Developing a framework for inclusive practice in the workshop

  • Clare Sams: Stitch Technician, CSM

Brief description of session and activities

Through researching theories of improving inclusivity in teaching and learning, I became aware that my own artistic influences were a dramatic case of “unconscious bias’ (Kandola 2009). The work I promoted and valued in the workshop was hindering inclusivity in the learning environment, and I embarked upon exploring ways to change this.

Working as a technician on the foundation in art and design I encounter students from various artistic disciplines at the beginning of their arts education. The students are diverse in gender, nationality, and race, and many are at the very beginning of their academic life. The learning environment in the workshop is open access and often demonstration based, leaving little opportunity to develop a dialogue with the students.

The intervention of introducing a notice board of the learners artistic influences, rather than my own, will utilise a simple forum to promote inclusive practice in the workshop. By changing the format of the workshop notice board, this will actively welcome and value the students own art and design influences.  This will provide an opportunity for students to feel a sense of ownership of the learning space (Bhagat and O’Niell 2011). The lack of ownership of the space by the students is a barrier to learning which could be actively challenged by the change.

Inspired by the recommendations of Hooks (1994) to make room for the students voice in learning and teaching, I found that this intervention could also act as a forum for dialogue within the workshop, which is often absent in technical teaching. The intervention would help to promote inclusivity and intercultural competence (Eisenschlas and Treveskes 2007) whilst giving the students the opportunity to teach me about themselves.

How will students be involved in the session?


What will participants take away from the session?

Valuing the students influences and cultural capital as an essential route to an inclusive pedagogy