There are distinct epistemic advantages and disadvantages to occupying a marginalised socioeconomic social position as a student in education. Approaches to widening participation in Higher Education often tend to focus on the disadvantages – and on how students from non-traditional backgrounds can overcome these – while our pedagogical strategies often encourage the same. These activities can, however, often unintentionally work to prevent students from displaying and benefiting from the specific academically-relevant strengths that research suggests their backgrounds make them more likely to have – and from encouraging the development of these skills amongst other students. This talk introduces some of the research on the strengths of students from working-class backgrounds, and invites reflection on how we might change our teaching practices to recognise, and enable the flourishing of, the intellectual and academic strengths that working-class students (often) bring to the table.
In this mini-workshop, Leonie Smith from the University of Manchester will present the newest research on how to best support students from different socio-economic classes in the academic classroom. After, ther will be time for discussing teaching strategies, critical reflections, and questions. All teaching or interested in the topic are welcome to attend.