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Valuing diversity

It is important that you consider how an individual’s social identity may impact on their experience of the programme/teaching session of clinical activity in which the learner is engaged.

The ways in which discrimination works include stereotyping, making assumptions, patronising, humiliating and disrespecting people, taking some people less seriously.

To ensure that we value diversity and consider the individual’s identity appropriately in clinical teaching, the following principles may be useful:

  • recognise that we need to treat all learners as individuals and respond to them, and their social identity, in an individual manner
  • understand that treating people fairly does not mean treating people in the same way – we need to recognise difference and respond appropriately
  • respect all learners regardless of their protected characteristic or social situation
  • try to increase our knowledge and understanding of aspects of social identity that may be different from our own
  • avoid stereotyping or making assumptions about learners based on their social identity
  • recognise that some course content may impact on some learners in a negative or difficult way because of an aspect of their social identity
  • recognise that the course structure, e.g. timing of lectures, unsociable hours, weekend working, and so on, may impact on some learners more than others
  • recognise that your own social identity may impact on learners in different ways
  • avoid using inappropriate and disrespectful language relating to social identity or social situations

Thinking points

  • How could your own social identity or social situation impact on learners?
  • How do you take your social identity into account in your work?
  • How do you learn about learners’ backgrounds and experiences?
  • Would all your learners find you equally approachable?
  • What do you think the reasons for this might be?


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