Within this assignment I intend to research the following points: Understand the key features of a culture which promotes equality and values diversity Understand the importance of the promotion of equality and valuing diversity for effective work in the sector Understand and demonstrate behaviour appropriate to the promotion of equality and valuing of diversity Understand how to actively help others in the promotion of equality and valuing of diversity Understand how to review own contribution to promoting equality and valuing diversity
1.1 Analyse the meaning and benefits of diversity and the promotion of equality
As teaching professionals, it is essential that we recognise that all learners will have their own personal needs, values and beliefs. We have to be flexible, considerate and creative to ensure that all students feel motivated, safe and not discriminated against in the learning environment.
Why it is important to promote Equality and Diversity:
As communities have become increasingly diverse, this impacts on our neighbourhoods, schools, workplaces, places of worship and everywhere that people live, learn, work and play.
Only 17% of people with a disability are born with their impairment Over 90 languages are spoken by children in Hampshire whose first language is not English (Source – EMAS) In 2011 only 25% of the UK workforce were estimated to be white, male, able bodied and under 45 (Source – CIPD)
It is important that we understand what Equality and Diversity means before we begin to break down the component parts, and how they relate to each other:
Definition of Equality
Equality recognises that:
Inequality exists and that discrimination needs to be tackled Employment and services should be accessible to all
Everyone should be treated fairly
Everyone has individual needs and the right to have those needs respected Equality is about fair treatment
Definition of Diversity
Diversity recognises that:
It is the variety of individuals and groups with varying backgrounds, experiences, styles, perceptions, values and beliefs Everybody is different – where there are two people there is diversity We need to understand, value, and respect those differences Diversity is about respecting difference
Equality and Diversity Working Together
Equality involves treating people fairly regardless of any differences between them.
Diversity involves valuing difference and the specific contributions that different people make. This means that we can treat people according to their different needs without being unfair to them or others
Equality and diversity needs to be embedded into all aspects of the curriculum: from initial assessment procedures to session planning and teaching methods. During the process of Initial Assessment, it is essential we take the opportunity to establish differences, remembering they are not always visible, and ensure we do not make assumptions or stereotype individuals, as inequality and discrimination can create conflict. It is not just good practice, but under the Equality Act 2006, which introduced us to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and Equality Act 2010, which updated a lot of the previous act, as public organisations we have a legal obligation to ensure that we actively encourage, support, respect and value diversity and equality amongst learners and fellow professionals. Right at the centre of the learner experience lies their need to feel that they are being treated fairly, that they have an equal chance alongside everyone else to achieve their goals and potential and that they are valued for who they are as well as what they do. With this in mind the BCoT Learner Journey Action Plan was developed and introduced in 2012. Its aim is to ensure from the preliminary advice and guidance interview through to initial assessment and ultimately progression that the appropriate data is collected, needs are identified and supported, employability skills are monitored and achievement is successfully supported and recorded in conjunction with the Individual Learner Plan. Effective learner support is important to the success of all learners. It is especially important in the further education sector, where some learners may have socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds, poor key skills due to underlying issues, or are from minority groups. Effective learner support impacts on retention, achievement and recruitment and can help organisations to achieve the outcomes related to Every Child Matters, learner involvement strategies, and the Common Inspection Framework.
The promotion of Equality will enable our learners to:
Have fair and equal access to courses and training
Receive relevant and appropriate training in relation to their ability and circumstances Be given the opportunity to maximise their potential
Stay motivated and feel able to contribute
Feel valued and included
In my own organisation, learner feedback statistics demonstrate a year on year improvement on promoting equality and diversity and tackling discrimination. The impact can be measured against improving learner satisfaction with learning and teaching, 92% of learners think teaching is good/better, 90% consider teachers use different ways to help them learn, 95% believe teachers encourage good behaviour and high expectations. The thematic observations conducted in January/February of 2010 saw how equality and diversity featured in lessons, and how teachers/ assessors were promoting equality and diversity and tackling discrimination. Mostly we wanted to see how individuals were being supported to achieve, and how well we were utilising support in lessons. From a total of 299 observed lessons in 2009-10, 11% of lessons actively promoted equality and diversity and the
activity was perceived as ‘good’ practice. In 2010-11, 256 lesson observations were conducted, and active promotion of equality and diversity had risen to 32% of lessons. In 2011-12, of 293 observations overall, 46% advanced the understanding of equality and diversity through learning activities.
