Inclusive Assessment for Inclusive Attainment: Bridging the Gap

Leading on from the marking matrix exercise I start to think more about inclusive assessment. During the exercise we spoke about the vagueness of the marking matrix criteria. This makes me consider how some neuro-diverse students can comprehend the marking matrix as it currently stands. Although during the marking matrix exercise it was raised that there are possibilities of students and teachers working together to devise a more updated assessment criteria which will be complex and may take some time. In the meantime, a whole session or more within learning and teaching can be devoted to understanding and breaking down the assessment matrix and criteria for the students to achieve and attain. I reflect on my past and current experience as a student in terms of how I learn and the process of how I document my own work. I benefit from recording my thoughts, discussions and process of making. This may be a possible way forward towards inclusive assessment by including discussion that demonstrates learning outcomes, research and practice to a set criteria.

I think about the lessons I have taught where I demonstrates how and where the teaching and learning activities are applied to fulfil the criteria within particular section within the marking matrix. An example for a lesson that is based on research I use that section of the criteria to demonstrate clearly what students needs to do towards attaining the best possible outcomes.

There are other considerations with regards to inclusive assessment that doesn’t rely solely on aspects of the marking matrix but also on knowing the students willingness to learn suggested by the attributes and dispositions discussed in a previous blog post.

There is also the unconscious biases that needs to be addressed that that has an effect on inclusive assessment. There is the unconscious bias course available for teachers. Which is all well and good however it’s important that these need to be applied in one’s own teaching practice. It needs to be second nature.

My attendance to the attainment conference I went to in July posed two interesting workshops. ‘Growth Mindset’ led by Vikki Hill and ‘Make the Grade’ led by Terry Finnegan. Both were insightful and aroused further ideas to how I may apply inclusive assessment as a way to address the attainment gap. There is also anonymous marking also known as blind marking that was a case study and now applied in UAL.

https://www.arts.ac.uk/study-at-ual/academic-regulations/course-regulations/assessment/fair-assessment.

What I find interesting about these approaches is that I had been already familiar with aspects of these interventions through my teaching in secondary schools. It seems that there is scope for more closer links to ideas between the sectors where each can learn from and gain from shared practices. If we consider the theories of Vygotski used in HE are formed n child behaviours and exampled an practised within our pedagogy throughout all education sectors primary and secondary to further education and HE.

This reinforces my interest that lay in the transition from Secondary, education to FE to HE. My experience in teaching within all three and a catalogue of assessment experience from marking to moderating, I have a more narrowed therefore tangible idea towards myself initiated project.

I mentioned that I find as I student I could demonstrate my knowledge through conversation there for talk about what I know. Is there a formal assessment where students can be assessed in this way apart from perhaps language courses? By answering a series of prescribed questions. The risk is that the questions could be divisive and exclude others. Maybe the criteria can be student focused and student led.

 

Decolonising the Curriculum

Decolonising the curriculum what does that mean? Decolonising a curriculum is not just about a more expansive reading list to feature text of black Asian minority ethnic subjects and writers.  Although a most substantial start as I have come across researcher Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o who’s book Decolonising the mind lead me to his quote:

Values are the basis the People’s identity, their sense of particularity as members of the human race. Language as culture is the collective memory bank of the people’s experience in history. Thiong’o, Ngũgĩ wa (1986)

Decolonising the curriculum in my opinion is to address these values people’s cultural and racial identities and experience. It is the acceptance to acknowledge respect and apply non-white non-European histories, cultures, arts and humanities has also shaped our globe. This acceptance however takes form in action to physically address and make significant changes. To decolonise in Art and Design also reaches further than the teaching of European white male artists. There is a need to employ the richness of ensuring cultural diversity to bring down the barriers of inequalities. I believe that there is a shift happening. Voices no longer remain in the margins as collectively they have become too loud to be ignored. Now becoming visible.

Decolonising the Arts Curriculum zine is an important and most necessary publication for all students and staff. A collaboration between Hansika Jethnani (students’ union), Lucy Panesar and Rahul Patel (Teaching and Learning exchange, UAL) to invite students staff to make contributions and sharing and rich wealth of experiences explores decolonising arts education. I am happily proud and grateful to be a contributor to this zine sharing hopes for a decolonised arts education.

