Good practice in building equality and diversity into subject areas
Good Practice in buildingEquality and Diversity intoSubject areas:By Sue Conroy and Ruth Hewitt.
Art:Works exploring personal social identityEncourage learners to highlight multicultural influences in thehistory of art, and display examples of work by artists who haveexperienced various physical disabilities or mental healthissues, or who work explores such themes.Draw attention to artists who work explores various aspects ofpersonal or social identity, including race, ethnicity andsexuality.Ask learners to look at the work of Alison Lapper and exploreher experience of being an artist with at disability. They shouldfocus on ability and how society discriminates because of theway you look.Illustrating the importance of equality“Discrimination, harassment and bullying are not tolerated inany form”. Work with other curriculum teams to developnumerous displays, posters, focus groups and events thatillustrate how fundamental equality of opportunity is to thecurriculum.Ask learners to develop anti-racism posters for the classroomwalls.Invite learners to research the nine protected characteristicsand develop projects in art to showcase contributions, abilitiesand experiences of groups and individuals. One project couldtell the story of the Holocaust through pictures, for example.
Ways to encourage learners to express their own identitythrough art include: • self-portraits • reference to excellence in a range of different cultural traditions • exploration of cross-cultural borrowings and influences • visiting artist-painters, photographers, potters, sculptors, printmakers drawn from a range of diverse backgrounds • using art to explore social and political issues.Art based on the culture or history of a countryEncourage learners to research a country of their choice andget them to produce an imaginative image or object thatsymbolises part of the culture or history of that country, forexample a learner assigned to Egypt may produce an object orcollage using different colours, styles and textures of papersuch as wallpaper, sandpaper and notebook paper to symbolisethe history of papyrus.
Business Studies:Marketing messages in different culturesAsk learners to compare how marketing messages arecommunicated in different cultures, for example how wouldthey compose a different marketing message for advertising inthe UK and/or Uganda (where there is a mainly Muslimpopulation)?Building relationships with customersAsk learners to explore different approaches to buildingrelationships with customers/segments which arepredominately of a different culture, age, sex and so on.Hot topics for discussion and debateHot topics for discussion and debate could also include: • entrepreneurs from around the world • key principles in different settings • successful business as a route out of poverty • highlighting successful female business women • gender inequality in business • disabled business champions • analysing diversity in advertising • partnerships/mentoring schemes with businesses to widen participation/access • globalisation • fair trading
Home EconomicsWorld foods celebrationHold a world foods celebration that is created and run by yourcatering and hospitality learners. Tasks that they will need tocover include: • cooking and preparing different foods from around the world • preparing table decorations • serving duties • making presentations and collages about world foodsYour learners could also adopt traditional clothes and outfits topromote their country and food.If you do not want to hold a large-scale event, small eventssuch as learners offering tasters in the canteen over lunch timewould still be effective.Common foods in British cultureAs a shorter activity, you could investigate common foodsfound in British culture and ask learners to research the originsof the food. This will get your learners to consider the fact thatmany items of food they consider to be ‘British’ are actuallyfrom different parts of the world.
Catering for different dietary requirementsHold a cookery session including menu planning to meetdifferent dietary requirements. Ask learners to consider dietaryrequirements, whether religious, medical, cultural or lifestyle.Ask learners to look at different dishes from around the worldand ask them to consider the differences when sitting downand eating.Respecting festival traditions, such as Ramadan, could also beexplored.Plan trips to a variety of restaurants and ask learners toconsider different cultures and diets.Occupational segregationAsk learners to consider the number of women compared tothe number of men and the number of people from minorityethnic groups (which are over-represented) working in thesector. Ask them to consider the types of jobs done bydifferent groups and the availability of jobs for people withdisabilitiesProducing accessible menusAsk learners to consider producing assessable menus. Getthem to consider different fonts, layouts and colours for thosewith specific disabilities and the use of visual images to aidthose with literacy issues or for whom English is an additionallanguage.
