Speaker: Professor Rowena Arshad 

Diversity in learning and teaching: Is inclusion truly achievable? 

It used to be that you taught your subject area to the best of your ability. Now, there is a need to consider increasing student diversity, to pay due diligence to the content and processes of curriculum from different perspectives while ensuring that ethos of the face to face and online environment is culturally and pedagogically responsive. In addition, as teachers we are asked to detect and address corrosive behaviours and attitudes, such as microaggressions and alienating comments. Can we really make every issue and incident a teachable moment?  This session reflects on whether it is genuinely possible, given external and internal challenges to deliver for inclusive learning and teaching while embracing individual learners and their individual differences.  

Speaker biography

Rowena is Professor Emerita with the University of Edinburgh. She has a personal Chair in Multicultural and Anti-Racist Education. She currently co-convenes the University Race Equality and Anti-Racist Sub-Committee. Previously she was Head of the Moray House School of Education and Sport (till September 2019) and convened the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. She chaired the Working Group for the Scottish Government on Diversifying the Teaching Profession (till March 2021) and her report Teaching in a Diverse Scotland has recently been cited as a crucial report in Scotland’s national journey to helping school leaders and system leaders understand the lived experiences of black and minority ethnic teachers and the barriers they face moving into leadership posts. Rowena has spent her working career raising awareness on social justice and anti-discrimination issues. Now, retired, she spends most days in the hills of Argyll and Bute with her two border collies, Sara and Ben.