Jabbar, Abdul (2013) Characterising features of culturally responsive teaching in UK Higher Education Business Schools. In: 10th ALDinHE Conference 2013: Celebrating Learning Development, 25th – 27th March 2013, Plymouth University, UK. (Unpublished)

The paper supports the view of Nieto (1999) and Gay (2001) in that higher education should consider a culturally responsive approach when formulating pedagogy, which takes into account prior student experience as part of the student learning. The need to teach based on strengths underpins the principle that people differ in numerous ways, not just in terms of outward appearance but also in terms of culture, experience and how they think and process information. For many learning developers and academics this maybe a huge challenge, the background of many of their ethnic and religiously diverse students maybe alien to them.

As higher education has grown it has seen an increase in diversity within the student body. Jabbar and Hardaker (2012) have outlined a five-pillar framework adapted from Villegas & Lucas (2002), which has identified the need for higher education to be more responsive to the needs and requirements of students of culture and ethnicity (Ladson-Billings 1995).

The aim of the paper is to investigate through the use of in-depth interviews the characterising factors of the five-pillar framework within higher education. The interviews were carried out with the support of learning developers and academics. The phenomenological approach to the interviews allowed for discussion on the influences and experiences of academics and learning developers, leading towards a granular snapshot that explores the methods and mechanisms of pedagogy employed by learning developers and academics to teach, interact and engage with their culturally and ethnically diverse students.

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