Institutional wide implementation of key advice for socially inclusive teaching in higher education. A Practice Report
Government policy and institutional initiatives have influenced increases in enrolment of non-traditional students to Australian universities. For these students, university culture is often incongruent with their own, making it difficult to understand the tacit requirements for participation and success. Academic teaching staff are important in creating socially inclusive learning experiences, particularly in first year subjects. This paper presents an institution-wide approach to enhancing socially inclusive teaching at one Australian university. Underpinned by a framework of ”bridging social-incongruity” the initiative was guided by six principles of socially inclusive teaching to support practice as proposed in the 2012 “Effective support of students from low socioeconomic backgrounds in higher education” report commissioned by the Australian Office of Learning and Teaching. Feedback from 150 academic teaching staff from various disciplines and campus locations, suggests this initiative was effective in increasing understanding of socially inclusive teaching practices with many participants indicating the teaching enhancements were applicable for their teaching context.