Equality, diversity and inclusion: learning from laying our cards on the table (resource showcase)
Keywords:equality, diversity and inclusion, cards, conversation
In this showcase, we presented a card resource for learning developers who work with staff or students to set up an inclusive learning environment. These are often personal interactions and need to be explored respectfully (Love, Gaynor, and Blessett, 2016; Mahmood, Gray and Benincasa, 2022). The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) cards were created by the University of Hertfordshire and comprise 26 topics and illustrations, ranging from ‘belonging’ to ‘trust’, and exist in both a physical and digital format. Resources used as games can encourage participation, reflection, and transformational thinking (Peabody and Noyes, 2017; Clark, Dickerson, and Jarvis, 2022), which are all important for encouraging respectful conversations about EDI issues.
A collaborative project with the University of East Anglia to explore the use of the cards was funded by ALDinHE. Full ethics approval was gained from both universities before beginning. It recruited staff and students at Hertfordshire and East Anglia who worked with EDI issues and gathered reflections from facilitators and participants who used the cards in different learning contexts, such as academic support staff development exercises and student representation workshops. They reported that the card prompts allowed for personal storytelling and they suggested further topics for the cards set.
This session, led by learning developers and teaching staff, explored the idea of the ‘brave space’ (Arao and Clemens, 2013, p. 142; Palfrey, 2017) and why ‘serious play’ is important in learning (Rieber, Smith and Noah, 1998, p. 29). It discussed where and when the cards can be used, in terms of: a physical or digital space; the curriculum or disciplinary context; and the stage of the learner’s journey. The EDI cards and new guidance booklet were made available for delegates to take away.
Arao, B. and Clemens, K. (2013) ‘From safe spaces to brave spaces: a new way to frame dialogue around diversity and social justice’, in Landreman, L. M. (ed.) The Art of Effective Facilitation: Reflections from Social Justice Educators. Sterling, VA: Stylus, pp. 135–150.
Clark, A., Dickerson, C., and Jarvis, J. (2022) ‘Creating inclusive learning environments’, LINK (University of Hertfordshire), 6(1). Available at: https://www.herts.ac.uk/link/volume-6,-issue-1,-april-2022/creating-inclusive-learning-environments [Accessed: 9 August 2023]
Love, J. M., Gaynor, T. S. and Blessett, B. (2016) ‘Facilitating difficult dialogues in the classroom: a pedagogical imperative’, Administrative Theory & Praxis, 38(4), pp. 227–233. https://doi.org/10.1080/10841806.2016.1237839
Mahmood, F., Gray, N.A. and Benincasa, K.A. (2021) ‘Facilitating discussions of equity, diversity, and inclusion through an open conversational format: graduate students’ perspectives’, Journal of Chemical Education, 99(1), pp. 268–273. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.1c00407
Palfrey, J. (2017) Safe Spaces, Brave Spaces: Diversity and Free Expression in Education. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/11245.001.0001
Peabody, M. A. and Noyes, S. (2017) ‘Reflective boot camp: Adapting LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® in higher education’, Reflective Practice, 18(2), pp. 232–243. https://doi.org/10.1080/14623943.2016.1268117
Rieber, L. P., Smith, L. and Noah, D. (1998) ‘The value of serious play’, Educational technology, 38(6), pp. 29–37. https://www.jstor.org/stable/44428495
Sillence, M., Clark, A., Dickerson, C., Doan, H. and Jarvis, J. (2023) ‘Equality, diversity and inclusion: learning from laying our cards on the table’, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (26). https://doi.org/10.47408/jldhe.vi26.915
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