1.2 Analyse forms of inequality and discrimination and their impact on individuals, communities and society
Ofsted initially set out seven protected strands, based on those used by the Equality and Human Rights Commission guidelines. However, these were increased to nine when The Equality Act came into force on 1st October, 2010. Discrimination, exclusion or inequality will occur if an individual or group finds it difficult to access employment or services as a result of stereotypical views or prejudices about any of the above. Below are the three types of discrimination, and how they can present
1. Direct (Incorporating The Protected Characteristics)
Age – Advertising for someone “young and dynamic” or someone “mature and responsible”, or excluding older workers from training Disability – we should not make assumptions about things people are able to do or not do, and ensure we take into account the reasonable adjustments needed to allow people to access jobs or services Gender reassignment – Not treating someone as the gender they appear, or refusing to allow someone to use the toilets as their chosen gender, as a result gender neutral toilets are now available Marriage and civil partnership – denying benefits that would apply for married couples to same sex couples who have entered a civil partnership Pregnancy and maternity – Making assumptions about parental roles and overlooking men’s different needs and experiences Race –job applications may be rejected because of language or cultural barriers, or using criteria for employment opportunities which disadvantage certain ethnic groups Religion or belief – may cause exclusion of colleagues from team social events or functions because of religious beliefs concerning food or alcohol, or Providing a service on certain days which may disadvantage people of certain faiths Sex – paying men and women different salaries for the same job, or encouraging men and women into stereotyped careers Sexual orientation – making assumptions about whether someone has a partner and who that partner is, or allowing an environment where people feel uncomfortable about their sexuality, for example due to inappropriate office banter
A policy or practice which puts an individual or group at a disadvantage compared to others (e.g. A uniform policy which states that all female employees must wear knee length skirts – this would indirectly discriminate against employees holding certain religious beliefs as they would be unable to comply with this rule).
Treating someone less favourably because they have either made a claim of discrimination or supported someone else in making a claim
As teaching professionals, we should strive to treat all students equally. If we or a learner says something or behaves in a way to create inequality, we will need to identify this and find ways to alleviate any negative impact this may have. The forms of inequality are broader than those covered by the nine protected characteristics of equality, and can be divided into primary and secondary characteristics:
Primary, those which are inherent or noticeable:
Language, Accent, Dialect
Secondary, those which are less obvious or noticeable
Health, Permanent or Temporary
All public bodies have a duty to look at its services, policies and procedures to ensure they are inclusive and safeguard against any potential discrimination of individuals, communities and society in general. The “we’ve always done it this way” attitude of institutional discrimination is not acceptable, and to establish whether there is a negative impact due to a policy, procedure or initiative it has become a legal requirement, since the Equality Act 2010, to undertake an Equality Impact Assessment. BCoT’s Single Equality Scheme uses EIA’s to establish:
The extent of any impact on a particular social group
Whether that impact is negative
How the impact can be removed or reduced
How effective the Single Equality Scheme is
A Quality improvement plan will then be formulated to address any areas where there is little or no impact from the SES.
*EIA’s may face an uncertain future as of the 19th of November 2012, prime minister David Cameron announced that Equality Impact Assessments would no longer be undertaken for government decisions.
There is no single way of treating people, communities or societies as everyone has their own needs, ethics and opinions. It means that a “one size fits all” approach to learners may exclude, when we want to include. As a result we have to be flexible, open and creative in the way that we develop our learning environment. If the diversity of people’s backgrounds and circumstances is appreciated and positively valued, and we can ensure those from different backgrounds have similar opportunities, then we will facilitate a true sense of community, enable positive relationships to be developed from learners with different life experiences, and safeguard a true sense of community and inclusion.
1.3 Discuss how relevant legislation, employment regulations, policies and codes of practice contribute to the promotion of equality and valuing of diversity
The Equality Act 2010 brought together previous legislation such as the:
Equal Pay Act 1970
Sex Discrimination Act 1975
Race Relations Act 1976
Disability Discrimination Act 1995
Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006
Equality Act 2006, Part 2
Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007
and provided a more consistent approach to comply with the law. As well as consolidating existing legislation, the Equality Act 2010 also extended discrimination protection to a wider range of workers and introduced new safeguards, with the Act’s greatest success being the synchronisation of over 100 separate discrimination measures, brought together under one Bill, and the assurances of:
Strengthening disabled people’s protection from discrimination Protecting people from discrimination by association, stereotyping and perception Protection from harassment related to a relevant protected characteristic Safeguarding against victimisation or treating someone badly because they have done a ‘protected act’ (or because the institution believes that a person has or is going to do a protected act)
Students with protected characteristics identified by the act may be disadvantaged by: Disability
The Equality Act contains provisions which enable education providers to take action to tackle the particular disadvantage, or meet the different needs or disproportionately low participation of a particular student group, provided certain conditions are met. These are known as the positive action provisions and allow education providers to take action to remedy the disadvantages faced by particular groups of students. Such action could include specific provision of resources or putting in place additional facilities or services to benefit a particular student group. Positive action is not the same as positive discrimination, which involves preferential treatment for a particular disadvantaged student group which does not meet the positive action conditions, and it is worth noting that it is never unlawful to treat disabled students more favourably than non-disabled students. On 5th April 2011 the Single Public Sector Equality Duty, section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, came into force and detailed how meeting different needs involves taking steps to take account of disabled people’s disabilities. It describes fostering good relations as tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people from different groups, and that compliance with the duty may involve treating some people more favourably than others, as mentioned previously. The new duty covers the protected characteristics, and the specification of the protected charecteristics:
My organisation has a number of standard policies and schemes in place to ensure we meet and exceed our legal requirements:
Single Equality Scheme
Equality & Diversity Policy
Race Equality Scheme
Gender Equality Scheme
Equality & Diversity is embedded into the normal quality assurance cycles and will be monitored through the work of the E&D monitoring group. The role of the E&D Forum is to receive, review and approve E&D Impact Assessments and to identify E&D annual monitoring focus points by:
Requesting relevant reports (with 3 year trends if appropriate) Analysing reports
Identifying areas of concern and good practice
Developing action plans/points
Monitoring and reviewing action points
Publishing and disseminating results.
