Working with a diverse range of students

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Session overview. Introduction to diversity issuesRaising some of the issues for demonstrators in engineering and science departmentsSmall group discussions of scenariosFeedback . Diversity includes .. RaceReligion or belief DisabilityGender AgeOffender statusSexual orientation Non-tradit

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Working with a diverse range of students

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1. Working with a diverse range of students Ivan Moore, Engineering Subject Centre

2. Session overview Introduction to diversity issues Raising some of the issues for demonstrators in engineering and science departments Small group discussions of scenarios Feedback

3. Diversity includes …. Race Religion or belief Disability Gender Age Offender status Sexual orientation Non-traditional background Personal circumstances Focussing first on Race /Religion (and related cultural issues) and secondly on disability Note - false assumption that race identifies faith. Religions is often not seen as intrinsic to identity – where race is Different legislation covering religion and race Definitions if required: Culture: The symbolic and expressive aspects of human behaviour Cultural traditions: Norms about how and what we do, often passed down through families and communities Faith: A person’s beliefs and values Religion: A set of observances connected to faith and often shared by a community Race: Social divisions based on skin colour and physical features Ethnicity: Membership of a social group, often related to geographical region or place of origin, with a distinctive language, customs, attitudes and values Focussing first on Race /Religion (and related cultural issues) and secondly on disability Note - false assumption that race identifies faith. Religions is often not seen as intrinsic to identity – where race is Different legislation covering religion and race Definitions if required: Culture: The symbolic and expressive aspects of human behaviour Cultural traditions: Norms about how and what we do, often passed down through families and communities Faith: A person’s beliefs and values Religion: A set of observances connected to faith and often shared by a community Race: Social divisions based on skin colour and physical features Ethnicity: Membership of a social group, often related to geographical region or place of origin, with a distinctive language, customs, attitudes and values

4. Culture and religion – legislation Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, introduced in response to the Employment Directive, outlaws discrimination on grounds of religion or belief in employment and vocational training. http://www.acas.org.uk Applies to employment but will have implications for education. eg students engaged in work-based learning. Applies to employment but will have implications for education. eg students engaged in work-based learning.

5. Legislation (cont.) The Race Relations Act (Amendment) Act 2000 outlaws discrimination on grounds of race by most public authorities. It outlines an obligatory and enforceable general duty for Universities. They must have ‘due regard to the need’ to: Promote equality of opportunity Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination Promote good relations between people from different racial groups Further information about this legislation at www.cre.gov.uk Implications for learning and teaching? And curriculum? Implications for learning and teaching? And curriculum?

6. Potential issues Daily, weekly, monthly and annual schedules Diet Food at events Alcohol at social events and in labs Dress code Health and safety: lab work Staff wearing sleeveless tops Language Avoid patronising, offensive and exclusive Use of humour Facilities Toilet facilities Provision of prayer facilities Daily, weekly, monthly and annual schedules Timetabling issues Extensions to course work deadlines Clashes with preferences of other students Timetabling with regard to Ramadan. Some Muslims have flexibility about saying prayers, though some events are obligatory. Asian women students who had problems balancing home, religious, study and work pressures eg Preaching to the converted” and “Singing from the same hymn sheet” What’s a ‘seminar’? And barriers of poor language Non-verbal – eye contact Refer to Cultural Diversity Guide for more information Daily, weekly, monthly and annual schedules Timetabling issues Extensions to course work deadlines Clashes with preferences of other students Timetabling with regard to Ramadan. Some Muslims have flexibility about saying prayers, though some events are obligatory. Asian women students who had problems balancing home, religious, study and work pressures eg Preaching to the converted” and “Singing from the same hymn sheet” What’s a ‘seminar’? And barriers of poor language Non-verbal – eye contact Refer to Cultural Diversity Guide for more information

7. Staff experiences Answering with ‘yes’ and nodding Never admitting they don’t understand and not willing to ask for help Difficulty adapting to teaching styles eg group work Reluctance to handle certain food substances and alcohol Over demanding Not understanding the seriousness of plagiarism Giving presents This were identified by a survey of staff in higher education. This were identified by a survey of staff in higher education.

