In this brief reflection, Dr Deborah Custance, Academic Director of Teaching and Learning Innovation Centre and Senior Lecturer at Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, discusses lack of diversity in class resources.
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. Make sure that they are not by default dominated by white, male, heterosexual and able-bodied subjects.
enough. Educational Leadership, 74(3), 10-15.