I was pleased to be invited by Rahul to make a small speach amongst other contributors at the  launch event on Thursday 14th June  at UAL Central Saint Martins. It was an inspiring evening hearing the narratives of the contributors and an honour to share a platform with. The well attendance of this launch signified that positive shift as the dialogue of the evening evidenced the action for change.

The zine can be accessed here:

 

Freire Video Task

The Inclusive Teaching Unit uses, as one of its key theories, critical pedagogy. In preparation for the start of the course we would like you to watch the following 14 minute film on Critical Pedagogy from the Friere Project:

and come to the first session prepared to discuss the following prompt questions:

  • What are the central concerns of critical pedagogy?

Critiacal Pedagogy, I take from the video ‘the study of oppression in education, of how issues of race, gender, class and sexuality religion is shapes what happens in the classroom’. I Identitfy it as what we is taught is used to control thinking and to be taught be the views of those in power. It is a form of dictatorship and conditioning of minds to control one way of thinking. It is a political move to of power to keep people in line, controlled, a form of slavery by promoting only one view in order to keep those that are privileged in power.  Critical Pedagogy aims to break down the oppressive value system that has an impact on people in working class or poor communities.

The concerns are that there is no equal education.

The central concerns to critical pedagogy is that some teachers teach students by rote. By just being told what to do and then students memorising a formula.  This is shown in the video when the high school teacher asks the student of what is a circle and he is answer is so prescribed and memorised. Freire describes this as depository, just placing in the mind of the student one way of thinking with prepared answered by the teacher.

Continue reading “Freire Video Task”

The, Academic Enhancement Model (AEM) Workshop

I attended the Theatre Design Academic Enhancement Model (AEM) course team workshop at CCW Wimbledon College of Arts. The AEM meeting was to address any anxieties of the results of the National Student Survey (NSS) of data that had fallen below the benchmarks surrounding theatre design department. It was to look at the student experience and attainment gaps between Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and home white students and the attainment gaps between International and home students. This was a good opportunity for me to participate and support, highlighting inclusive teaching within Theatre Design course. There was a concern that inclusive practice in the department would come under scrutiny.

The workshop was revealing. The data from the survey was both enlightening and disturbing. The attainment overview provided a clear graphic to the population of International and BAME and international students. It was disturbing to see highlighted that between 2014 to 2017 that there are no BAME students to have gained a 2:1 or a 1st class honours and have a wider attainment gap compared with International  and EU students.

The summary of student feedback for 2017 had good positive comments with regards to sense of community. The concern was the attainment gap figures. The report (Appendix A) showed that within BA (Hons) Theatre Design there is a -18% attainment gap between Home BAME students, at 67% and Home White students at 84%, -29% attainment gap between International students at 52% and Home students at 80%.

Reviewing the data on I had not been aware of such a big gap and It was glaringly obvious it would have a direct impact of the student experience that effects student attainment. The student experience and how what they are learning relates to them is important. I therefore refer to this: HE providers must recognise they must ensure that all students are included and experience equitable participation within the HE environment. (Wray. M 2013) On of my reasons for being and remaining in education is that I want to ensure that all students receive a fair education with the equal amount of opportunity.

In pairs we reviewed from set questions the learning journey of 3 year from 1st to 3rd year; how subjects taught connect and interconnect and how they were scaffolded. The question raised in the workshop was what learning experience are the students receiving? How is this a direct link to the current curriculum? To answer those questions, the workshop entailed drawing out a curriculum map from the 1st year to the 3rd, looking at the units and what they are learning and the relevance to their cultural experience.

New to the theatre design department I am interested through both the Learning and Teaching and Inclusive Teaching and Learning units to answer this question proposed by Simon Betts Dean of Performance: ‘What is the course’s philosophical position and belief the minute they (the students) arrive on the journey of the course?

I include by asking What is the philosophical underpinning through the course culturally and educationally?

