Consciously diverse vs unconsciously biased: Exploring a Diverse and Inclusive Ethical Curriculum
During this global pandemic, the whole world and our schools have changed and new strategies for teaching and learning need to emerge. How do you connect the communities in a school when much of the learning is virtual? Online learning challenges us to look beyond Youtube, animations and interactive worksheets.
Our focus for this presentation was Curriculum Cultivation, how to create a safe learning environment in which to explore and value diverse experiences and perspectives. Using the Harbord & Khan Ethical Model© we demonstrated how ethical dilemmas can be used within curriculum to address real world issues and explore multiple histories, stories and perspectives. We presented a range of examples from our ethical, inclusive curriculum books, Interdisciplinary Thinking for Schools: Ethical Dilemmas MYP 1, 2 & 3 and Interdisciplinary Thinking for Schools: Ethical Dilemmas MYP 4 & 5 (Harbord & Khan, 2020).
Our curriculum gives students a voice to address ethical issues and explore new ways of solving old problems. It also offers teachers opportunities to choose what suits their particular student needs. All the content in this publication can be used for online learning. The units of work explored were interdisciplinary and focused on inclusion and global vision for a better world through student inquiry and developing creative solutions to real life problems.
We advocated the use of diverse visuals as an essential tool for students and consciously chose artworks and photographs which supported this approach; it is imperative that students must see themselves and their communities represented to have a feeling of self worth.
More than ever now students and communities need the skills to be self-sufficient and also collaborate. How do all the school stakeholders address the building of a school community that respects both diversity and inclusion as evidenced in both the traditional curriculum and the hidden curriculum? It is through a curriculum that focuses on multiple histories, stories and perspectives. It is increasingly vital that the diverse and inclusive values of School Philosophy (Missions, Visions and Values) are embedded into a flexible curriculum and our ethical approach can support this integration.
We enjoyed our Q&A and made some great connections and new friends and look forward to London in 2022.