Dr. Deborah Custance, Academic Director of TaLIC and Senior Lecturer at Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, reflects on diversity in class resources. This is the first reflection in a series of cases looking at inclusive teaching.
I was lecturing on comparative psychology a few years ago and presenting one of those images of monkeys evolving through to apes, early hominids and modern humans. A student raised her hand and asked, “Why are these pictures always of white men?” It got a really interesting discussion going about these kinds of illustrations.
Afterwards, I was thinking about this discussion and took a look at the slides from a number of lectures. I was shocked to see that nearly all the images containing people were of Caucasians. I realised why as soon as I started to try and swap out some of my images for more widely inclusive photos. I usually just conduct Google image searches when preparing lecture slides. When I looked for images to illustrate my lecture on the evolution of parenting, I had to scroll quite far down to find anything other than white, heterosexual parents. Ever since, I have been much more mindful with respect to the kinds of images I select.
What I have learned:
Consider the images you select for lecture slides and make sure that they are not by default dominated by white, male, heterosexual and able-bodied subjects.
enough. Educational Leadership, 74(3), 10-15.