Race 3

The room of silence

(Work in progress)

The room of silence a personal and emotional place of recognition of the student experiences I only know too well. What black person or person of colour has not been through the similar experiences? A Latino student in the video mentions how she counts the number of students of colour that are in prominently white places. How many black people or person of colour have walked into many higher educational establishments and counted how many black people are occupying those spaces?

There is so much to be said about this video. For each of the student experiences highlighted in the video I could give many accounts to experiences (those that are my own or of other people) influenced my teaching practice. It’s all cliché to use regurgitate words I have heard educational establishments use to promote themselves so many times of being ‘student centred’ if not all students and their needs are considered.  For a start teacher must invest the time to find out about their students and their communities. The importance of respectfully addressing the student by name and making time to find out and share the student interests. A poignant comment from a student describes his treatment of his teacher continuously not bothering to address him by his correct name and the fellow students highlighting the fact.

“How I exist in my space will affect how I perform and will directly affect my grade.”

I identify from watching the video how the students were made to feel invisible and therefore isolated.  This isolation, no representation, mentor or guide that understand the student and supports their need leads to poor attainment and the widening of the gap.

It made me consider in my practice the importance to show care and understanding for all students from the basics of sharing with them their interests. As a black member of staff this is something I have always done as a teacher. I use current topics of interest to engage all students and support learning and to develop good relationships. These students have invested their time, energy and money to not receive a lesser experience!

It is important not to tolerate and form of discrimination and abuse. This video I would show to students and staff to be ground rules set out from the beginning.

In brief here are highlighted issues for me that teachers need to be aware and address in their practice to facilitate their students.

  • Student feedback is important it helps you to find ways to help the student in return.
  • Students from the start should be encouraged to share information ideas about themselves and their interests. This will inform and teach each other as well as the teacher.
  • Take the time to research topics that students are interested in to support, you will learn something.
  • There need to be a wider mentoring program for students to receive guidance and support from

The classroom crit is a place of power and oppression.
The room of silence screams of the ignorance that white teachers, those coming from a place of privilege have no interests, in not finding it necessary to even begin to relate, investigate or understand BAME students. The isolation of the crit, the stripping of ones identity to not talk about artist themes that relate to race, gender, sexuality, disability and faith can mentally and physically castrating thus damaging. Wanting to silence those students who have valuable contributions. Their right to freedom of expression that is not offensive to others denied. Its seen a confrontational, where a student wishes to assert their art with confidence is taken as aggressive or shut down or ignored. This bears similarities to Tappers piece a psychological mind game with subconscious and mindful intent.

I have been in that place where I have produced artwork and presented at a class crit to be denied and classed as too political or not quite fitting the brief. My sister who had gone through the same experience had warned me after I came home feeling deflated from a crit. “The moment you mention the subject of your identity and race it will affect how the teachers treat you and have an on your place on the course and impact on your grade”. She had said that through her own place of pain having decided that after the first year to leave the fashion course and pursue writing instead. This was over thirty years ago and still this classroom conflict continues! Did my sisters comment suggest that to survive higher education a non-white student not reference their own identity? To strip away heritage and culture and belief to thrive and survive in these white spaces within the institution? There seems to be that expectation of refusal to address issues of identity and race for being too uncomfortable. There is no more room to extend the comfort zone. By ignoring the issue doesn’t mean it’s going away.

Important to watch

Decolonising the Institution #2 | Shades of Noir

Related reads

‘Black Faces in White Spaces’: Spotlight on Rhian Spencer

Peekaboo We See You Whiteness


Race – The Robber’s Cave experiment

The psychology around The Robber’s Cave experiment is an interesting one. How would The Robbers Cave experiment work in a classroom setting? Does it already exist as a place of conflict? I say yes. I can compare the concept of this experiment to the Inclusive Teaching and Learning Unit and the Teaching Within program. There is no doubt when some white academics are confronted by the fact that their methods and practices are profoundly Eurocentric. Where alternative methods for inclusive teaching are introduced by BAME staff the reaction is often one of hostility.

The ‘defiance’ black academics pose is a simple one of delivering an inclusive pedagogy. Addressing the lack of diversity within the institution by employing a curriculum, methods of teaching that encourages cultural diversity. Creating spaces that supports all students to receive enhanced learning, deep thinking and a place to become a visible voice.

This is not widely accepted with some academics within the institution. Particularly from those that come from a place of privilege are challenged to think about their own position of having been blinkered and disconnected to issues of social injustice with regards to identities and race.

The resource seen as limited by those who are insecure wishing to retain their position of power In denial to amend those insecurities their hostility creates conflict. You’ve only got to read Inside the Ivory Tower: Narratives of Women of Colour Surviving and Thriving in British academia (10 Nov 2017) to see how it plays out in Higher Education. The key issue here is that are presence resist erasure, therefore the current lack of representation of BAME students and staff is temporary.

Where would the need for cooperation to take place? The result of National Student Surveys Government rule? Or by creating positively structured environments where to have the opportunity to re evaluate relations with one another. (Tapper).  The Inclusive Teaching and Learning Unit, and Shades of Noir are such that positively structured environments for understanding and changing mindsets.