Unhealthy diets associated with certain groupsAsk learners to look at why certain groups might haveunhealthy diets and the links to poverty and homelessness.Issues to consider include poor teeth in children and olderpeople on low incomes.
Design and TechnologyDefine and research activitiesAsk learners to focus on equality and diversity as they defineand research: • campaigns in local communities to raise the profile of design and technology careers and attract diverse learners into the associated professions • technology in a global context • diverse inventors • technology and the media • the use of internet to forge local, national, global links with others • traditional/alternative technologies • signs and symbols from around the world • toys from around the world
EnglishResearch and explore activitiesPromote equality and diversity by allowing your learnersopportunities to explore: • the work of writers from around the world for comparative purposes, drawing out key themes, values and concerns which human being have in common • the work of authors from a range of backgrounds, including lesbian and gay writers • bias of literature • the issue of language and power • oral traditions • writing in learners’ home languages • texts in vernacular/dialect • their own identity by writing about it • images/representations of religion, disability, age, ethnicity and different sexual orientations used in the mediaPoetry or creative writing covering the issues ofdiscriminationAsk learners to produce a short piece of poetry or creativewriting covering the issues of discrimination, for example: • a story about a learner suffering discrimination • a piece of poetry about racism • a script for a play about bullying
GeographyLife expectancy in different countriesAsk learners to research life expectancy rates for differentcountries and investigate why there are such differences. Thepurpose of this activity is to get learners to consider inequalityand how left expectancy rates are so different from each otherin a world that we all share.This activity often surprises learners when they realise that, onaverage, being born in some countries means you are likely tolive to just over 30 years old. Encourage learners to considerfactors such as malnutrition, living in sub-standardaccommodation and not having access to medical treatments.Ask them to compare their lives to the lives of other youngpeople who live in areas where life expectancy is considered solow. How would they cope and what would they miss if theylived in a similar environment.Research and explore activitiesAsk learners to research and explore: • ‘the street where I live’ • the historical context of how developing and developing and developed world emerged • media images of third world countries • class structures in different contexts • globalisation • wealthy communities in the southern hemisphere
• the importance of local experts addressing issues of hunger and malnutrition compared to an over-emphasis on Western efforts to address these issues• differences and commonalities in humankind’s relationship with the physical environment• migration and settlement as recurring themes of human experience
Health and Social CareIdentifying bias and negative stereotypesAsk learners to construct a checklist of what bias andstereotypes look like in relation to the nine protectedcharacteristics.Ask learners to review learning materials to see if they containany bias or negative stereotypes using their checklist to remindthem of the sort of things to look for.Log experiences of working with people from diversegroupsAsk learners to keep a learning log of their experience ofworking with children/people from diverse backgrounds and touse this to develop their practice in order to meet the diverseneeds of children and other groups they work with.Create case studies to explore equality issuesCreate case student about working with people with differentprotected characteristics in health and social care settings, forexample working with the same-sex parents of a young child.Resolving dilemmasAsk learners to consider the case of foster carers who areprevented from continuing to foster because they refuse toallow any discussion of same-sex relationships due to theirfaith.
Discussion topics can include: • how to remain objective • the hierarchy of protected characteristics, for example whether faith is less important than sexual orientation • the implications for people who are of faith working in the health and social care sectorFactors contributing to inequalityAsk learners to explore the links between socio-economics,housing and health outcomes and the protected characteristics.Gender stereotyping in health and social careAsk learners to consider the differences between the roles ofmen and women in the health and social care sector in the pastand how to show changes in gender stereotyping in job rolesand how far there is still to go.Dietary requirementsFacilitate a discussion about the various foods from differentcultures and include dietary requirements prompted by medicalconditions, faith and lifestyle choices. Ask them to consider theneed for specialised cutlery and equipment for individuals withdisabilities.Health and safety audit for users of accessibilityequipmentAsk learners to use equipment often used by people withdisabilities and conduct a health and safety audit of an area tosee how safe it is for people using this type of equipment.
