Diversity and Belonging

This section of the Curriculum Checklist supports art and design educators to interogate their curriculum, ensuring it meets criteria around Diversity & Belonging.

Diversity & Belonging

Diversity is all-inclusive and recognises that everyone and every group should be valued. A broad definition includes race, ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance, as well as different ideas, perspectives, and values.

Source: Independent Sector (2016). Available from Independent Sector

Key Question: Is there opportunity to ask about the cultures, makers, artworks and objects that you use?

Further examples and questions:

  • Do the artworks help to build positive identities for all children?
  • Are there any non-western pieces that could illustrate your teaching?
  • Have you considered the contemporary art, craft and design that exists within the differing cultures you and your students are researching?
  • Is there an awareness of pre-colonial communities? For example, could you use pre-colonial names of land or names of communities?
  • Have you considered the western lens through which art, craft and design is often viewed. For example, in a museum, behind glass cabinets? This may be very different to indigenous populations where what we deem to be a community’s or nation’s artworks, are in fact meant to be interacted with, worn or used.

Key Question: Does your curriculum refer to work produced by artists that are dual-heritage?

Examples:

  • The largest population growth is amongst children with dual heritage. Therefore, all children – including and especially children and young people of diverse or dual heritage – will be interested to see work that is not purely European, Asian or African etc.

Key Question: Does your curriculum include artists, makers and designers from a range of ethnically diverse communities?

Examples:

  • Consider the percentage of practitioners that are included in your curriculum from the various identities and ethnicities, for example: African and African Diaspora; South, East and South-East Asian Diaspora or Gypsy-Roma.
  • If there is an imbalance in your curriculum, for example; more white male Europeans than other ethnicities and women, do you question the inequalities that such an imbalance generates?
  • What proportion of work in your curriculum is art, craft or design? Is there a bias towards one of these more than the others?
  • How does your curriculum support the development of your students’ understanding and moving into the creative industries?

Key Question: Is there any reference to artists, makers and designers from your local communities?

Examples:

  • Britain has a long history of different peoples moving into and across Britain. What does ths mean in your locality covered in your curriculum?
  • In some communities there are tensions, does your curriculum enable your students to explore these topics safely?
  • Are students encouraged to challenge stereotypes?

Diversity & Belonging Resource Examples:

  1. Word of Mouth: The language of power and inequality in education and leadership (2020). BBC4. Available to view here
  2. blackblossoms.online which is an Expanded Curatorial Platform & Art Education Highlighting Artists from Marginalised Backgrounds .Available to view via Instagram here
  3. Anti-Racist Art Education (ARAE) Resources. Available to view here