bronwyn hegarty wrote,
I think it is important to look at some of the factors relating to cultural diversity: ethnicity, religious beliefs, socio-economic status, location, professional role, belief systems and gender. All these factors influence the way in which people behave and live. This is because they develop particular perspectives and values depending on the group or community in which they reside.
I think there's something in this that can point to one of possibly many other solutions. For me the trick would be to show the diversity within the learning group and make it shareable and public to the group. Specifically I would suggest a group-situated approach to avoid stereotyping and to help generate a view of the social diversity on a given issue.
If you gather all the views on an issue in a student-generated dialogue and bring them together then the students express themselves as they wish to be seen regardless of gender, race, etc etc. Through that you can develop a collective identity for the task group.
In this way you would look at all the factors raised above and create a hybrid and inter-cultural course community.
I think the main problem many students have is very little sense of their community perspective (their sub-community and the wider community perspective) on a given course topic consequently they remain diverse individuals each different and apart.
Accessibility and inclusiveness as an approach is never-ending and could be a bank-breaker because it caters only to difference not togetherness. I think they are still very worthwhile and universal designs etc are still worth doing but I don't feel myself that they'll ever achieve their goal of total/universal inclusivity - how could they accommodate a universe of difference? A policy of togetherness might.
I'm rambling a bit so I'd better stop.