The Higher Education Academy’s Embedding Equality and Diversity in the Curriculum (EEDC) discipline-specific practitioner guides aim to support academics in creating learning and teaching experiences and environments that enable all students to reach their potential, to feel included in their learning journeys and to become diversity competent.
Background to the guides:
A new Equality Act was introduced in 2010. The Act brought together and streamlined the previous legislation for disability, gender and race, and extended protection to a wider range of people, encompassed under the term “protected characteristics”. These protected characteristics now comprise:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership (employees)
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief (including lack of belief)
- sexual orientation.
Within the Act, the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) legislation now requires listed organisations, including colleges and universities, to:
- eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010
- advance equality of opportunity between people from different groups, considering the need to:
- remove or minimise disadvantages experienced by people due to their protected characteristics
- meet the needs of people with protected characteristics
- encourage people with protected characteristics to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is low
- foster good relations between people from different groups by:
- tackling prejudice
- promoting understanding between people from different groups.
These requirements necessitate a different way of approaching learning, teaching and assessment in higher education, a way that embeds equality and diversity rather than seeing it as an add on. The commissioned discipline guides provide objective and practicable guidance on how to do this within disciplinary contexts.
The guides are aimed at higher education learning and teaching practitioners, from graduate teaching assistants, to lecturers, to programme leaders, heads of schools and deans of learning and teaching and they include:
- current states of play for each discipline covered
- theories and strategies around embedding equality and diversity in each discipline
- case studies of UK and non-UK learning and teaching activities that embed equality and diversity
- guidance and advice on taking embedded equality and diversity forward in learning and teaching practices.
For further resources and information on embedding equality and diversity in the curriculum, please visit the project’s homepage.