Working Toward Meaningful Change: A Student-Centered Approach Towards Diversity and Inclusivity within the Fashion Curriculum06/2020
Fashion often looks towards marginalized communities for inspiration, using exotic historical tropes for financial gain. However, there is a concerted effort within the fashion industry to re-evaluate this position and make positive steps toward equality. black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) voices are being heard, with key industry members taking steps toward a more diverse workforce at executive level to educate and impact fashion content and production processes. So how can the fashion educator take action toward inclusivity and diversity to initiate progressive change?
Student cohorts noted that aspects of existing educational systems render students as other,
and voiceless. This paper takes a position of responding through pedagogic practice in working toward an inclusive curriculum with students operating as active participants. New strategies encouraged students to engage in and challenge curriculum design, resulting in positive outcomes. Student commentary noted insightful and bespoke teaching and learning methods to de-colonize the curriculum, and to specifically respond to concerns on issues of diversity. The actions taken, and qualitative research methods utilized, re-evaluate existing pedagogic and industry practice in response to Student Union requests and sector-wide policy in promoting equality. Academics and students provided meaningful examples to learn from, and greater collective awareness and knowledge is gained. By building capability through intercultural competencies an exciting paradigm shift is taking place.