HistorySchindler’s listTell learners about Oskar Schindler and his famous list.Split learners into groups and give each group a piece offlipchart paper with the numbers 1-50listed on it. Ask eachgroup to create their own Schindler’s list where they have tochoose 50 people who they will save. This can be anyone:famous people, teaching staff, friends and family. Stress thatthe people they choose have to reflect the society in which welive, work and play. Each time a group member wants to makea suggestion, the whole (or majority) of their team must agreeto it before it can be added to the list. Remind learners thatthey will have to justify their selection later.Take feedback from the groups. As well as challenging learnersabout the reasons why they have chosen a particular personand the value the person brings to individuals, society and theworld, explore the equality issues within the learners’ choices.For example, discuss: • How many disabled people are on the list? • Why do you think the number of people on the list with a disability is low/high? • Why do we believe people with certain characteristics are more or less deserving of being on this list?This exercise can be completed with all protectedcharacteristics including race, gender and religion.
This is a very powerful activity and is also very effective as a fullclass activity. It is probably better for older learners due to theemotions the activity could stir.The activity can also be run over weeks, rather than completedin one session. For example, you could list 100 name spaces onseveral pieces of flipchart paper and display them on the wall.Then, at the start and end of each session, ask learners if theyhave any contributions of who they would like to save. When alearner makes a suggestion, discussions must take place aroundwhy they feel he or she is worthy enough to be added to thelist.Put yourself in their shoesUsing the Internet, we offer our learners an interactive meansto venture outside the borders of their own experience to tryon an alternative cultural identity.Ask learners to use the internet, memoirs and novels to exploreissues of discrimination, harassment as if they were asignificant individual such as: • Martin Luther King • Mary Seacole • Albert Einstein • Helen Keller • Nelson Mandela • Maria Runyan
Research and explore activities: • the local heritage, neighbourhood and community to support all learners’ sense of personal identity and personal history • multiple perspectives within topics ensuring the inclusion of often overlooked voices • oral history – stories from members of the local community describing their family histories and experiences • the history of women’s rights, gay rights, the rights of people with disabilities and so on • local people’s resistance to forms of oppression, for example by comparing civil rights movements around the world • social media and social movements • colonisation and its effects • the contributions of ancient civilizations from around the world • American history and the Black Power movement of the 1960s beginning with Rosa Parks
ICTProducing accessible electronic presentationsTalk to learners about producing accessible PowerPointpresentations and ask them to create a presentation thatadheres to accessibility and readability best practice.See Module 5: Top tips for creating accessible learningmaterials and environments for tips on creatingaccessible PowerPoint presentation and improving thereadability of the materials your produce.
MATHSStatistics relating to protected characteristicsAsk learners to research statistics about each protectedcharacteristic. The statistics about protectedcharacteristics can relate to representation, under-representation, achievements, historical dates, presencein society, experience and so on.Split learners into groups and encourage them to usetheir findings to create a quiz with answer sheets.When they have developed the resources, use thefinished resources as part of the session or as a quizactivity exploring statistics at the beginning of asubsequent session.Famous mathematiciansAsk learners to research various famous mathematiciansand inventors with a range of protected characteristics.This activity helps learners to identify with these rolemodels and value their experience and contributions.Research and discuss activitiesResearch and discussion activities could include: • using maths to problem solve issues relevant to learners
• using maths to analyse social, economic and political affairs• the maths used by indigenous and other contemporary cultures throughout the world• acknowledging and highlighting female contributions to the profession• those prompted by visits from practitioners (accountants, bankers, insurers) from groups under-represented in the profession
MEDIAContent appropriate to different groupsAsk learners to consider carefully the needs of differentsections of the learning community when planning thecontent of a college magazine.Whilst dealing with key concepts such as brand imageand target audience, challenge learners to consider howdifferent sections of the population (covering theprotected characteristics) might respond to their productideas.This enables learners to explore design ideas and usingtype and images to appeal to potential readers ofdifferent ages, with varied cultural backgrounds or withdisabilities. It also helps them to explore gaps in themarket where there is potential to attract new businesscustomers and readers.Producing content for a diversity magazineAsk learners to interview their parents/carers about theirlives as children, the stories they remember, favouritepoems, and family recipes. The results of theseinterviews will inform you about the rich diversity withinthe classroom.