We dissected areas within it to outline what was working and what need to be developed. The issue became clear that the curriculum map that there was more scope for students to bring their own voice of self-identity for opportunities to learn from and about each other. The questions were raised to where students do they recognise themselves and where their work is celebrated.

The desire to introduce an inclusive pedagogy must appear early on because once a student has been through the set process in the curriculum before they can actualise their own identities. It was acknowledged this should not occur too late a stage in the curriculum map.

From the discussions and perspectives that took place various suggestions were highlighted that can happen early on:

  • New diverse writing and contemporary text to appear throughout the course.
    The celebration of what the students can bring.
  • A student focus with care and attention to inclusivity right from the beginning of the course/academic year.
  • Create opportunities to carve a direction of what we stand for in Theatre Design at Wimbledon and how its supported through the pedagogy.
Dashboard filters is useful for refined data research.

The meeting was a good activity to unpick the units of the course and how it can be scaffolded where a more inclusive pedagogy is applied. Through the Inclusive Teaching and Learning Unit, I will use the curriculum map drawn out in this session to plan and apply my intervention towards inclusive practice. I obviously will reflect on this day in my approach to address key points raised in this workshop. I will also continue with my reading and research within my inclusive practice unit and to refer to the data on dashboard. My intervention will be documented in my written report once applied.

 

References:

Wray, M. (2013) Developing an inclusive culture in higher education: final report. York: Higher Education Academy.

Inclusive Teaching and Learning: Faith #1

 Religion, Belief and Faith identities UAL website 
http://religiousliteracy.myblog.arts.ac.uk/ and answer the questions. 
#

How could you apply the resources to your own teaching practice?

First of all the look and feel of the UAL website comes across as sterile and basic. This suggests to me that UAL are simply answering to the standardised ‘Government’ requirements in order to climb up in the ranking of universities. Disappointingly there are only four entries in the students and alumni section. There is a missed opportunity for more student involvement to this area of the site.

The case studies are useful tools for lecturers to share their practice and ideas that can be considered and adopted by others. It also reassures my own teaching practice where I identify with similar approaches and am inspired by their ideas.

I would introduce a short taster project brief as a form of an induction and introduction to social awareness that incorporates understanding and respect for one another’s religion or non-religion. They would include articles from the resource section of the site. For example Shades of Noir Race, Religion & Free Speech.

The Quiet Capsule Design Project I found to be an interesting way to provide a shared and public space beneficial to all.
This could be referenced to students for either when starting a project that or incorporate into an existing one.

The links from the resources page has some useful links and materials that can be used within lesson and incorporated into a scheme of work within the curriculum. Taking students to relevant exhibitions and events.

How could you integrate the research/work your students do on this subject into your teaching/professional practice?

There are vast places and iconography within the architecture and public spaces in and around London that students can explore and record. A purpose visit for visual recording and religious history. Recently some Mosques have been made listed buildings.

Invite artists and designers of a practicing faith to either give talks or run a workshop the students.  Set a project brief that involves students to work directly with the community. To therefore set a community project focused within one or more or the many areas in London that exudes a rich and diverse mixtures of religious cultures. Direct community involvement would be good to share narratives and language to be able to articulate and broaden understanding of equality and justice.

To find commonalities and a shared identity provided through a brief that deploys ‘a sense of purpose rather than self-interest’ (Cahourn 2014).

Students would be encouraged to explore within diverse communities the public space and the influences and contribution religion has within these spaces. A practical example would be engage students in open dialogue to talk about the artefacts that I bring and the purpose of the lesson and allowing the students to identify with the topic or subject matter.

Can you cIte examples? 
You will share your thoughts within your groups and comment and share further resources you use in your own context.

Encouraged to point out the diverse mix of religious and cultural iconography in around London.

Black influential speaker on faith and education:
Dr Constantino Dumangane Jr. Dumangane,

https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/people/view/577479-dumangane-constantino-jr

(2017). The significance of faith for Black men’s educational aspirations. British Educational Research Journal (accepted and forthcoming in 2017).

