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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Building equality into the curriculum

A curriculum which addresses issues of citizenship, equality, and diversity and includes all learners as equal participants is a vital part of improving the quality of teaching and learning  in  education.

When considering diversity and inclusion in education it is often tempting to consider the areas that are covered by legislation, such as: 'race'; disability; sexual orientation; religion or belief; age and gender identity. However, learners have multiple identities and all learners have aspects of their personal lives that will impact upon the classroom context (such as having to act as a carer for a relative or partner, or having to work extra hours to earn additional money).

An inclusive curriculum not only addresses groups of learners who are covered by legislation, but also allows flexibility to accommodate issues that can potentially be faced by a much larger group of learners. One of the main ways that citizenship, equality, and diversity can be embedded in the curriculum is through incorporating these issues into the content of the course.
This is easier for some subjects than others, but there is scope in all subjects to make the curriculum content more reflective of diversity and more thoughtful about issues of citizenship. However, it is important to avoid being tokenistic.Equality,Diversity and Inclusion should be embedded into the mainstream curriculum, rather than being singled-out as separate from the main curriculum.

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