And to promote awareness of E&D through:
Sample monitoring of college publications, signs, notices and posters Sample monitoring of college agendas and minutes, logging the identification, reporting and resolving of E&D related issues To produce and contribute to the annual E&D report
Few would argue that there was a better advertisement for diversity last year than the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. By the time the Games had finished, the world could see that the human spirit could not be restricted by age, race, sex, religious belief or disability.
2.1 Discuss how the promotion of equality and diversity can protect people from risk of harm
As professionals working in a diverse and multicultural society, promoting a positive and inclusive culture should occur not just during the student journey, from before they commence to after they leave, but throughout the whole organisation. From how courses are advertised, recruitment, the language used and even access to buildings and facilities should all be aimed at endorsing equality and stimulating diversity in line with current legislation. The Equality Act 2010 has two main purposes – to harmonize discrimination law and to strengthen the law on equality. Within the Act there are three aims or arms of the general equality duty that should be our minimum objectives to:
Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimization and other conduct prohibited by the Act. Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
The Act explains that having due regard for advancing equality involves us:
Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics. Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people. Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low
Equality within the learning environment should be underpinned by ground rules to ensure students can safely work and learn. The boundaries, rules and conditions set should provide a clear guide to what is considered appropriate behaviour, and promote respect for everyone in the group, including the teacher. If they are not set, problems may occur which could disrupt the lesson, or lead to misunderstandings. I find ground rules always work better if they are discussed and negotiated by the group as an icebreaker exercise, as it is always interesting what some learners may or may not consider to be acceptable behaviour, for example:
Arriving on time and returning from breaks punctually
No swearing, offensive language or derogatory terms
Respect others views and beliefs
Follow health and safety regulations
Hand in work on time
Pay attention and engage in lesson
Switch off mobile phones and electronic devices
Leave the area tidy
This is an excellent opportunity to challenge learners views and have an open discussion on why learners who set their own ground rules will feel more included, more open to taking ownership and following them. In most cases, students will have a mental structure of preconceived ideas or schema. Schemas influence attention and the absorption of new knowledge, and people are more likely to notice things that fit into their schema, while re-interpreting contradictions to the schema as exceptions or distorting them to fit: “The more the schemata are differentiated, the smaller the gap between the new and the familiar becomes, so that novelty, instead of constituting an annoyance avoided by the subject, becomes a problem and invites searching” Jean Piaget. Schemas have a tendency to remain unchanged, even in the face of contradictory information, as they subconsciously help us understand the world around us. As a result some situations will not require thought when using schema, as the framework is already in place for the learner to organize new perceptions into their existing schemas and modify them to fit with very little effort. This can often be the root of stereotyping, prejudice and inequality. Therefore it is essential that we analyse and, if necessary, challenge learners and fellow professional views if they discourage a culture of acceptance, support and inclusion. Through discussion and evaluation of personal views and beliefs, learners are more likely to retain the facts learned about it be more accepting, and once the ground rules are established, it is worth discussing them with other teaching professionals to ensure consistency. Encouraging a supportive and inclusive culture, where all students and staff are treated fairly, should simply become the way things are done within our organisation. Embracing differences will enable learners to be more confident, feel safe and have a sense of belonging. An organisational culture which advances diversity and provides culturally relevant role models creates a more representative learning environment, an understanding and tolerate climate and ultimately will lead to better results.
2.2 Evaluate what actions can be taken to value individuals, and evaluate their subsequent impact
An extract from BCoT’s equality and diversity policy:
“The College is committed to all aspects of Equality & Diversity, ensuring the elimination of discrimination, creating opportunities for all and viewing difference as a reason for celebration. We aim to be a fully inclusive college where everyone (learners and staff) has the opportunity to fulfil his/her potential. The college is committed to providing a high quality educational experience where all learners and staff can work in a positive and inclusive environment. The ‘BCOT Way’ is to remove barriers and to raise achievement for everyone through our values of “Mutual Respect” and “Opportunities for All”.