Inclusive Teaching and Learning: Faith #2

There is a familiar and age old saying that one should “Never Discuss Politics or Religion in polite company”. It simply identifies that discussion of these topics, and bringing into question peoples belief systems can be volatile. Your opinions may offend or you may reveal too much of your true self, and be open to criticism. Both politics and religion have an influence on one another that can become so blurred that it is difficult to separate the two. In some societies, religion is the politics of the country. In others religion is built into the fabric of it’s laws although not always explicitly evident. The UK for example, has a division between church and state that it prides itself upon. However, there is also a monarchy that has it’s own Christian religion, The Church of England. The UK is a Christian based society

Three headings stood out for me when I first read the stimulus paper; Multiculturalism, Minority identities and Government and the public Good. They all, to some extent equate religion and politics together with taking different stances on how much or how little a role religion should play within society or the public sphere which, of course, includes higher education.

Modood’s text reminded me just how new multiculturalism is in western Europe and how easy it is to regress to ‘old’ ways of thinking. It made me question how easy it would be to return to a position whereby I as a black woman, a mother and a teacher am not considered to belong. Simply because of who I am. It saddens me that in some small way this is already happening.

Modood starts his discussion on the emergence of multiculturalism with the 1960’s  emergence of organising minority –majority relations. He talked ‘new social movements’ and the ‘politics of politics of gender, race and sexuality’. He sites that it was the recognition of ethno-religious minorities through immigration and the acknowledgement of, and respect for difference in order to provide equality and equal rights, that fuelled this new way of thinking and the need for accommodation and not tolerance of differences. Government policies were put in place to ensure equality and to challenge discrimination. This in effect is what we now call multiculturalism, the ideology that all men are created equal.

I believe our respect for difference is important for how we live in the public sphere.  Madood is an advocate for multiculturalism and I identify with many of the opinions he express in his text. For example, I can see the negative influence that incidents like the Iraq war, 9/11 and subsequent terror attacks, have on the way the public sphere views Islam and Muslims. The consequence is that Islam has been called into question and Muslims are now a target for blame by the ‘Ethnic Majority’ who now have reason to feel less safe. The word Muslim has now adopted as a religious identity places both the people and the religion under scrutiny. When grouped together with tough economic policies in the UK and the immigration ‘problem’. Multiculturalism is now becoming unpopular with the ‘majority public’ with Islam one focal point of the cause for its unpopularity.

The majority of this post-immigration ethno-religious population is Muslim but the shift towards Muslimness was partly facilitated by an evolving and expansive set of identity politics and equality discourses in general and multiculturalism in particular, as for example these minority identities transmuted or expanded from colour identities (eg, Black) to ethnic identities (such as Pakistani) to religious identities (such as Muslim).

Immigration policies are promoted by multiculturalism’s unpopularity, by the toleration of difference. Toleration suggests to me the acceptance of something one does really appreciate, not liking someone, something or a situation (through lack of understanding) and merely having to put up with it. This toleration brews resentment where I notice there is now a push back with some of the ‘ethnic minority’  having decided not to put up with multiculturalism in fear of losing their identity in the British landscape of what they deem their Christian country. The argument being that the ‘multi’ mix of different cultures occupying segregated spaces within Britain and not integrating with the British way. This feeling is born of ignorance and that the ‘British way’ is now diverse, multicultural and multi faith. The consequence; border controls, political debates on immigration, social issues surrounding Brexit. Then government position in the addition of ‘Britishness’ to the school curriculum and PREVENT policies in schools, colleges and universities.

Modood in his writing highlights the point:

“Equality therefore requires the abandonment of the pretense of ‘difference-blindness’ and allowing others, the marginalised minorities, to also be visible and explicitly accommodated in the public sphere”

The respect for difference is important, one may not share the same views or religious beliefs but it is important to have open and shared dialogue for understanding amongst each other. To be inclusive of all regardless of religion or non-religion allowing for students to express themselves freely without feeling confined to the opinions of other people and to carry that thinking through all teaching and all characteristics is one way to allow multiculturalism to thrive.

Difference blindness pretending that we are all the same is to ignore the difference rather than being challenged to address our differences. I relate this to my school education in sameness of treatment where the Christian religion featured strongly in British schools and society. UK public holidays and events reinforced this. Christianity dominated throughout my school life, I was taught only on a basic level about other religions however very basic fed from a curriculum that promoted Eurocentric Christian ideals and imagery or as Calhoun mentions in Religion as a Public Good, ‘The one sided presence of Christian public symbolism is telling’.