8. Resources Religious calendars on-line www.interfaithcalendar.org/ Cultural Diversity: A Resource booklet on religious and cultural observance, belief, language and naming systems Faith Guides: Philosophy and Religious Studies Subject Centre: prs.heacademy.ac.uk/publications/ Race Toolkit: Universities Scotland www.universities-scotland.ac.uk/raceequalitytoolkit/ Paper copies of Cultural Diversity available for delegates to take away Sample copies only of Faith GuidesPaper copies of Cultural Diversity available for delegates to take away Sample copies only of Faith Guides

9. Working with disabled students Well, this certainly scuppers our plans to conquer the universe! Apparently darlecs can now fly!!Apparently darlecs can now fly!!

10. Legislation and Code of Practice The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 (SENDA),which amended the DDA, places obligations on HEI’s regarding the provision of post-16 education and related services for people with disabilities. The QAA’s Code of Practice on Students with Disabilities provides clear guidance for institutions on ways of ensuring that students with disabilities have access to a learning experience comparable to that of their peers. SENDA is also known as the DDA part 4SENDA is also known as the DDA part 4

11. How does it mean for you? The DDA makes it unlawful for a university, or department within the university, to discriminate against a disabled person. This covers the provision of services provided wholly, or mainly, for students. It covers all aspects of teaching and learning (including field trips, lab work) and assessment.

12. Potential issues Safe working practices in labs Making reasonable (?) adjustments to ensure accessible labs Working with students and their assistants Providing instructions in appropriate formats (in advance) Liaising with academics and support services Assessment methods Note: lab work may appear to offer most intractable barriers to disabled students who want to fully access the curriculum Ask for other examples?Note: lab work may appear to offer most intractable barriers to disabled students who want to fully access the curriculum Ask for other examples?

13. Resources Engineering Subject Centre Guide to Working with Disabled Students and other resources on our web site www.engsc.ac.uk SKILL: the National Bureau for Students with Disabilities - www.skill.org.uk DART Tool: On-line advice on accessible curriculum  http://dart.lboro.ac.uk/tool Make sure you are familiar with your own University’s Equal Opportunities policies

14. Scenarios 1. There is a blind student in one of your lab classes. What are the potential issues for you as demonstrator? How would you deal with them? Would you have training needs? 2. You are asked to supervise the practical aspect of a group project where the students are from mixed cultural backgrounds. What are the potential issues? Are there implications for assessment?

15. Scenarios 3. A student is finding it difficult to follow lab instructions and to write reports. You think he might be dyslexic but he has not discussed this with any member of staff. What actions would you take? What could you suggest to help him? 4. A female Muslim student attends laboratory classes wearing hijab (Islamic clothing worn by women to protect their modesty including a headscarf). What are the potential issues for you as a demonstrator? What action would you take? 3. 3. Universities have a right under DDA to monitor and evaluate placement employers to make sure that they meet our SENDA requirements Find out if other problems eg notetaking, organisation, Refer to Dyslexia checklist May also be having trouble with Maths Consult Disability Office – for assessment Suggestions – tape record lectures or use a note-taker. Good quality handouts – small chunks of text. Coloured paper/filters if it helps. Spider diagrams. Confidentiality may be a concern – clause in DDA. Seek help if needed. Suggest forms of help3. 3. Universities have a right under DDA to monitor and evaluate placement employers to make sure that they meet our SENDA requirements Find out if other problems eg notetaking, organisation, Refer to Dyslexia checklist May also be having trouble with Maths Consult Disability Office – for assessment Suggestions – tape record lectures or use a note-taker. Good quality handouts – small chunks of text. Coloured paper/filters if it helps. Spider diagrams. Confidentiality may be a concern – clause in DDA. Seek help if needed. Suggest forms of help

16. Scenarios 5. A male student from a Middle Eastern country will not respond to you as a female (or to a female colleague). They ask to be referred to ‘a male member of staff’ How would you react to this if it happened to you, or a colleague? This is discriminatory and should not be allowed. Best practice is to ensure that all staff and students, irrespective to country of domicile should be breifed on and be trained to adopt the LAW of this country – and all Equality regulations and legislation is LAW This is discriminatory and should not be allowed. Best practice is to ensure that all staff and students, irrespective to country of domicile should be breifed on and be trained to adopt the LAW of this country – and all Equality regulations and legislation is LAW

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