Launch of the Inclusive Education Framework and Toolkit
Katharine Hubbard, Paula Gawthorpe and Lisa Gillmore highlight new resources available to support inclusive educational practice.
Working as Senior Fellows of the TEA, we have developed and designed an Inclusive Education Framework to support the vision of a ‘truly inclusive university’ as outlined in the University Education Strategy. The framework aims to support university colleagues to embed inclusivity within their areas of practice, and includes case studies and resources which can be accessed via Inclusive Education Framework and Toolkit.
The framework has been developed to help all members of the university community understand what is meant by inclusive practice. You might think of inclusive practice being the provision of individual adjustments to students with particular needs, such as bespoke handouts for students with dyslexia or visual impairments. This is the opposite of inclusion! Inclusive education means adopting the best educational practice for all students, giving all students equal opportunities to succeed. Instead of providing bespoke handouts for a small number of students, inclusive practice would be to provide a clearly structured handout to everyone, in a digital format that can be used via a screen reader.
We have been working on the framework since it was piloted at the January Inclusive Education Symposium- it has been a substantive part of our roles. The framework considers inclusivity at a whole institution level, not just what happens in individual teaching activities. In developing the framework we have worked closely with students, academics and professional services colleagues. We have also drawn on the scholarly literature into inclusive education, to create a framework that should be useful within and beyond our university
Inclusivity matters to students, and its impact is felt from course application until graduation. The framework outlines an understanding of teaching that would allow staff to strive towards providing each student an equal chance to flourish. In doing so, students should feel supported, encouraged, and respected as individuals. Fostering a learning experience that is inclusive and diverse also leads students to develop a sense of belonging. Students can engage more meaningfully with inclusive teaching, learning and assessment methods, so these are essential for student success.
We have also worked in partnership with student interns who have developed the resources and shared their perspectives on inclusive practice. One of our interns, Lisa, shares her experiences of working on the project below:
“Working with the Teaching Excellence Academy (TEA) as an intern has given me deeper insight into the thoughtful work by university staff aiming to make teaching inclusive. Having the opportunity to interview some of these staff, I was able to find out what inclusive education means to them and how they work to implement it. For example, Bob Burwell from student support services introduced me to the unprecedented demand they have faced, following coronavirus lockdowns, for students requesting to be screened for AD(H)D. Knowing that there is an educational barrier which could potentially hinder students with AD(H)D from receiving an equal opportunity to succeed, they developed resources which students can access, as well as for use by the Specific learning differences (SpLD) team, to provide a teaching resource framework to use in specialist tutorials when working with students with AD(H)D.
From my own time studying at the University of Hull, I recognise the disadvantages that some students face. Knowing that staff are working to combat these can only be seen as a good thing, creating a positive and fair environment for all. With university staff leading the way on this, students can feel empowered to participate an inclusive environment. Introducing students to inclusivity in their studies also sets us up for future graduate roles, where we can carry with us an understanding of inclusive practice which will be important in the workplace.”
Our aim is for the toolkit to provide practical advice and resources for implementing inclusion on the ground. We have identified a series of case studies of inclusive practice from across the university - we were really impressed with the examples shared and have already used ideas from these in our own practice! We hope the examples and resources will be helpful in showing what inclusive practice might look like in a variety of settings.
We hope that the framework and toolkit are useful to Hull staff, and those beyond the institution. We will be offering workshops to staff across the institution to help teams implement the framework in their areas. This will be directly useful to teams working on Transforming Programmes, and to colleagues across the university wanting to make their practice as inclusive as possible.
For the framework and resources please see www.hull.ac.uk/inclusiveeducation