Ask learners to make the information from theinterviews into newspaper articles and produce them inthe form of a diversity magazine. Extracts from themagazine could be used for Black History month.You could also do this activity around learnerexperiences in relation to the protected characteristics.
Modern Foreign LanguagesResearch and discuss activitiesAsk learners to research and discuss: • bilingualism and multilingualism in different contexts, including among learners • diasporic language communities • colonialism • language and identity • raising the profile of formal and informal community languages
MUSICResearch and discussionWhen looking at music and society, explore issues suchas: • sexuality, black issues, equal rights, older people and so on • using music to explore/express aspects of personal identity and social problems and issues • musicians and music drawn from a range of backgrounds and traditions • musical styles, including opportunities for practical work in a range of different styles • artists who do not ‘fit the stereotypes’, for example Black opera singers, disabled artists and so on • the history of genres such as Rock ‘n’ Roll, Reggae, Blues, Calypso, Classical and Hip Hop • globalisation through music (fusion of musical styles/influences) • stereotypes and music
Performing ArtsDramatised research findings on equality issuesAsk learners to examine issues such as immigration, raceand culture affect different areas of society and howthese issues have changed (or not) since the 1950s.Encourage learners to producing a piece ofcontemporary theatre to show the results of theirinvestigation.An examines different relationshipsAsk learners to work on a piece that examines thedifferent relationships between a diverse range of peopleincluding those with disabilities, older people and adomestic abuse situation.Inclusive choreographyWhen choreographing, talk through every move indetails so that learners with who are blind or visuallyimpaired can learn at the same pace as everyone else.Auditory learners also benefit from this approach and itmakes the experience inclusive.Produce an inclusive scriptWhite your own scripts for learners to perform. Tailorthe script to the specific group, providing opportunitiesfor all learners to participate in the production. A play
could explore different ideas around issues such asgender identity, gay marriage and racism.Challenging gender stereotyping in option choiceAsk learners to create a play about choosing GCSEoptions which encourages learners to challengestereotypes and choose options that genuinely interestthem rather than fulfilling gender expectations. Invitelearners from Years 8 and 9 to view the performance.Research and discussionExplore issues such as: • drama as a tool to explore your own identity and thoughts • drama as a tool to explore your own identity and thoughts • drama as social commentary through the ages
PSYCHOLOGYResearch mental illness and BME groupsResearch suggests that people from BME (black andminority ethnic) groups are more likely to experiencemental illness. Ask learners to consider this link and theissues that are most commonly reported by BME groupsas contributing factors to mental health illnesses.Explore these factors and ask learners to record whatthey think individuals, society and the government cando to help this.Research and discussionHot topics for research and discussion include: • learners’ multiple identities and life experiences • the shared cultural values of a range of groups, whilst recognising diversity among individuals • considering theories and research from a range of perspectives including the views of those from disabled, LGBT and BME backgrounds • learners’ own cultural values • the stereotypes and perceptions of others based on media portrayals and assumptions • cross-cultural communication • the links between poverty and mental health
• psychology and historical theories of racial inferiority• bias, for example many psychological theories are based on the student of American college learners, how transferable are they?
Religious EducationReligions wall chartAsk learners to create a wall display to raise awareness ofthe different religions and their particular beliefs bygiving each learner a large piece of paper and allocatethem a religion to work on. Advise them that they mustinclude: • the name of the religion • its beliefs • its god(s) of worship • customs and practices • prayer and worship informationResearch and discussHot topics for research and discussion include: • common elements, concerns and values in different religious traditions • cultural, national and ethnic diversity within each religious • indigenous religions • religion and politics • religious diasporas • stereotypes and religion • religious oppression
ScienceResearch and discussion activitiesResearch and discussion activities could include: • the lack of a scientific basis for the concept of ‘race’ • the contributions to science from around the world • female scientists • disease and patterns in populations around the world • visits from people working in the profession from groups under-represented in STEM careers.Valuing difference in the periodic tableSplit learners into groups and allocate them sections ofthe periodic table. Ask learners to prepare a debateabout why their section and individual elements of theperiodic table are better than anyone else’s/ Forexample, learners with the element gold (Au) couldargue that they have one of the most importantelements because their material makes beautiful piecesof jewellery; learners with oxygen (O) in their sectioncould argue that their element allows humans and otherlife to survive.
