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At the University of Wolverhampton under the Open Educational Resources Programme, jointly supported by JISC and the HEA, we are developing a multi-media open access module for HE staff - Learning to Teach Inclusively. As part of the project we are sharing series of video clips.
An inclusive curriculum seeks to disturb our taken for granted ways of thinking and expose imbalances of power and partial understandings of the subject. However, concerns about teachers’ skills in handling potentially sensitive issues have been raised in a number of studies. These studies suggest that some teachers avoid a more critical approach to the topic because it could be ‘risky’ or they ‘sideline’ topics such as racism and poverty, and ‘suppress’ discussions around them to avoid the conflict that might arise. These studies highlight the need for teachers to develop strategies for teaching sensitive topics and dealing constructively with potential conflict.
The series of video clips in this collection was selected from a session on Power Relations in Sport in which the Sports Studies students were applying Foucauldian analysis to a case to explore discourses of sport, gender and sexuality. The aim of the session was to identify examples of gendered performances, assess the effect of a sporting culture on gendered performances, make judgements about the impacts and offer recommendations. This session required students to take a more critical view of sport (see clip 01 Sport sociology – Curriculum – critical view of Sport.mp4)
The video clips show the teacher introducing the topic (see 03 Sport sociology session – Instructions for a debate.mp4 and also power point presentation). They show how she sensitively encourages the students to debate the issues of sexuality and sexual harassment in a challenging case study (based on an article by Douglas and Carless, 2009). Given the sensitivity of the topic and the effect this might have on individuals within the group, the teacher takes care to set the ground rules for respect and trust (see clip 02 Sport sociology session - Sensitive subject – setting ground rules.mp4).
This group of students is predominantly young. The tutors know them very well as individuals and as a group as indicated in the interview with tutors (see clip 04 Sport - teacher interview - knowing students - introducing sensitive topics objectively.mp4).
During the session the students are organised into small groups. Half of them take the female protagonist’s side (Val), the other half take the male’s side (Graham). They are required to consider the role of the culture of sport in the events that unfold from these two perspectives and then to develop a set of questions and/or line of defence for an open debate. They are permitted to share their own experiences within sport if they feel it is appropriate and helpful to the understanding of the issues in the case but this is handled with great care (see for example see 04 Sport sociology session - Facilitating group discussion & debate of sensitive issues.mp4). Students are also encouraged to take a more critical, Foucauldian, view of the issues in the case and this is evident in the students’ discourse.
Once the small groups have agreed their line of questioning, the room is divided between ‘Val’ groups and ‘Graham’ groups and a debate ensues, chaired by the
teacher (see clips 05 Sport sociology session – Setting up a debate of sensitive issues.mp4 and 06 Sport sociology session - Peer to peer questioning – debating sensitive issues.mp4).
Following this session, the teachers talk about their reasons for including this topic in the curriculum and the ways they went about handling sensitive topics particularly in mixed groups (see series of clips from the interviews). These clips may help colleagues think about ways handle sensitive topics and take a more critical approach to their subjects.
Project web-site – www.wlv.ac.uk/teachinclusively e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Videos are in .mp4 format (H.264 compression) and are playable with most media players. If you have any problems with the playback we recommend free open source VLC media player – www.videolan.org or all of our published videos can be viewed online on www.vimeo.com/oer/videos in your browser. Please contact us if you need any help email@example.com
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