The Inclusive Practice Partnerships (IPP) Scheme is a University-wide initiative to develop collaborative student-staff partnerships focused on co-developing an inclusive curriculum. The IPP Scheme forms an important part of the ‘Putting the students at the heart of what we do’ workstream of the University’s strategic plan, Brighton 2025, and contributes to targets within the Race Equality Charter Action Plan, and the Learning and Teaching Inclusive Practice and Accessibility Policy. The IPP Scheme uses student voice in partnership to enhance education and student experience.
The Inclusive Practice Partners are working closely with both module leaders and the Brighton Achieves Leads (Inclusive Practice), Louise Colbourne and Mylinh Nguyen, to review the representation of racial, ethnic and cultural identities and histories within module content and delivery.
Academic Year 2021//22:
At the School of Art and Media, the work that is being undertaken through Brighton Achieves to co-develop an inclusive curriculum through the Inclusive Practice Partnership Scheme by decolonising and diversifying modules that have been put forward by the Module Leaders have been rewarding. In total there were six undergraduate students: Astha Acharyya, Charlie Clayton, Ellie Davies, Haniyyah Nauzeer, Sabrina Sumal and Melanie Woodward – recruited as Inclusive Practice Partners (IPP) from a range of courses within the School of Art and Media. This year the Student Partners worked with the Module Leaders reviewing in total seven modules ranging from practice based to theory. A Student Partner, Charlie Clayton commented that, “As someone from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background, it gives me heart to see that lecturers are so enthusiastic to shape the curriculum so that it is more accessible to people like myself.”
Within the scheme we reviewed the representation of racial, ethnic, and cultural identities and histories within the module content and delivery. For the Fine Art theoretical module, Student Partners looked specifically at the lecture content. One lecture, ‘Identity and Gender Politics’, there were suggestions to look at ‘other components of identity and the intersections that make up one’s identity rather than gender in isolation’. One suggestion was to include a talk by Kimberlé Crenshaw, ‘Race, Gender, Inequality and Intersectionality’ which discusses topics such as the notion of colour blindness as an unhelpful, harmful tool when dealing with issues around race, and the false sense of living in a post-racial society. In addition to this, artists that critique the Eurocentric canon of art and art history were recommended such as Kehinde Wiley, who’s paintings portray portraits of black people in traditional settings of Old Master paintings, referencing the canon of European portraiture. In doing so, Wiley raises questions about identity, power, and privilege, highlighting the absence of black figures in European art. Following on from the Student Partner’s recommendations, links to talks and references to diverse artists have already been implemented into the module content for teaching in the next academic year.
Caspar David Friedrich, Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, 1818 | Kehinde Wiley, The Prelude (Babacar Mané), 2021
As well as coming up with suggestions for the selected module’s specifications we also found that making a connection with the students on the modules worked well. A presentation for the Level 4 students of the BA Graphic Design course was created to be a part of their project briefing. The aim was to posit ideas for more inclusive and diverse research directly to the students at the beginning point of the project that they were about to embark on, which asked them to develop content for a project titled the ‘Alternative Museum of Graphic Design’.
Image taken from the Alternative Museum of Graphic Design event, 28th February 2022
This text was written for the Education & the Student Experience (EASE) Magazine, July 2022