Therefore in my practice I consider the following to accommodate all students for inclusive teaching:

  • Awareness and inclusion of religious and cultural difference of the cohort of students in the lesson.
  • Allowing the students to express themselves and their identities through the aims and objectives of the task. Considering outcomes from different religious and cultural perspectives.
  • The use of materials, references and subject matter that students can identify and relate.

Calhoun in his lecture on Religion, Government and the Public Good expresses that:

 “We live in an era that is shaped by three difficulties which we might think of as difficulties as being articulate. Saying things that we want to say but difficulties that we can’t quite get out. That we know at some level but have trouble being explicit about. The articulacy depends on language and narrative the way we represent the world to ourselves”.

By not talking about it limits us to be articulate our thoughts and feelings therefore unable to promote a harmonious way of living in the public sphere. Because we have not taught about religion it create a problem to be open and articulate our ideas to each other about faith. I see universities are a setting in which I can learn from the cohort of students as they can learn from each other. Therefore I can reflect to learn, develop and share knowledge through open discussion in my teaching practice. Therefore I find Calhouns quote in ‘Religion as a Public Good’ reassuring:

“Public engagement with religion – including in universities – offers opportunities for both learning and achieving the public good.”

I found this paper interesting as the common threads between the two writers for a  shared public space. I learnt along the way about interculturalism that is more in favour within current policies, where Modood argues that it leaves out space to accommodate for multicultural policies. I see interculturalism with interesting concepts for interactions and shared understanding of other cultures. However like Modood I wonder if this will see the abandonment of multiculturalism and religious equality.

The university environment is not like school, there is not a scope for generic learning around Multiculturalism, Minority identities or religion, however most will attempt to promote equality as is their legal duty.

There are forums and societies for many protected identities including religions and cultures, however as with society the university environment is a group of people working with one another in the hope that we are all morally aware and seek the best for each other. As an educator and influencer my teaching practice must be inclusive and offer a breadth of understanding that accommodates all.

Discussion points and questions from the reading:

  • Religion as a public good:
    With the increased level of differing people of different ethnicity and culture how will universities address the burden of integration that falls disproportionately on minorities?
  • Minority identities:
    Do we face a future where people’s identities through their practice of faith becomes eradicated? This relates to  a conversation I had with a friend regarding to a company in France where colleagues, staff with Muslim names had to adopt European name for the sales of the company.

Inclusive Teaching and Learning at Higher Education: GENDER #3

Pay it No Mind- The life and times of Marsha P. Johnson:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjN9W2KstqE

The life and times of Marsha P Johnson seem to summarize the subject of patriarchy and its damaging effect. Watching the film I discovered how positive, tenacious and determined Marsha P Johnson was despite physical and psychological abuse. During a heightened time civil rights movement Johnson intersected boundaries of race, sex, class and religion. Such historical characters as Marsha P Johnson through their lives of discrimination, abuse and struggle paved the way for those that are marginalised by the acts of prejudice derived from the acts of patriarchy. How tough it would have been for a black transgender to be so vocal (visually and verbally) during that turbulent time of the late 60’s and 70’s? The film reveals the hostility, torture and the effects it had on Johnson’s well-being and mental health. But then the interview showed the mental strength, awareness and insight Johnson had to be such a pioneering activist by nature. Her performance and poetry was inspiring. Watching the film, I made ‘coincidental’ connections to Marsha P Johnson in my review of the supporting trans students UAL website and selection of artist Andrea Bowers.  Beforehand, I was unaware Johnson, a black advocate for gay rights and social justice for street dwellers and teenage runaways that she mentored.  Neither the fact that Johnson was a co-founder of Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries (STAR), was depicted by Andy Warhol artwork and had such powerful prominence to be sadly taken away by her tragic death. Questions that surrounds her death has been highlighted by gay rights activists as the violence against transgender women.

