Ducks, elephants and sharks: using LEGO® Serious Play® to surface the ‘hidden curriculum’ of equality, diversity and inclusion
AffiliationUniversity of Bedfordshire
equality, diversity and inclusion
Subject Categories::X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
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AbstractDespite widespread agreement on the importance of preparing management students for working in diverse organizations there is evidence (Perriton, Elliott and Humbert 2021; Perriton and Elliot 2018) that this is often ignored or marginalised in formal curricula. Our article draws on the concept of the hidden curriculum to present the results of a project in which business school academics and support staff explored the ‘unthought knowns’ (Bollas 2017: xix) that influence how equality, diversity and inclusion are, or are not, engaged with in the classroom. Our data were generated during workshops using the LEGO® Serious Play® methodology in which participants built LEGO® models to develop their own understandings of equality, diversity and inclusion. The models, and the discussions about them, uncovered complexities and contradictions inherent within these topics, alongside significant levels of anxiety and fear. Our study makes two contributions; firstly through the animal metaphors that featured in the models, we identify some of the anxieties that are generated by these topics which are likely to influence the hidden curriculum. Secondly, our innovative use of LEGO® Serious Play® contains important implications about the actual mechanism through which such insights can be ‘surfaced’ so that they become available for reflection and thought.
CitationSchwabenland C, Kofinas AK (2023) 'Ducks, elephants and sharks: using LEGO® Serious Play® to surface the ‘hidden curriculum’ of equality, diversity and inclusion', Management Learning, 54 (3), pp.318-337.
SponsorsFunded by a grant from the Chartered Association of Business Schools
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