Diversity and the academy

Parker, Jan (2007). Diversity and the academy. Teaching in Higher Education, 12(5-6) pp. 787–792.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13562510701596455


This essay comes from pondering the relationship, queried in the Call for this Special Issue, between the 'language of diversity' and the 'embracing of different forms of knowledge and ways of knowing' in the university. The issue of diversity is usually a sociological rather than an epistemological one - the access to and inclusion in higher education of individuals from under-represented groups, groups defined by previous education qualifications, class, ethnicity or gender. But the presumption of access courses, at least, is that such personal diversity, once (hopefully) welcomed into the university, is then normalised (inter alia, Lillis & Turner, 2001). So the Call, by linking the two, raises two questions explored here - should the university be a place of heterodoxies rather than orthodoxy: should it embrace different ways of knowing? And, what should be done with personal, diverse and potentially troublesome ways of knowing?.

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