Inclusive Teaching and Learning at Higher Education: GENDER #2

Reading of Bell Hooks, (2013) ‘Understanding Patriarchy’ 
http://imaginenoborders.org/pdf/zines/UnderstandingPatriarchy.pdf 


Understanding Patriarchy was an insightful read. In reading, I made connections to instances exampled from either Hooks personal stories, thoughts or explanations. In some cases, I had felt like saying snap! Like going through a split deck of cards face down placing each familiar characteristics of the card face layered on top of the other (however) in no particular (hierarchal) order where there’s the reveal of the recognisable matching suit.
In reading I can identify areas where to use the phrase of Terrance Real ‘Physiological Patriarchy’ is carried out.

An important thing that I have learnt from the text is the power patriarchy has on the social psychological conditioning to create a collective mindset of people’s behaviours. These learnt behaviours can be subtle as it’s established in in everyday culture. Hook quotes “The psychological terrorism and violence,” that maintains learnt behaviours because the fear of acting against the conditioning of patriarchy may lead to negative consequences. As Hook mentions that this patriarchy is reinforced by religion, home, schools. Areas we people are taught fear of retribution. There’s also the media; magazines, film, drama, television, advertising, computer games, social media can be tools to amplify areas of defined gender roles, violence and a woman’s and a man’s place.

The retelling was necessary to reinforce both the message and the remembered state of absolute powerless. Could it be the retelling of these stories in the media are absorbed into the psyche? By submission, engaging in such media that promotes, violence and dominance takes away our own power?

Patriarchy is a subject I believe we are all too familiar with. As a word relatively new to my vocabulary, however, reading Bell Hooks essay made me think more directly about the unconscious behaviours and attitudes that play out in everyday social activities. Reading her story I couldn’t help reflecting on my own in terms of the prescribed set of rules of how girls and boys should be. I grew up labelled a ‘Tom Boy’ as my interests were in perceived boys stuff, my interest was in racing cars and computer games. I was included in on boy’s games at playtime because of my athletic physique, I could fight and ran faster than many of them. But then looking back makes me think of what laws of patriarchy I was subconsciously conforming to, in my objection to following set scripts, of how a girl should be?

My experience working in Graphic Design, where twenty years ago this industry was heavily male-dominated. Decades prior, Graphic Design was considered as a man’s profession. Working in an environment amongst men it was important to have a voice when I came up against any acts of Patriarchy. That voice was not to necessarily shout out loud either but to take a simple action in protest.

Hook describes the courageous voices of visionary feminists that as were astute to replace the words sexism and male chauvinism for patriarchy. Patriarchy in its effectiveness is multi-layered and multifaceted that surround us in many social contexts.

One of those layers is understood through reading Hooks description of certain feminists caught up in upholding their part in a patriarchy by solely blaming men and for the oppression though sexism in as hooks describes ‘their own lust for power’. Yet another side to this is the complacent attitudes to be passive and allow patriarchy to take place as exampled by Hooks story about her mother.

Then there are layers to which the fact of how men are equally affected and suffer the pain of patriarchy. Importantly how this system impairs their mental health and well-being. Also how the brutality of patriarchy affects males to imitate such behaviours. Hooks highlights the emotional pain patriarchy has on men that are echoed and exampled on ‘caygin’ blogsite. The theory is that boys are brought up to develop certain characteristics.  Characteristics that are pushed by society in the pressure to conform.https://caygin.wordpress.com/chapters-3/emotional-shut-down

As a mother of a daughter and son, I can relate to Terrance Real and Bell Hooks on the accounts of giving my children the space to be. Mindful to try and have balance. Household chores are not gender specific there are jobs to be done together for a cleaner, (physically and mentally) sound environment.

In teaching, similarly, it is important to have balance, collaboration and a sound environment. Students, will have already a defined and determined set of ways, influenced by patriarchal factors that they have been either indoctrinated or exposed to. Therefore as a teacher to provide a comfortable space to allow students the openness examine this and the freedom to be.

Hook’s final words is that ‘We must all change’. Change can only come about by not being silent.

‘This silence promotes denial’

‘A great majority of individuals enforce an unspoken rules in culture that is maintained’.