Race -1

Shades of Noir (SoN) http://shadesofnoir.org.uk/

(work in progress)

  • How could you apply the resources to your own teaching practice?
    “how do I apply the resources to my own teaching practice?”.
    Shades for me is a place of comfort to research, catch up on current affairs local and beyond that pushes the marginal line of inequality. SoN is a space for wider knowledge and understanding of topics  the first instance there is a wealth of resources that can be used towards planning lesson and projects to open discussion and awareness to thinking critically on. Reading articles in the Arts, Media and Education sections can support curriculum planning and widen my knowledge and help to keep me abreast of news and current affairs that can be shared with the students and directed to collegues.SoN keeps me updated and informed of events that I can participate in and share with my students and those that I encounter. It’s a news source so the archives are beneficial to referencing. I have been fortunate to have participated in some of the lectures to feed my knowledge and share in debates and discussions. Contributions can be made to where.I tend to use the Terms of reference zines to enhance and support any ideas I have on the themes for teaching. The range of articles is a place that teachers can broaden their knowledge and issues surrounding race, class, gender, faith disability, therefore to gain insight and understanding of their students that assist teaching towards equality and social justice.There is a wealth of activities and events that I can participate and well as my students. If there are things that I need to be more aware of in order to understand and support my students more I tend to use the Terms of reference.



For teaching and learning of my artefact I visited the education section of shades I like also going to the database to explore and see what I can find with regards to my interests and subject areas for my teaching practice.

Diigo Database



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

Most recently students have been researching the theme of marginalised voices through the prism of gender and race. This stemmed from my artefact. I found to have an artefact to base the lesson on a really important and powerful tool for student engagement and for my own lesson planning . It was a good foundation to scaffold learning and critical thinking and awareness.

Students in their groups had discussed mind mapped and shared ideas on who they considered to be marginalised groups. They then narrorowed down to focus on one marginalised group in particular. on uncover

The scaffolding began with students sharing with each other aspects of their identity through discussion based on a drawing tasks of their lips and 5 key words to describe themselves. They were paired with a partner that they would not normally sit with in the social context of friendship groups in the classroom that forced the students to discuss and find out more about their peers. I had direct the students to Shades of Noir for their research on marginalised voices and importantly as a place for them to learn and become involved events.





  •  Can you cite examples? 
You will share your thoughts within your groups and comment and share further resources you use in your own context.I had left students on at the end of the fist day with the word Intersectionality an explained clearly the history of the phrase coined by Kimberley Crenshaw in 1989.In my research for reaching my artefact to BA Theatre Design students I came across some interesting websites that can be a point of reference for students and colleagues.

Here is a really interesting video regarding featuring Dorinda Carter on  Equity and Equality that helped me to understand the article I had read on the same subject.

The consciousness gap in education – an equity imperative | Dorinda Carter Andrews | TEDxLansingED



Micro teach

  • Notes on Micro teach a work in progress to be completed with images included.

The micro teach was really an interesting morning and day of teaching and learning and participating in the lessons of the micro teach everyone had something different to share.


The thing I found beneficial about the micro teach lessons and also interesting what’s that we were in a position of the students participating within the micro teach therefore was able to consider from the other side of being a student. Therefore to consider what they may be going through an experience in within that lesson.


It was interesting to see the different teaching styles that was literally brought to the table. I also found interesting the different ways in order to engage students the important thing was to maybe get student starting straight away into action I’ve learnt this from my own teaching experience at secondary that having a starter activity to get into straight away or engaged students.


What the micro teach lessons had in common ways to involve student discussion therefore to assess learning and ideas methods of gathering and huddle review and discuss the progress of learning and learning outcomes by the use of peer and tutor feedback. This helps to bring equity into a lesson and a great opportunity to stretch students into thinking critically. To engage students  with themselves and their ideas as well as engaging of current themes such as sustainability, social justice, politics.


Show presentation slides are also useful they can be structured to fall in line with the lesson delivery for instance having a question at the start or starter then the task then some references for the main and a slide for the plenary therefore a presentation example resources which is something to go to students along and also use for the teacher to keeping alignment to the lesson plan.

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”

Inclusive Teaching and Learning: Faith #3

Reflection on Kwame Anthony Appiah,  Reith lecture on Creed

Kwame Anthony Appiah cross all the boundaries and his own life identity and background answers directly to the concepts of Multiculturalism. He is British of mixed parentage, educated in Britain where he and in a same sex marriage. His address was engaging with identifiable humour that highlights the people’s perceptions and stereotypes, by his appearance, accent education and lifestyle.  His grounding within his family history and his in-depth knowledge that he shares I find interesting. The exploration of identity through narratives is thought-provoking. People engage in stories to learn about each other and themselves. Certain scriptures can be viewed as stories open to interpretation and referred to for a set of behaviours and religious traditions. Appiah describes the survival of the scriptures of not just being just a set of rules and instructions of how to live and open to interpretation. Interpretation can create avenues for manipulation in that can lead to discrimination and control. Importantly religion and the practice of faith within religious communities makes progressive changes to adapt and meet the demands of gender and equality. Therefore religion and its faith is a communal practice and way of life.

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,


(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.