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Pedagogies of inclusion: a critical exploration of small-group teaching practice in higher education

Gibbs, J. ORCID: 0000-0001-7961-8206, Hartviksen, J., Lehtonen, A. & Spruce, E. (2021). Pedagogies of inclusion: a critical exploration of small-group teaching practice in higher education. Teaching in Higher Education, 26(5), pp. 696-711. doi: 10.1080/13562517.2019.1674276


This paper provides a critical examination of inclusion as a pedagogic principle through a practice-based interrogation of contemporary ‘good practice’ strategies for encouraging inclusion in small-group teaching. The analysis emerges from our experiences of delivering four classroom exercises that are frequently proposed as strategies for increasing inclusion, and borrows insight from critical intersectional feminist pedagogy to interrogate normative discourses of inclusion in HE. We argue that both the terms of inclusion, and the assumption that (verbal) participation is itself a straightforward sign of improving inclusion in classroom spaces, require interrogation. This article thus responds to the proliferation of inclusion discourses in contemporary UK HE, by identifying some of the potential pitfalls of viewing inclusion through the limited lens of participation.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Teaching in Higher Education on 25 Sep 2019, available online at:
Publisher Keywords: Feminist pedagogy, inclusion, participation, small-group teaching
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
SWORD Depositor:
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