But what does this mean on an individual level? BCoT has developed a framework to ensure that the actions required to eliminate discrimination and promote equality and diversity are embedded across the organisation. These are:
The BCoT Equality and Diversity Forum was established in 2009 to provide a forum for debate, discussion and training, establish a reporting and monitoring structure, and validate Impact Assessments. The forum members represent a cross section of the college community from corporate, specific curriculum areas, NUS, external community and business links and Governors The Equality and Diversity Impact Monitoring Group’s responsibilities include validation of all impact assessments, and is led and managed by the Director of Human Resources The Single Equality Scheme (SES) is the college’s formal statement of the commitment to the promotion of equality and diversity for its staff, learners and other stakeholders Learner Involvement Strategy ensures that the engagement and enrichment of our learners in the strategic decision making and operational management processes is represented
Ensuring staff understand the expectations in terms of equality and diversity best practice, and how to access resources and support, should be given priority in any organisations policy. BCoT’s pilot Ofsted Inspection of October 2011 confirmed that particular advancements had been made, and there were “…no identifiable groups in terms of gender, ethnicity disability or learner difficulty that consistently under-achieve when compared to others in the college”. But there was still work to do to in terms of promotion and advancement in lessons. Further support has been provided by:
Weekly Teacher Forums
Video examples of effective incorporation of E&D have been presented to share good practice. Improving lesson objectives, planning for learning and differentiating activities in lessons to meet individual learner needs
Learner satisfaction surveys are a useful tool in establishing the value of an equality and diversity policy. In the BCoT 2011-2012 report measuring student satisfaction with learning and teaching:
92% of learners think teaching is good/better
90% consider teachers use different ways to help them
95% believe teachers encourage good behaviour and high expectations Observations conducted in January and February of 2010 saw how equality and diversity featured in lessons, and how assessors were promoting equality and diversity and tackling discrimination. From a total of 299 observed lessons
11% of lessons actively promoted equality and diversity and the activity was perceived as ‘good’ practice:
In 2010-11, 256 lesson observations were conducted
32% of lessons actively promoted equality and diversity
In 2011-12, of 293 observations overall:
46% advanced the understanding of equality and diversity
The fundamental reason for advancing equality is to meet the needs of individual students so they can achieve their maximum potential. Individuals are at the heart of our education system and meeting their needs through an active approach to diversity, opportunity and learning will ensure the best outcome for all learners, irrespective of social, personal or economic barriers.
2.3 Summarise how you demonstrate good practice in providing individuals with information on equality and diversity
All students have a right to be valued as individuals, and how we promote ourselves and our organisation will have a direct impact on their perception of this. There are many ways to demonstrate good equality and diversity practice, and we can target learners who may be marginalised by organising events and activities to specifically encourage inclusion into college life. These may take the form of:
Celebration of the summarising festivals and human rights days, for example Black History Month Liberation groups supporting the needs of women, parents, mature learners, disabled learners, international learners, lesbian and gay learners, and transsexuals Anti-bullying and anti-harassment focus weeks
Cultural exchange visits
Or organising a month long series of events: EXAMPLE FOR APRIL:
Simply promoting our specialist facilities can reach out to sections of the community that may not otherwise feel able to attend college. When I worked at Southampton City College, adjustable height worktops were installed, and advertised locally, to allow wheelchair access on catering courses, but facilities available could be:
Specialist dietary services
Loop/ minicom systems
Wide access doors
Toilets on all floors
All of the above can be promoted around the learning establishment, in the local media, internet, intranet and social media posting, through student learning resources, learner engagement fairs and student support services.
3.1 Explain how you demonstrate communication and behaviour which support equality and diversity
William Hazlitt, the English humanist wrote “First impressions are often the truest, as we find (not infrequently) to our cost” A good first impression is essential, so consideration should be given to how we act, respond to questions and offer support, and will allow learners to start their journey with an open and inclusive learning experience that builds to establish a positive, safe and inclusive working relationship between students and professionals. It has been well documented, particularly by pyschologists such as Albert Bandura, that people learn vicariously, by observing others behaviour, attitudes, and ultimately the outcomes of these behaviours: “Most human behaviour is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others, one forms an idea of how new behaviours are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action”. Bandura believed in “reciprocal determinism”, that is the world and a person’s behaviour cause each other, which led to him developing his Social Cognitive, or Social Learning, Theory. Bandura’s Bobo Doll experiment proved the value of observation and modelling the behaviours, attitudes, and emotional reactions of other people. The experiment proved that children mimic what others were doing to the Bobo Dolls. If they saw someone punch and kick at the doll, they will also do the same, therefore it we as learning professionals demonstrate good practice, it should follow that our students will learn from this and follow our examples. Bandura considered that during the modelling process that all observed behaviours are effectively learned. Factors involving both the model and the learner can play a role in whether social learning is successful. Certain requirements and steps must also be followed. The following steps are involved in the observational learning and modelling process:
If we are to learn, we need to be paying attention. Anything that detracts our attention is going to have a negative effect on learning. If the model is interesting or there is a novel aspect to the situation, we are far more likely to dedicate our attention to learning.
