Inclusive Learning and Teaching

‘teaching that is as helpful as possible to the widest possible range of students – teaching that works well for students with different physical and psychological conditions, different skills, enthusiasms and cultural backgrounds, different learning styles, and worldviews' - Advance HE, 2011

Inclusive teaching and learning is key to the success of all students and a number of resources have been created by the Academic Development team to support colleagues in making their teaching and curricula more inclusive, these can be found here. We also, recently undertook a project in collaboration with AdvanceHE to develop a departmental level toolkit and resources on Embedding EDI into the Curricula. This toolkit is designed to meet the needs of a range of different departments, in terms of disciplines, structures and current level of engagement or embeddedness with inclusive curricula.

It seeks to value all efforts made towards discussing, developing, implementing and embedding inclusive approaches. This includes:

To be inclusive in your teaching practice, you must recognise that each student is a separate and unique learner with individual needs. This is a fundamental pedagogical principle, and educators have long been encouraged to apply it by ensuring that they: 

  • Avoid assumptions and presuppositions (e.g. associated with stereotypes related to particular characteristics)
  • Work against projecting their own thoughts / feelings / practices onto their students
  • Do not think or behave in a prejudiced way.

Inclusive teaching needs to be collaborative to be effective (i.e., it is not solely the responsibility of the educator), but this 'getting started' section introduces some initial guidance regarding language, training and resources, and inclusive curriculum content, which you might find useful when reflecting on your current teaching practices.

You may find it useful to read through the outputs of the 'Towards Embedding EDI in the Curriculum' collaborative project that the University undertook with Advance HE in 2019; these materials provide context and guidance for those who are getting started with the process of teaching more inclusively.

Once you have begun reflecting on your choice of language, accessed relevant training and resources, and examined your curriculum content in terms of equality, diversity, and inclusivity (EDI), the next steps would be to make changes to your practice. These do not necessarily have to be big changes but some adaptions to your practice to make it more inclusive. 

These modifications might better incorporate and celebrate diversity more generally, or you may want to make adjustments that target a particular demographic more directly. ​​

You can use the quick guide developed by our Academic development team as a starting point, but may also want to browse the resources ‌on our TQAE pages for further advice.

Transformative pedagogy has been defined as 'an activist pedagogy combining the elements of constructivist and critical pedagogy that empowers students to examine critically their beliefs, values, and knowledge with the goal of developing a reflective knowledge base, an appreciation for multiple perspectives, and a sense of critical consciousness and agency' (Okpukoku, 2009). A transformative inclusive teaching practice, then, is one that combines discourse on inclusivity and active study of inclusivity using inclusive methods within an inclusive environment. In other words, you and the students will be walking the walk as well as talking the talk of inclusion.
To start, you can download quick guide on how to create a safe place for exploring difficult topics. You can then use our dedicated transformative practice pages for exploring furhter resources and approaches. 

Download the Embedding EDI into Curricula toolkit - DOC or PDF 

For further information please contact the EDI team or the Academic Development Team