic Team Manager LLS Fair outcomes Champion
  2. 2. In this session …… Context: National and DMU Freedom to Achieve : Fair Outcomes Champion (LLS) Themes of focus and action Hurdles and barriers Help…..making a difference: skills, opportunities and voices Questions and what can you do?
  3. 3. Context BAME attainment gap, achievement of good honours, well documented, national phenomenon (Cotton et al., 2016). DMU: Freedom to Achieve, OFS project, working to close this gap Fair Outcomes Champions work with staff and students on 40 selected programmes to identify, establish and disseminate good practice in teaching, learning, environment and development to help eradicate the gap. Co-creation at our core Student Curriculum Advisors
  4. 4. Making a difference: LLS Fair outcomes Champion University wide • Work as part of project team, across University and specifically with Library and Learning services (LLS) • Awareness raising: workshops with staff • Forum for discussion and sharing • Read to debate • FTA Team Talks • Programme Co creation workshops LLS: influence university • Displays • Diversity in resources • Reading list and validation guidelines • Reading Lists…just beginning • Leisure reading : Kimberlin Colour Full reads: Insight into other worlds • UDL and Co-creation: Images, • Language and examples
  5. 5. Making a difference: Role of info lit Information literacy : broadest sense Searching Finding Referencing Engaging broadly Evaluating: diversity, inclusivity Academics and students
  6. 6. Being part of the fabric of LLS Re-iteration of message in different places, different ways and different words Different approaches, different services
  7. 7. Why do we need to do this? BAME Attainment gap Themes students have told us are important: • These have implications for teaching and learning styles and techniques • Feed in directly to student experience.
  8. 8. Themes: Teaching and learning Decolonising reading lists: Academics and information literacy Searching to liberate Opening up Research process: bias of Dewey etc Visible inclusion: images, voices, flip classroom Be aware of language, “everyday” academic and specialised Fit to submit (keywords, search strategy, evaluation/critical thinking, referencing)
  9. 9. Themes: Relationships Students see themselves as invisible, unknown, part of large cohort IL often one off sessions Can we make a positive difference here? Offer opportunities to meet and mix? Opportunity to share and listen Friendly face of the library
  10. 10. Themes: Community Students seek opportunities to engage and integrate with peers across cultures and ethnicities What can we do? Interaction Peer working Mix up groups Gamification and escape rooms may establish comraderie and belonging Time and context
  11. 11. Themes: Development Mentoring (Dare to be) Employability Digital citizenship Critical thinking and analysis
  12. 12. Hurdles and barriers Overarching • Sensitivities • Fear of speaking out • Language • Awareness, acknowledgement and inclusion • Reaction/ defensiveness/resistance • “Tick box” culture/ authenticity • Breadth of resources • Breadth and boundaries of curriculum Specific to IL sessions • One off sessions • Do not know cohort • Need to establish benefit and context of session • Lack of diversity • Connection and relate - ability
  13. 13. Help and positive action Strategic and operational input • Co creation and student voice • Academics: bringing them on board • Addressing the balance/decolonising the curriculum • Information Literacy: Inclusivity broadens perspectives • Be inclusive in images, examples, case studies, language • Reading lists: diversify • Professional Associations: Aspirations, balance and networks In the “classroom” • Recognition of difference and diversity • Value and input of different lived experiences • Opportunity to engage and mix • Social learning (gamification, peer learning) • Sharing experience: diagnostic
  14. 14. Future Steady process and progress Sharing practice Reflect Incremental steps and champions Reframing and widening the lens (decolonisation) Student voices
  15. 15. Questions? What could you do?
  16. 16. Bibliography COTTON, D.R.E. et al. (2016) Understanding the gender and ethnicity attainment gap in UK higher education. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 53 (5), pp. 475-486. DHANDA, M. (2010) Understanding disparities in student attainment: Black and minority ethnic students' experience. Final Report [Online}. Available at http://www2.wlv.ac.uk/equalopps/mdsummary.pdf [Accessed 12/11/18] EQUALITY CHALLENGE UNIT and HIGHER EDUCATION SCOTLAND (2016) Equality and diversity in learning and teaching in higher education. Summary of papers from Equality Challenge Unit and Higher Education Academy joint conferences [Online] Available at https://www.ecu.ac.uk/wp- content/uploads/2016/03/Equality-and-diversity-in-learning-and-teaching-Full-report.pdf [Accessed 12/11/18] MOUNTFORD - ZIMDARS, A. et al (2015) Causes of differences in student outcomes: Report to HEFCE by King’s College London, ARC Network and The University of Manchester, HEFCE [Online] Available from http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/23653/1/HEFCE2015_diffout.pdf Accessed [12/11/18] STEVENSON, J. et al (2019) Understanding and overcoming the challenges of targeting students from under-represented and disadvantaged ethnic backgrounds, Report to office for students [Online] Available from https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/publications/understanding-and-overcoming-the-challenges-of-ethnicity- targeting/ [Accessed 11/2/19].

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