Learner-led equality, diversity and inclusion
We have updated to let you all know the progress we have made so far and how the learners feel about the project. They are looking foward to meeting some of you during the dissemination events and sharing their thoughts. (Adding the photos was a challenge for me! )
Please take a look - thank you - and see you soon!
The learners of Havering College and Newham 'PARIS' LGBT young people's group came together for another Creative Arts Workshop where they finished off their projects
This was the second workshop day we have held for Havering College LGBT students and ‘PARIS’ Newham LGBT young people. It was attended by 8 young people (4 college and 4 PARIS) and 6 staff members.
The previous workshop day was held on the 18th January 2014, where the young people decided what subject they wanted to focus on, with the aim of completion on the second workshop day. The young people in the computer graphics group completed their piece of work - which depicted LGBT milestones in history from the 1960’s to date – in the format of a comic page using photo’s they had taken over their 2 days spent together. The music group completed recording lyrics and poetry and were also able to use the drums, piano and mixing decks for the first time. The arts and crafts group experimented with glass painting, which none of them had done before. All of these young people discovered new tools and skills over the 2 workshop days and requested they met up for further days like this. Young people’s feedback included:
“I loved it today (especially the drums) I felt very comfortable with everybody because all of us can be ourselves”.
“I thought today went really well and I had a lot of fun. I enjoyed all of the activities and the socialising”.
“I learnt about glass painting. It was fab, new and it’s something I’d do again”.
“I enjoyed the comic strip and learning new skills”.
“It was good meeting everyone and getting involved in the music department”.
“Today was nice, I really enjoyed it!”
These short videos show some of the EDIFdefinition activity taking place at the college. The courses have run before, but this time the tutors have deliberately embeded new resources aimed at developing the Equalitydefinition and Diversity competencies of everyone in the class:
- "Stepping Stones" short course for those moving into support work. Learners chose to role play someone with a protected characteristic different from their own and showed great empathy.
- Access to HEdefinition presentations. For the first time, LGBT was one of the posible topics. Video shows follow-up Q&A about the open letter sent by Gigi Chao to her father.
- "Liberated" is one three gallery exhibitions which have reinforced what has gone on in the classroom. Three women describe their work, and then invite learners and staff to identify and bin the labels they are given but don't own.
For each activity tutors complete a template to capture the impact in class (whether positive or negative). We have also developed a questionnaire to measure the distance that these learners have travelled overall during the lifetime of the project.
Tutor training to deliver the project has raised almost as many questions as it has answered. Tutors have been particularly concerned about the the impact that foregrounding LGBT experiences in the classroom might have on LGBT learners themselves. All of them are UCUdefinition members and it was great to be able to access union expertise on this. In addition we have been able to check our embedding strategies with a focus group of LGBT learners at Fircroft. The steer they are giving us is:
- This is a really +'ve step in recognising who we are
- Most people in class are ready for new thinking
- Flag that this is coming
- Don't be over zealous or clinical or too personal either
- Beware of putting all the emphasis on rights
- If the LGBT reference isn't relevant to the course, then it will be cringe-making
- You might be touching on LGBT issues at a point in a learner's life when they aren't ready to deal with it
They like the sound of the full monitoring form which NIACEdefinition are developing for the Foundation. At this stage they would be nervous about completing it in public and it being linked to other MIS systems. But they liked the idea of using it as a periodic free-standing exercise which gives visibility to the full diversity of identities.
A London based young people`s LGBT group joined college students on the 18th January for a Creative Arts Workshop Day. The aim of the day was to devise, through creative arts, information which would raise awareness and understanding of LGBT young people within the college. This day offered 3 media workshops for the young people to engage in. The workshops proved very productive and all the young people really enjoyed the day, as it allowed them to utilise their creativity through their chosen form of media to convey their feelings and experiences as LGBT young people.
The young people gave written and verbal feedback at the end of the day, which included:
" I`m glad I got to record my song but I wish I haf more time to edit it".
" Today was great in the studio, producing music and a rap.I had a great time and I would love to do it again".
" I enjoyed learning how to use photoshop and edit photos,taking photos and spending time with awesome people"
"Today I learnt a lot, how to make comic strips and how to use software. I enjoyed working in our team".
"Simple,great day. Creating a story board,taking photos".
Creating a timeline to help organise the work load. The challenge is matching employers with the aspirations and strengths of potential learners. The balance this week is between interviewing potential placements and selecting possible employer matches. Contacting the employers and establishing rapport. Using the flyers created last week to promote the project and following-up with emails and phone calls to a), ensure employers are aware of the supported Placement and Job Coach role, B) ascertain employer expectations, training requirements and potential opportunities.
The project and its aims were discussed with a small sample group of potential work placement candidates for the first time today. After a brief introduction by thier tutor in college, time was taken to explain to the group what might be expected of them in the workplace and what kind of support they might expect from thier Job Coach; to help them overcome difficulties which may be normally insurmountable. After a sensible question and answer, the response was more than satisfying, each candidate nodded eagerly when asked whether this kind of supported work placement would be something they would seriously consider doing. Great feeling, a constructive sample test and taste of things to come. Wish we had places for more...
The excitement of preparing for this week's launch, prompted this blog:
We are slowly getting everything together.
The Yammer-based online steering group is proving invaluable for generating ideas. The researcher is putting together some robust tools and I'm getting on with planning the training days, the first of which is fully subscribed. The coaches meet on Friday and we're discussing jelly babies. The only part of the complex weave I've not given thought to yet are the online materials, which I had in mind as being prompts for thinking, but a timely LinkedIn link from a colleague is giving me some great food for thought...
Hope everyone else is enjoying their project as much as we are!
Our student LGB and/or T group are meeting and very excited about organising their multi media workshop on January 18th to create positive images of young people who are LGB or T. Hopefully we will be sharing these with you in the new year.