TEACHING REFLECTIVELY IN HIGHER EDUCATION
This year-long module is part of the MA in Higher Education Practice at Keele University. I was invited to contribute to teaching on the module in 2019–20 and 2020–21 as a result of my leadership in organising the Trans Youth and Education: National Issues and Solutions Conference (June 2019) and role in co-creating the History UK Pandemic Pedagogy Handbook.
WHAT ARE THE MODULE AIMS?
The module aims to support staff in reflecting on and developing their academic practice as educators and researchers in UK Higher Education.
INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES
Critically evaluate their own teaching including use of feedback from learners and peers to develop appropriate approaches, use of technologies, methods and theory
Critically evaluate their approach to developing an effective learning environment and giving feedback to learners based on an understanding of how students learn
Explain their teaching-related decisions based on an understanding of how students learn
Demonstrate, through discussion of their teaching, their understanding and commitment to promoting equality and respect for diversity
Demonstrate a values-driven approach to teaching and supporting learning, including those values listed in the UKPSF
MY ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
I provided educational training to staff members by designing and delivering teaching materials that focused on the development of equitable and student-centred teaching practice. I used scholarship, along with reflections on my own pedagogic practice and research, to provide advice and guidance on teaching students with disabilities (in a session on facilitating student engagement) and transgender students (in a forthcoming session on diversity).
The first session on facilitating student engagement took place in December 2019. I designed and delivered a presentation on the 2010 Equality Act and preparing accessible learning environments.
I provided participants with some examples of anticipatory actions they can take to foster and promote equity in their own teaching practice, with an emphasis on removing barriers to learning and making sure that classroom spaces are accessible to all students. These actions include:
Educating themselves on accessibility and teaching by reading relevant books and undertaking additional teaching modules and courses (if you are a staff member at Keele then you can access many of these modules and resources online through the Keele Learning Pool and the Academic Development page).
Viewing the room at the start of the semester before teaching starts to make sure the space is accessible; if the space is not completely accessible, request a room change to a more accessible room (e.g. on the ground-floor with wide gaps between tables to enable students with wheelchairs and other mobility aids to access and navigate the room).
In the event that room changes are not possible, try to arrive at sessions with enough time to rearrange furniture into clusters (rather than narrow rows) so that everyone can access and move about the room more easily. Another option is to contact Keele Estates and ask for assistance as necessary.