Get some healthy competition going and, at the end, tellyour learners that although some may believe theirsection is better than anyone else’s, when all the sectionsare merged together it creates an impressive andpowerful scientific masterpiece, and when the elementswork together to form compounds they become greaterstill. Make the links between valuing the contribution ofpeople with individual and diverse characteristics tosociety.The diversity behind the discover of the elementsAsk learners to research the history behind the names ofthe chemical elements, opening up a discussion of theglobal perspective of scientific discovery in contrast tothe assumed view of scientific knowledge as being aWestern domain. Draw attention to the contributions ofEastern, Black and female and scientists from other oftenunder-represented groups.
SociologySocial inequalities experienced by particular groupsAsk learners to investigate the social inequalitiesexperienced by particular groups of people in the UK.You could allow learners to choose their own group orallocate certain groups with shared characteristicsyourself.Research and discussion activitiesResearch and discussion activities could include: • exploring social inequality in a range of contexts • examining social norms from a range of cultural, historical contexts • the role of religion in a range of contexts • attitudes to health and well being in a range of contexts
SportUse current sports news stories to prompt discussionUse current news stories to prompt discussion on topicssuch as racism, disability, age and gender. Encouragelearners to explore the impact of these stories on sport,communities, individuals and policy makers and to lookat how discriminatory behaviour can be prevented.Focussing on abilityFocused on a different protected characteristic eachweek and ask learners to identify a diverse range ofpeople who are involved in sport but who are fromsections of this group usually under-represented in thesport. Encourage learners to comment on the impactthese people have made on the sport and on society.Research and discussion activitiesResearch and discussion activities could include: • a comparative study of the role of sport across different communities/societies • examining and challenging stereotypes – which groups are associated with certain sports, why/how has this evolved? • Politics and sport
• Gender and racial inequality in sport in a historical and modern-day context• Gay and lesbian athletes• Disabled athletes• Ageism in sport
AnyQuizzes and questionnaires as icebreakersUse quizzes and questionnaires covering issues such asrace, disability, gender, religion or belief as icebreakers.This is an excellent way to encourage learners to get toknow each other and at the same time encouragesgreater cultural understanding and tolerance of learners’personal circumstances and lifestyles. They showlearners that everyone is valued, whatever theirbackground, and that everyone can contribute and learnfrom each other.In vocational subject areas these quizzes, case studiesand worksheets can focus on issues around customercare, how to behave respectfully when working alongsidepeople from different cultures or with customs and soon.Organise a ‘faith walk’Organise a ‘faith walk’ for learners where they visit localareas of worship and meet faith leaders from Muslim,Hindu, Jewish and Christian faiths. Introduce them to theplace of worship and provide opportunities for questionsafterwards.
Afterwards, incorporate the live experience intodiscussion or other activities as appropriate for yoursubject.Make a fabric dollDesign and make a fabric doll exercise. Ask learners toconsider equality issues such as how and where thefabric might have been made (swear shops, child labour),design features (ethnicity, disability) and what designsare currently available in shops and how this influencesand socialises young children.Using small groups to encourage participation by EALlearnersLearners for whom English is an additional language(EAL) may be reluctant to raise their hands to participatein whole class discussions due to a fear of responding infront of the whole class and being laughed at becausethey are still developing their English skills. This issuealso applied to some of our traveller community learners.Use small groups and paired work to do collaborativeresearch and projects so that EAL speakers and otherswho need it can practise speaking in English in a smallergroup.For more information and to download samples of
these resources, visit the EDUK website atwww.equalityanddiversity.co.uk