The ability to store information is also an important part of the learning process. Retention can be affected by a number of factors, but the ability to pull up information later and act on it is vital to observational learning.
Once the information is retained, it is time to perform the observed behaviour. Further practice of the behaviour leads to improvement and skill advancement.
In order for observational learning to be successful, we have to be motivated to imitate the behavior that has been modeled. For example, if a student is rewarded for being in class on time, another student might start to show up a few minutes early each day.
So, we can see how if we lead by example, employ best practice and encourage our learners, we can demonstrate communication and behaviour which support equality and diversity. It is the responsibility of every person to act in ways that support equality and diversity including learners, clients, work colleagues and people in other organisations. Successful organisations are ones that reflect the richness of diversity that exists in society and will endeavour to represent all sections of it. The key to successful equality and diversity is to embed it throughout the organisation, and ensure all staff are well trained in the relevant policies, which should themselves be regularly reviewed. This should enable an organisation to offer a flexible programme that responds quickly and efficiently to issues of diversity or inequality, whether it affects individuals or groups in the organisation or further afield in the surrounding community.
3.2 Analyse the impact of your own behaviour on individuals and their experience of the organisations culture and approach
Being principled is a very powerful method of influence, & if we can understand how people’s values develop, then we can guide the process. This is understood by dictators and religious sects all over the world, however we are looking to guide and instill morals and social skills in our learners in a much more positive manner:
Humans are not born with values, they are developed over time. This is a value Sociologist Dr Philip Massey explains develops over three periods:
The Imprint Period
Up to the age of seven, we are like sponges, absorbing everything around us and accepting much of it as true, especially when it comes from our parents. The confusion and blind belief of this period can also lead to the early formation of trauma and other deep problems.The critical thing here is to learn a sense of right and wrong, good and bad. This is a human construction which we nevertheless often assume would exist even if we were not here (which is an indication of how deeply imprinted it has become).
The Modelling Period
Between the ages of eight and thirteen, we copy people, often our parents, but also others. Rather than blind acceptance of their values, we are trying them on like a suit of clothes, to see how they feel. At this age we may be much impressed with religion or our teachers. You may remember being particularly influenced by junior school teachers who seemed so knowledgeable–maybe even more so than your parents.
The Socialization Period
Between 13 and 21, we are very largely influenced by our peers. As we develop as individuals and look for ways to get away from the earlier programming, we naturally turn to people who seem more like us. Other influences at these ages include the media, especially those parts which seem to echo with the values of our peer groups.
It is the third period, the socialization, where our own behaviour will effect a learners schema. Just as a learning style, if it is not appropriate, can affect a students behaviour, so my teaching style, presentation and delivery can also affect their behaviour. Simple measures such as reviewing the environment I provide for students, and how that environment is able to meet the varying needs of individuals, can make a difference. A proactive approach to classroom management, linked to a clear and consistent behaviour management system, will enable me to respond quickly and fairly to problems. If I embed a positive system of behaviour management into all of my lesson plans, and as mentioned earlier the ground rules are established at the earliest opportunity, then the learning styles of individual students will be managed, I will provide an inclusive enviroment where the number of students presenting challenging behaviour or feeling undervalued will be at least reduced. Betari’s cycle, or box, is is a simple circular diagram that shows how attitude and behaviour are linked:
Our attitude about anything comes out in our external behavioural displays, This may appear in the signals we send to other people in smiles, voice tone, body language or use of particular words. The reverse is also true, and the attitude of others and how they present themselves to us can similarly affect our behaviour. Just as a poor line manager can give us a distorted view of a company or organisation, then a poor teacher can give us a misleading view of an organisation.
3.2 Review the impact of own behaviour on own organisations culture
Ravasi and Schultz (2006) state that “organisational culture is a set of shared mental assumptions that guide interpretation and action in organisations by defining appropriate behavior for various situations”, but to change the attitude of others I need to be aware of my own behaviour and schema (framework that helps organize and interpret information in the world around us), which I can do by:
Reflecting and evaluating previous performance, self assessment Being mentored or observed
Shadowing fellow professionals
Learner feedback forms, a tool I have found very useful as learners are sometimes less intimidated when not speaking face to face. From learner feedback I have established:
1) What’s good about the learning provision, and what needs improving 2) Issues of bullying or harassment
3) How to make changes to improve the learners’ experience 4) How to head off serious complaints
Ideally my own schema would mirror the principles and equality and diversity mission statement that my organisation actively promotes:
Organisational culture is created when the schematic structures of differing individuals across and within an organisation come to resemble each other, generally achieved through appropriate communication and training of policies, and ensuring these are practiced, as individuals directly or indirectly share knowledge. Stanley G. Harris argues that five categories of in-organization schemata are necessary for organizational culture:
Self-in-organization schemata: a person’s concept of oneself within the context of the organization, including her/his personality, roles, and behavior.
