Inclusive Curricula Week: Inclusive Curricula and induction strategies (April 17, 2008)
From Case Studies Wiki
The post is just replicated here to catch all the words for archive purposes, to read the post in its original form and see the links, photos, videos etc., go here:http://www.good.group.shef.ac.uk/blog/?p=185
April 17, 2008 Inclusive Curricula Week: Inclusive Curricula and induction strategies Filed under: Thursdays » InclusiveCurricula @ 8:50 am
Margaret Freeman- Department of Human Communication Sciences and Director of Learning and Teaching Development in the Arts
‘Inclusion’ covers a massive range of issues, most of which seem to me to fit with the strap line: ‘A Sense of Belonging’ (in case you’ve missed it, this is in the latest version of the Learning Teaching and Assessment Strategy - you can find it here) http://www.shef.ac.uk/content/1/c6/04/83/65/SOLTAF.pdf.
I want to focus on two aspects of inclusion, here. The first is about generic issues of promoting inclusion through the induction programme. The second is a more specific concern about inclusion of people with disabilities- an issue close to my own discipline (speech and language therapy).
1. Inclusion starts with recruitment, admissions and induction strategies
In my view, developing ways to promote the sense of belonging (and thus, inclusion) has to be built into our curriculum design and delivery, starting with the admissions and induction programmes. This is not (just) because I’m a nice, motherly type (!?). It’s because of the increasing number of research studies which show that the transition and induction process tends to have a major impact on the ways ALL students perceive and respond to the whole experience of learning at university. The evidence also indicates that, in a significant number of cases, this sense of belonging (or lack of it) can make the difference between students staying on the course, or leaving. This is confirmed in a recent survey by Mantz Yorke and Bernard Longden, for the HEA…
In our department (Human Communication Sciences), our plan to develop a different form of induction programme was also prompted by discussions with our students, who gave us a very clear picture of the differences between school and Uni:
‘The University is a much bigger place- I felt lost and scared for weeks’
‘I’m used to teachers telling me what to do- I’m even missing being given homework…at least I knew what I had to learn, that way’.
The plan we developed has already been described in detail in other places, including the CILASS website…
… on the Case Studies website, by Nadine Wills < http://good.group.shef.ac.uk/wiki/index.php/Introductions:Nametags(November_5,_2007)>
…and in the blogs from our students:
Helena Murphy: http://good.group.shef.ac.uk/blog/?s=HCS
Mary Parmenter: http://www.good.group.shef.ac.uk/blog/?p=58
As the students’ blogs tell it so well, I’ll leave this topic!
2. Inclusion of people with physical disabilities
As I was asked to keep this blog relatively short, I don’t have much space left. However, I do want to raise this question: Have you realised that there are relatively few people with physical disabilities on our campus?
There may be many reasons for this. One of the obvious ones is the campus itself - the spread of the buildings, the hills and the other physical factors are an obvious limitation for wheelchair users and people who are challenged by walking longish distances. But is this the only reason? As the technologies to support people with physical disability have developed, we should be able to offer them the same opportunities to join - and contribute to - our community.
I’m not going to argue this in detail, here…You can see what I mean at these two links: