North Lindsey Equality's blog
Transcribing three 'Coming Out' stories contributed by our learners and staff. So much honesty in these accounts which go further to underpin the reason for creating this guide as a awareness-raising tool to be used by staff with students.
Should I incorporate an activity to link in with these stories on the broader political dimension of 'Coming Out' in addition to reflections on these individual experiences? I'm thinking in particular of the 'Outrage' campaign of recent years.
Such ponderings are all part and parcel of the final edit stage.
Revisions for the 'Embedding' section of the guide now taking place in response to feedback received from Creative Industries curriculum area. New suggestions for additional 'Curriculum Role Models' for the guide which move away from the usual suspects. For example, the work of the gay US artist Keith Haring now providing the focus for an Art and Design Project and composer/electronic musician Wendy Carlos as a Transgenderdefinition role model focus for Music Technology learners. This method of embedding LGBT themes into the curriculum through identification of significant role models appears to be working. Awaiting feedback from STEM re. their ideas in relation to an Alan Turing project idea.
Need to re-visit some sections of the guide this week especially in relation to events in Russia in recent months and the attitude of the authorities there towards the LGBT community. In particular pondering upon the recent Eurovision contest and negative homophobic comments expressed. How to integrate such events into the guide in order to give it both a contemporary and international perspective?
This coming week will see revisions being made to the LGBT Guide and addition of hyperlinks to take into account some recent cultural events. All part and parcel of the 'organic' nature of what we are creating.
We want the guide not to be 'set in stone' but to be responsive to changing contexts and views.
Even when the project ends, the guide will not stay 'frozen in time' but will change from year-to-year.
Progress towards completion of LGBT Good Practice Guide to coincide with International Day against HomophobiaSubmitted by North Lindsey E... on Sat 17-May-2014 9:12
The last few months have seen work taking place towards progressing and completing our 'LGBT Good Practice Guide'.
The draft is in place in electronic form and consultation is taking place with staff for their feedback and comments. Additionally, its important that we get feedback from members of the LGBT Forum here.
The document is to become a day-to-day working tool for staff at college in order to enable them to meet and understand the needs of the LGBT community and to embed LGBT themes into their curriculum teaching and beyond.
The final stages of the consultation process coincide with the 'International Day against Homophobia' and a number of toolkits with staff are planned in the coming weeks.
It's important to point out that the guide is an 'organic' document whose content will change from month-to-month, year-to-year in response to changing political and social contexts.
Looking forward very much to criss-crossing the UK soon to disseminate our project practice with others.
Today sees the team getting together with some design specialists to examine ways of editing the current body of text material which forms the primary content of the 'Homophobia' section of the 'Good Practice' guide.
This should be quite exciting as it means we will be focussing our energies in a creative direction, selecting images and fonts to ensure the information we present has maximum impact.
Additionally, we hope to be looking at extracting the 'key points' from this content and to embed this into some plasma screen displays which can be viewed across the college campus.
We are now at the stage of our project where work is now underway on producing our 'LGBT' good practice guide for staff.
Having identified the 'chapter' content for each part of the guide, the last few weeks has seen activity in and around determining the content relating to Homophobia.
As the guide is designed for use by staff on a regular basis with learners, this particular section is seen as being of prime importance.
A range of activities which can be used by staff in sessions with learners has been designed ranging from role play type work through to self-reflection work.
Through all of this the learner group has continued to make a significant input and regular consultation with the learners continues apace. Their contribution is vital to both the successful implementation and credibility of the guide which is rooted in the voices of the learners.
The chapter addressing 'Homophobia' should be completed by early February and following that a series of hyperlinks will be built into the e-guide linking to (anonymous) recorded audio interviews with learners recounting their personal histories and their experience of homophobia and the effect this has had upon them. A meeting has been set for the last week of January to discuss the practical implementation of this stage in the preparation of the guide.
Our North Lindsey College 'Pride' Project continues apace and as we move into December, the planning group is now working on the detail of the contents for the 'Good Practice Guide', even as I type. What's so inspiring about the project is that by using the 'Professional Dialogue' model, no one individual is taking control. It has become truly a collective effort.
Following an initial discussion during which groups members decided upon specific themes and topics for each page of the guide, small sub-groups were formed and each of these is now addressing each of these themes in terms of content and specific activities. It's planned to have pages addressing the following themes and topics:
'Coming out' stories;
Each page will be complemented by a summary page containing 'hard-hitting' facts that can also be projected on the plasma screens throughout college.
Emma is currently working on the content for the 'Role-Models' page. Emma says that when she was coming out Ellen DeGeneres was her particular role model. Emma says that having such a role-model made her feel confident about her sexuality.
Jayne and Karla are currently researching phobic attitudes. Jayne says that although homophobia gets a great deal of publicity it is still a continuing problem.
Sam is looking at how individuals communicate between themselves in terms of sexuality.
Liz and Amy are researching coming-out stories. Liz says the importance of highlighting this area is that it can give support to others who are in the process of coming out.
In the second week of November our project group consisting of staff and learners met again to move forward on determining the content of the LGBT 'Good Practice' Guide. Once again the 'Professional Dialogue' template was used in order to ensure that all voices were listened to within the group and to enable a final product that was truly a collective one. Each member of the group worked as a contributor to each of several smaller sub-groups. These groups produced a series of responses relating to what the project output might be, what strategies would be used in terms of process development, risk identification and future monitoring. Out of these responses a collective report was produced which will now act as a 'map' for the next all-day session (Dec 2nd) when group members will 'zoom-in' on specific themes and develop detailed content in order to map out the final output design to be produced from January onwards. This really is an organic process in which the final product is gradually taking shape not as the result of one voice taking control but as a result of all voices making their own contributions heard. Here is a summary of the collective responses from the second meeting which will now 'drive' forward all future stages:
What will we produce?
A PDF e-guide containing:
‘Theme’ pages: each page or set of pages to have a specific focus theme relevant to the LGBT community within and outside college
Each page to contain hyper-links to audio and video interviews with members of the LGBT community and others
Each page to contain hyper-links to NLC Moodledefinition page and other ‘Help’ sites
Information pages to include activities developing the themes which could be used in settings such as Tutorials and during induction (ie quizzes and other activities)
The first meeting of the NLC 'Pride' Project group took place on October 16th. 12 members attended including staff, learners and representatives of the local LGBT community. Specific questions were used as focus points at this meeting using the 'Professional Dialogue' template in order to determine the direction of the project. Additionally our 'external' crtitical friend was present to enable an external critical perspective to be developed in relation to the direction of the first meeting.
Here is a summary of the collective responses from the group from this first meeting. These responses will then feed into the second meeting which will focus upon specific strategies and content of the LGBT 'Good Practice' guide:
What do we want to change/see changed and why?
Attitudes towards the LGBT community to become more positive; A gradual eradication of ‘old school’ attitudes; Issues relating to the LGBT community to be embraced in a positive manner; Everyone to feel safe within their learning area and on the college campus; All staff should be approachable; Higher profile of LGBT community within the college; No areas with low illumination which could create an ‘unsafe’ ambience and a possible ‘no go’ area; Staff and students to better understand the issues affecting the LGBT community; Education of the non-LGBT community of the issues affecting the LGBT community
What is the issue/problem and what is/are the root cause(s)?