Person-in-organization schemata: a person’s memories, impressions, and expectations of other individuals within the organization.
Organization schemata: a subset of person schemata, a person’s generalized perspective on others as a whole in the organization.
Object/concept-in-organization schemata: knowledge an individual has of organization aspects other than of other persons.
Event-in-organization schemata: a person’s knowledge of social events within an organization. All of these categories together represent a person’s knowledge of an organization.
If my schema is not equal or similar to others around me, and we do not share the same values, then however good the organisations equality and diversity policies are, I could still have a negative impact at the point of contact with the learners. As a result regular self or peer assessment is essential to ensure we are safeguarding best practice for our own, the learners and the organisations benefit.
3.4 Explain and demonstrate how working with other agencies can promote diversity
“Difference is of the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity” John Hume. Promoting diversity is vital to fostering a positive learning experience. Kandola and Fullerton describe diversity as “The range of visible and non-visible differences that exist between people. Managing diversity harnesses these differences to create a productive environment in which everybody feels valued, where talents are fully utilised and in which organisational goals are met”. The differences may be:
Diabetes or Health values
Social or economic personal status
An effective initial assessment process is absolutely key to identify trigger points of behaviour, exisiting health conditions or where learner support may be required. Differences need to be identified and managed appropriately, although a student may not always disclose, or even recognise, that they have any specific requirements. The 2010 Equality Act requires us, as public bodies, to not discriminate but accommodate, so by involving other agencies and authorities to help promote diversity within the college, we are offering our learners the best possible chance to succeed. All local authorities are required to produce a community cohesion plan, which can be used in conjunction with an organisations own equality and diversity policy. In addition to the learners initial assessments, the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) should be the first step in assessing the needs of disabled children, as they may face additional barriers which prevent them achieving their full potential such as restricted access or communication support (symbols, BSL, voice synthesiser, aide/interpreter) and ensure this is used. We should carry out an assessment of the learning space or working area to ensure that it is Disability Discrimination Act compliant and then a risk assessment of that space, the learners and the activities that are intended to be done. This would then give a recorded framework of what and where the risks are, and how they need to be addressed. For additional advice learner support could be consulted for assistance with any issues I was unsure of, or outside of that refer to local agencies for further support, for example (Basingstoke area)
Homelessness, Camrose Resource Centre
DisabledGo: provide online access guides to a huge range of venues from colleges to council offices and parks. EMLD, Ethnic Minority Learning Disability
Basingstoke Autism Group
Face us family centre for the deaf
Hampshire Dyslexia Association
Basingstoke and Deane Council have recently employed a Community Development Officer for Black & Minority Ethnic Groups, who I would ask to chair a discussion on the problems facing the various ethnic groups within Basingstoke, and similarly encourage positive relationships with the local Hindu, Nepalese, Muslim and Afro Caribbean Societies, possibly with a small food fair. Food is a universal language and a great way of breaking down barriers, encouraging discussion and promoting diversity in a very positive way.
4.1 Analyse actions by individuals, and systems and structures, which can undermine Equality and Diversity
“Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where peoples are becoming more and more closely interconnected.” Kofi Annan
Stereotypes and false assumptions, and the belief that some groups of people have more or fewer rights than others, means that because unlawful and unfair discrimination exists in society, individually and organisationally, it exists in our learning enviroment. BCoT’s equality and diversity policy opposes prejudice and discrimination, and we should challenge any of the following inappropriate behaviours:
Jokes about someone’s gender, race, cultural background, religion or other personal characteristics are inappropriate. This is true even if it seems that the person is poking fun at himself, as it could also hurt the feelings of someone else Touching someone else’s body or making comments that are sexual in any way. Discrimination based on age, gender, disability, national origin, race and religion Bullying or using coercion to abuse or intimidate others
Harassment by intentional behaviour which is found to be threatening or disturbing
Knowing what behaviour or language to challenge, and when to challenge it, can be difficult and open to personal interpretation, which is why equality and diversity training is so important. There are some instances where challenging is absolutely non-negotiable, for example;
Swearing, or language that is racist, sexist, homophobic.
Not challenging or ignoring inappropriate behaviour is not an option, and it can be seen as condoning the behaviour, so it must be challenged. If a professional is in any doubt as to whether they should challenge inappropriate behaviour, consider the following.
Is the joke or comment excluding anyone or aimed at anyone in order to ridicule them, or open to misinterpretation Could someone be offended by the behaviour
Lack of intent is not an excuse for behaviour. As the professional, we are required to manage the effect of behaviour.
