Since October 2020, the Trinity Inclusive Curriculum (Trinity-INC) Project has been working to embed principles of diversity, equality and inclusion across all teaching and learning at Trinity College Dublin. Based in the Office of the Associate Vice Provost for Equality, Diversity and Equality, Trinity-INC works collaboratively across the College community - with staff and students, academic and support spaces - to achieve its mandate. The Project Director is Dr. Rachel Hoare with Dr. Derina Johnson as Project Manager, Sean Adderley as Student Partner Liaison Officer, and Graduate Intern, Ross Coleman.
The project goals:
- Create an accessible curriculum that supports the engagement, representation and action of all students, including those from diverse worldviews, cultures, and identities, and with different learning backgrounds, abilities and strategies.
- Embed the principles of inclusion in all aspects of the academic cycle, across all courses, modules and programmes at Trinity College Dublin.
- Establish Trinity College Dublin as a community of belonging and respect for diversity, where all our students feel supported in achieving their learning goals.
- Equip students with the qualities, skills and behaviours encompassed by the Trinity Graduate attributes.
Trinity-INC Four Pillars of Activities
Project activities are focused around four (equal) pillars of initiatives:
- Academic: Creation of a community of practice; led by the Trinity-INC School Champion Programme
- Student: Collaboration and partnership with students; led by the Trinity-INC Student Partner Programme
- Institutional: Embedding inclusivity in College policies and discourse related to curricula development
- Infrastructural: Supporting capacity across College to further inclusive teaching and learning practices and meet the support needs of all students.
Trinity-INC is also supported by a robust Advisory Board made up of students and staff from across the College community, and relevant external experts.
What is an Inclusive Curriculum?
An inclusive curriculum is one in which all students, regardless of background, personal circumstances, or learning backgrounds, abilities or strategies, have equitable opportunity to engage fully in their studies and achieve their learning goals. Curriculum design, often unwittingly, can exclude certain students in relation to class (Quinn, 2006), gender (Quinn, 2006; Francis, 2006), sexuality (Toynton, 2007), ethnicity and disability (Fuller et al., 2008, 2009). Such exclusions can occur, for example, through the lack of diversity reflected in reading materials, inaccessible teaching or assessment approaches, or lack of consideration given to individual circumstances, including unequal access to IT and the internet, caring or other responsibilities. These aspects should be considered when preparing courses, modules and online materials and should be reflected in learning outcomes.
Research documents that exclusionary practices prevalent in universities damage student attainment and retention and negatively impact on student experience. There is no 'average' or 'typical' student: students are not one-dimensional but vary on many dimensions of learning, cultural and living circumstances. Inclusive learning environments nurture individual potential and support Trinity as a place of excellence for learning.
|Educational diversity||Personal diversity||Home-life diversity||Cultural diversity|
|level of entry||age||employment||ethnicity, incl. Travelling Community|
|qualifications||disability||family & relationships||nationality/ country of origin|
|theoretical knowledge||gender||caring responsibilities||religion|
|practical knowledge||sexual orientation||travel to/from home||values|
|life experience||identity||financial background||language|
|work experience||beliefs||marital status||social background|
|maturity||access to IT & internet|
Understanding Diversity: Table outlining four broad types of diversity - educational, personal, home-life and cultural
Trinity-INC Fit with College Strategy
The Trinity Inclusive Curriculum project closely aligns with the Trinity Strategic Plan 2020-2025, critically, Goal 1: We will foster an ever more diverse and inclusive student community, and Goal 8: We will be one Trinity community.
Trinity Strategic Plan 2020-2025 states that by 2025 underrepresented groups should be 25% of our population (1.5), that 30-35% students will come from outside Ireland (1.1). It further asserts that, in Trinity, we will empower disabled students (1.9), that equality, diversity and inclusion will be a cornerstone of our ethos and practice (8.2), and we will grow student numbers (9.3).
The Trinity-INC project supports the cross-cutting goals of fostering an ever more diverse and inclusive student community, supporting a transformative student experience, practising next-generation teaching and learning.
The Trinity-INC project promotes the qualities, skills and behaviours which are encompassed by the four Trinity Graduate Attributes: to think independently; to communicate effectively; to develop continuously; and to act responsibly. These attributes will be fostered both through the embedding of inclusivity principles into all curricula, and through the Trinity-INC Student Partner Programme.
The Trinity-INC Team
Dr. Rachel Hoare
"I have always had a strong interest in inclusion, through my academic approach and having been a College tutor and disability liaison officer in Trinity for over twenty years. I also bring a personal awareness of accessibility and inclusion issues to the Project, having a parent with a disability and having initially come to College myself as a self-supporting mature student."
Dr. Derina Johnson
"Throughout my career, I have worked with many underrepresented and marginalised communities from children with disabilities, to families in inner-city Dublin, to refugees on the Thailand-Myanmar border. It is my privilege to be part of the Trinity-INC project."
"I am a recent Trinity graduate who came through the Trinity Access Programme, and navigated university life as a mature student, a first-generation student, and a student from an underrepresented background. Joining the Trinity-INC team allows me the chance to turn a passion into something practical. Having plenty of past professional experience on how exclusion can impact people’s daily lives, this opportunity stood out as a worthy undertaking."
"I am a recent graduate of Trinity having completed a BA in Modern Irish/Classical Civilisation in 2020. In my new role as Graduate Intern for the Trinity Inclusive Curriculum project, I will be helping raise awareness of Blackboard Ally and of the project in general. I also hope to use my experience as a disability rights activist to effect change across the College."
Get in touch!
For further information contact us at email@example.com, or check us out on Twitter @TCDInclusion or Instagram @trinityinclusivecurriculum