'Show Racism the Red Card': collaborative approaches to diversify curriculum

  • Louise Taylor: Project Support Tutor, Widening Participation, LCC

Brief description of session and activities

The Widening Participation team at LCC is currently working with the Foundation Diploma at LCC on the project ‘Show Racism the Red Card’. With 350 foundation students, it is a large group that reflects the diversity of the London area (a large proportion of students are from surrounding boroughs), with 30+% of Home/EU students from non-white backgrounds and a large number of international students.

The project is large in scale with students working on a brief set by SRRC through their different pathways. A selection of the work produced by students will be shown in the Nursery Gallery at LCC at the end of October 2013 to coincide with Black History month. The issues raised through this project have also been explored in relation to teaching and Foundation staff and WP advocates at LCC have attended a workshop given by 2 trainers from SRRC exploring issues of racism.

Initial feedback from students has suggested that this project has been useful in getting students to think about how they interpret briefs, approach a broad and complex subject matter and in doing so, how they might draw upon individual social and cultural experiences in producing work.

This has raised some interesting questions in terms of learning and teaching that I would like to use this session to explore. For example, who serves as role models for students? How do we facilitate reflection as a learning outcome? How can projects like this provide space for debate or reflection? How can the cultural capital within a diverse group enrich student experience? Has the subject matter encouraged group working at this early stage? Do students yet have the confidence to make work about their own experiences?

Over the coming months I will explore some of these issues in focus groups with students. I would like to present my findings in the session, alongside examples of students’ work to initiate a discussion and explore ways in which we might improve future practice -this is one of 3 collaborative projects that the WP department are involved in over the coming months.

How will students be involved in the session?

I would like students to contribute to this presentation and will be looking at filming my focus group. I think it would be helpful to have a student voice as part of the workshop and will be asking if any of the students would like to co-present with me. I will also be asking at least one member of the LCC Foundation course team to contribute to the presentation.

What will participants take away from the session?

What will participants take away from the session? I would like this session to form the basis for a meaningful discussion into the issues I have outlined and I hope that the feedback I collect over the next few months will bring a strong student voice to my presentation.

I would like participants to see an example of how work with organisations outside of the university might help to build a diverse curriculum and to see some great examples of the work produced by students on this project.

Finally, I would like some feedback from my colleagues as to how we might continue to improve our practice over forthcoming WP projects at LCC.