The Equality Act 2010 requires teachers and organisations to make reasonable adjustments to ensure disabled learners are not placed at a significant disadvantage to an able bodied learner. The purpose of this is to safeguard disabled learners to be able to reasonably take part in all activities, and achieve their aspirations, with the same amount of dignity as their peers. This will enable student provision to be anticipated and available, consequently protecting against any accusations of Institutional Discrimination.
4.2 Evaluate strategies for dealing with these effectively
There is no definitive way to challenge inappropriate behaviour, prejudice or discrimination, but appropriate training and guidance in line with current legislation and coupled with positive action can help to minimise the impact. As discussed previously, ground rules are an excellent way to establish what is acceptable in the classroom, then keeping these on display in a prominent area to help remind students what is acceptable
If strategies are not in place to challenge behaviour that undermines equality and diversity, unfair treatment and prejudice may prevail. Learners are all different, but the message we send out to them must be the same, that we as teachers, and the organisation we represent, value diversity, respect individual differences, will listen to
the views and feelings of others, and endeavour to use language and behaviour that neither offends or excludes anyone or any group but particularly:
Alienated young people
Long term unemployed
Those with Mental health issues
To genuinely demonstrate respect and tackle discrimination and exclusion, everyone in our organisation should be promoting equality and diversity, not stereotyping or making assumptions, and using the following strategies to challenge prejudice and promote inclusion and positive behaviour:
Being respectful to the needs of people from different races and cultures, even if it causes a negative impact Challenging the negative impact
Be genuine in promoting diversity
Demonstrate knowledge and commitment to promoting equality by holding workshops, fairs Showing empathy by putting yourself in other people’s position, then using this as a base for group roleplay and discussion Talking about, within your class, the consequences of prejudicial words or actions Valuing the experience of others, and incorporating this into the lesson plan
Some people may not have a positive attitude, express views that are not based on fact, or may not be prepared to challenge these views. It may take time to change their opinions, but diversity is about treating people how they would wish to be treated, rather than making assumptions about how we think they should be treated, we just need to encourage learners to embrace this. 5.1 Evaluate own strengths and areas for development in promoting equality and valuing diversity, using reflection and feedback from individuals
“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action”. Peter Drucker, American Educator and Writer.
When evaluating my own practice, I will consider how my own behaviour will impact on learners. Even if I think I am proactive and have a positive approach I may still have areas of development I am not aware of. As mentioned previously Schemata, or more specifically my own Schema, are considered to be grounded in the present and based on past experiences. For example, people who have positive self-schemas, so most people, selectively filter flattering information and selectively ignore unflattering information, with the consequence that flattering information is subject to deeper programming, and therefore stronger recollection. Even when programming is equally strong for positive and negative feedback, positive feedback is more likely to be recollected. Because of this awareness of self-bias, there are several strategies I have employed to enable my teaching practice to be more inclusive and embracing of equality and diversity:
Observation and mentoring, which when I was first observed identified that sometimes I: 1. Favour certain, more able learners
2. Don’t always use eye contact, or talk to all of the group 3. Ask closed questions, instead of open, and do not ask specific or quieter learners to answer
Learner feedback forms identified that I:
1. Set the task too high, against the level of ability, which can end with frustrated or disappointed learners 2. Give some learners more time, and some an extended challenge
Encourage group discussion on learner issues, particularly autistic learners in the group Always challenge inappropriate behaviour or language
Clarify aims & objectives
Explain jargon and technical terms
However, since my earliest observations when I began teaching, I have learnt to plan lessons to be more inclusive, and look at my own opinions, values and influences and how I can balance these to ensure I consider and respect others. Being proactive and developing an understanding of the differences between learners is much better than having to deal with a negative situation after it has happened, especially if it has happened due to a lack of knowledge on my part. My reflective journal has proved invaluable in recording areas for development and for turning negative feedback or situations into positive changes.
5.2 During the timeframe of this unit, identify, use and evaluate appropriate sources for support in promoting equality and valuing diversity
Access to Work: An Access to Work grant helps pay for practical support so you can do your job. You may be able to apply if you have a disability, health or mental health condition. ACAS: promote best practice in the workplace through easily accessible advice and services Age UK : Age UK aims to improve later life for everyone through information and advice, services, campaigns, products, training and research. Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) : Independent statutory body established to help eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, protect human rights and build good relations DisabledGo: provide online access guides to a huge range of venues from colleges, sports grounds, restaurants to council offices and parks. Equality Challenge Unit (ECU): works to further and support equality and diversity for staff and students in higher education Government Equalities Office: is responsible for equality strategy and legislation across government. We work to take action on the government’s commitment to remove barriers to equality and help to build a fairer society, leading on issues relating to women, sexual orientation and transgender equality. Stonewall: undertake projects that highlight and explain the experiences of lesbian, gay and bisexual people. Students’ Union: represent students both within the institution and externally, on local and national issues. Students’ unions are also responsible for providing a variety of services to students
I firmly believe that teachers are positive role models in students lives, and that when a student can relate to a teacher it can have a huge impact on their learning experience, particularly with learners who may have had a previous bad experience or teacher.
