Each of us a star in the night sky: forming constellations of practice to reimagine equality and diversity in Further Education and Adult and Community Learning Report of the Equality and Diversity Working Group

Vicky Butterby, Claire Collins


This article presents findings from our working group at Reimagine FE 2018, which sought to ‘reimagine’ equality and diversity (E&D) practices in further education (FE) and adult and community learning (ACL). Inspiration for our group stemmed from findings from our recent outstanding teaching, learning and assessment (OTLA) action research project, funded by the Education and Training Foundation, which suggested a need for collaborative spaces, or ‘constellations of practice’ (Mycroft and Sidebottom, 2018), where teachers can openly discuss E&D issues and their own positionality, without fear of ‘opening a can of worms’ or ‘getting it wrong’ with learners. Our group identified three key messages: the importance of finding the human story, how sharing something of ourselves can enhance our teaching practices and the importance of acknowledging and challenging structural inequalities within our education systems. We envisioned our working group as the beginning of these conversations for our settings, as we develop and form fresh constellations within our own organisations (and beyond).


Key words: equality and diversity, E&D, collaborative spaces, constellations of practice, positionality

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