We have seen this actioned out in the media from Saville to Weinstein. People who were silent are now speaking out. When silence is broken only then change can begin to happen. In the practice of teaching, how do we react to and address any unjust behaviours being done onto others or ourselves?

Hooks I believe, deliberately offers no suggestion of how we must all change. This essay is to provoke thought, possibly to make us more aware of and question our own selves. A personal reflection on our current roles, upbringing and past experience shared to realise the commonalities that affect us all.

Are there areas of our own experiences recognisable in the game of cards that can inform us to how we can dismantle the rules of patriarchy?

Maybe. As with self-awareness, we can begin to make a change.

https://organizingchange.org/patriarchy-persists-can-change/

 

Some further questions:
What effective strategies can be used to address patriarchal learned behaviours?
Who defines the rules of these prescribed gender roles to be unlearnt?

Inclusive Teaching and Learning at Higher Education: GENDER #1

Gender Diversity at UAL website http://supportingtransstudents.myblog.arts.ac.uk/

How could you apply the resources to your own teaching practice?
Initially, I thought there was not much immediate information on how to support transgender students on this web resource page. The information is directed elsewhere to either a designated member of staff to press further enquiries or a website to outside agency that offer training in this area. Other than a list of Gender Neutral toilets the rest seems to be left up to one’s own initiative to seek guidance and training in this area and to conduct one’s own research to support their students. However, spending time going through the website and particularly ‘Understanding gender diversity’ on the site there are useful articles and links to be passed on to students.

With the insight and awareness to consider people’s feelings. Mindful of how students are addressed and address each other in order to promote an environment where students are at ease. Also, the security for students to voice their thoughts and feelings.

Therefore from the beginning (the induction), I would make students aware that there is no place for prejudice and discrimination of any kind. The video ‘Things Not To Say To A Trans Person’ is a very helpful introduction to address this issue.

Practical ways are to use the links and the information on the site to support and direct students. As a teacher, member of staff, ensure that students are aware of the facilities and support that is available to them and not to single anyone out. To be open approachable and empathic, that students feel reassured to discuss personal matters in confidence. Essentially to address and treat all equally.

The resources can be used as research tools to help plan activities that generate open discussion.  Some of the articles, videos and links provided online would be a good introduction to a project that addresses these issues. So going back to my initial thoughts it’s a case of developing an initiative to seek to understand through one’s own research.

How could you integrate the research/work your students do on this subject into your teaching/professional practice? 


By having discussion, communication and reference.
Visual art is a platform for communication that imparts information and message that can read universally. Where possible I  utilise acquired skills in my art and graphic design practice. Use elements of visual communication to provide a space for storytelling, conversation, poetry. The research work students do would be through observations and analysis of the world around them. Respond to current affairs and the work of relevant artists. Invite someone to provide a workshop or talk that relates to their personal experience of being Transgender.

https://issuu.com/shadesofnoir/docs/shades_of_noir_identity__disruption

http://www.somarts.org/thirdmuslim/

THE THIRD MUSLIM, JANUARY 25–FEBRUARY 22, 2018
: 14 artists create a platform for visibility and an archive of resistance within queer, trans* and gender non-conforming Muslim communities.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/jan/22/lgbt-muslims-san-francisco-art

The above links can be good reference points for observational study and analysis.

Can you cite examples? 
You will share your thoughts within your groups and comment and share further resources you use in your own context.

Andrea Bowers
https://creators.vice.com/en_au/article/53w4da/andrea-bowers-trans-activist-art-exhibit

Could be a starting point for a topical project. A portrait springs to mind but not necessarily figurative.

Other thoughts brainstorming ideas
Perhaps as an Introduction/ icebreakers starter project, to have students could make something collaboratively.

A study of everyday household objects that have suggested gender roles and attributes but change its features.
Build a flat pack chest of draws, dressing table with mirror. what would go in it? How would it be decorated – a form of a portrait?
Design a universal toilet Lid or no lid. Low or high (refer to Duchamp in term of change and public perception).
Designs on toilet paper

Learning through creative play. Association of familiar, objects, colours (pink Blue, Black and white) and words. Use of language and words and the effect of its repetition.