1.2 Analyse forms of inequality and discrimination and their impact on individuals, communities and societies
Social inequality and discrimination refers to the ways in which socially-defined categories of persons, according to characteristics such as gender, age, class and ethnicity are differentially positioned with regard to gaining access to a variety of services and facilities such as employment, healthcare and education. The World Health Organization has described poverty as “the greatest cause of suffering on earth”, and with the growing awareness of the importance of the social environment, the question is raised as to whether the quality of social relations differs more or less in relation to how equal the society is. Research has proven that:
People in more unequal societies/ communities trust each less They are less likely to be involved in community life
Rates of violence are higher
Being able to identify and understand learners, who are at risk of discrimination or inequality, is crucial if we are to support their growth and development. To enable us to do this, supportive, reassuring and respectful relationships need to be developed between teachers and students. This will enable teachers to detect any warning signs that may place learners at risk of failure, compromising their chances for success on their chosen path. Academic and behavioral problems can be indicators of approaching disappointment, with warning signs being:
Signs of substance abuse
Not prepared for lesson
Discrimination is described as the act of recognizing, seeing, and distinguishing differences and choosing to show prejudice and bias, and can make a school, college or workplace anything from an uncomfortable experience to a living hell for the individual or group concerned. If we see any of the signs above but choose not to act on them, we are actively discriminating. Active discrimination can range from avoidance, to hatred, to physical attack and on an extreme scale extermination or even genocide, still going on in the world today, in places such as Darfur & Rwanda, based on religion or ethnicity & causing huge groups of people to de displaced. Though both prejudice and discrimination are carried out on various levels by individuals or groups, discrimination is considered to be more damaging, and discrimination, whether on a national, local or individual scale, can cause similar feelings of:
Loss of self-esteem
Feeling stressed or unable to cope
Whilst the long term effects could include:
Loss of motivation
Reduced individual rights
Limited access to services
Mental illness caused by stress
Allowing or seeing discrimination against any learner, regardless of their needs, can make them feel isolated and different to other learners. In particular learners with special needs may already have a very difficult time trying to fit in with others, especially if they are in a mainstream environment, so behaviour should be monitored closely and concerns raised with the appropriate authority. Promoting inclusion and acceptance within our schools and colleges is absolutely vital if we are, on a wider scale, to encourage a society with tolerance, empathy and understanding, and, on an individual scale, enable a learner to reach his or her full potential.
5.2 During the timeframe of this unit, identify, use and evaluate appropriate sources for support in promoting equality and valuing diversity
As teaching professionals, our role as facilitators is not only to educate learners, but also, and equally as important, to support. If we identify and recognise that a specific learner may need support, then we should not judge, but endeavour to provide a structured and appropriate solution. The Tomlinson Report (1996) promoted a student centred approach that makes learners individual needs the starting point for developing a tailor made curriculum. Instead of the learner having to fit in with existing provision, Tomlinson makes the case for fitting the provision around the needs of the learner, “By inclusive learning we mean the greatest degree of match or fit between how learners learn best, what they need and want to learn, and what is required from the sector, a college and teachers for successful learning to take place.” Tomlinson 1996. To ensure this happens we should be:
Identifying learners specific and additional needs,
Match our teaching to preferred learning styles
Provide access to all necessary resources
Ensure fair assessment.
On a personal level, I have not been teaching for long and so far have only had one learner who I have needed to provide support and guidance to. During a one to one tutorial session with the learner in question, she informed me that she had recently been sacked from her part time job, for no reason, & thought this was unfair. After establishing that she had been:
In position for over a year,
Had an employment contract
Had not been given any notice period
I told her this was probably not just unfair but illegal, but she would need some expert advice. I directed her towards ACAS, who after she explained the situation, confirmed the sacking was against the law, gave her some advice, and offered to speak to her employer. The sacking happened because a new company had taken over the hotel where she worked, they wanted to cut costs by reducing staff numbers, and were blasé about following the correct procedure. The learner concerned had an satisfactory outcome as she received:
Backdated Holiday Pay
Compensation for stress
Compensation in lieu of not being given correct notice
It is important to consider and recognise that it is not just learners who are struggling that may need support, but also learners who are doing well, and may need extra support to keep them motivated. This could enable a learner to achieve a higher level of learning, thus valuing diversity and recognising that some learners, although they may be on the same course, can and will achieve a better standard, so respecting and encouraging diversity in partnership with differentiation.
Cite this Promotion of Discrimination and Equality in Society
Promotion of Discrimination and Equality in Society. (2016, Jul 20). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/discrimination-and-equality/