Law students invited to explore making curriculum more inclusive
30 August 2018
Dr Suhraiya Jivraj is inviting students at Kent Law School to work with academics and diversity practitoners to explore how the curriculum can be made more inclusive.
Dr Jivraj’s research project, ‘Decolonising the Curriculum’, will be launched on Wednesday 10 October at 2.30pm in Grimond Lecture Theatre 2 with a keynote talk on diversity by Dr Jason Arday, a Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Roehampton. Dr Arday has conducted extensive research in race, education and social justice. He is also a Trustee of the Runnymede Trust, the UK's leading independent race equality think tank. Students are asked to register online in advance (attendance is free).
During the project, students will receive guidance and support to lead focus groups, collate their research, write up their findings for publication in an academic journal and co-organise a conference for the wider School student and staff body. The project, funded in part by a £3,000 grant from the Teaching Enhancement Small Support Awards (TESSA), will be supervised by Dr Jivraj in collaboration with Student Success Lecturer Marie Kerin, Kent Law School Student Success Project Officer Sheree Palmer and Student Success Central Development Officer Dave Thomas.
Research undertaken by the students aims to gain an understanding of the extent to which BAME students feel included, represented or understood within the learning process. It also aims to recommend improvements that can be made to enhance both their academic performance and overall university experience; data from the focus groups will be collated as a 'manifesto of suggestions' on making the curriculum more inclusive.
Dr Jivraj is keen for BAME students to become stronger stakeholders in their own education at the Law School and believes the project will be more effective as a result of their involvement: 'Being a student-led project is crucial as it empowers them to become change actors and co-producers of knowledge, shaping the agenda and curriculum that seeks to include them. Moreover, it enables them to be "assets" rather than see themselves represented as quantitative data in University diversity reports which does not capture the nuance and complexity of their lived realities.'
Dr Jivraj is a Senior Lecturer at Kent Law School and a co-author of Decolonizing sexualities: Transnational perspectives, critical interventions (Counterpress, 2016). She is also the module convenor for a Law School module on Race, Religion & Law and co-ordinator of the Decolonizing Sexualities Network, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. She has run workshops for civil society organisations such as the Inclusive Mosque Initiative run by young radical feminist Muslim women and recently ran a session on 'intersectional activism and coalition building' for young activists of colour and allies in London.