Developing Higher Education Identities

In this series of workshops and events, we will present and discuss findings from the inclusive education research project Developing Higher Education Identities. We will explore student identities and intersectionality, power and privilege in the classroom and how through our roles as lecturers, teachers, and professors, we can create principled and inclusive learning spaces.

a unique place to exchange ideas and share experience with other scholars...this forum fills that gap by allowing for open, sincere discussions about our teaching and how to make it better


Student Identities at the LSE

University education is no longer for the privileged few. The doors of academia are now open for all students to enter and embed themselves in learning. As educators we must recognise the different identities that students embody as they enter university and how their identities change and develop throughout their time at university.

As part of the inclusive education action plan, we have carried out an in-depth research project using autobiographical research methods to explore the experiences of 15 students currently studying at LSE. In this workshop Dr Akile Ahmet and Sarah Garrone will present the findings from this research and discuss ways in which we can learn and reflect on teaching practices through the student narratives.

Friday 4 November, 2-3.30pm, please sign up here.

Role and relevance of intersectionality in the classroom

Intersectionality is often used as a lens to recognise, discuss, and address the ways in which systems of inequity intersect to produce relations of power and (dis)advantage (Crenshaw, 1991). In this session we will explore the role of intersectionality within the walls of higher education, particularly in relation to our practice as educators. The aim of this session is to discuss the history of intersectionality and what it means for higher education in respect to inclusive education.

The session will consider the following:

  • Definitions and critiques
  • Intersectionality and the Inclusive Education Action Plan (IEAP)
  • Practical uses of intersectionality

Monday 12 December, 10.30-11am, Please sign up here.

“Which door should I enter through?”: race and disability in higher education

“There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives” (Audre Lorde, 1984, 138).

 Staff and students have multiple identities and therefore will face multiple levels of challenges and exclusion in the university. This raises questions for staff and students who identify as disabled and racialised. 

In this session Dr Amita Bhakta will discuss their paper “Which door should I go through?” (In)visible intersections of race and disability in the academy’ . This will be followed with a discussion on how the intersections of race and disability are experienced in the classroom and consider how we as educators can better interrogate our practice and understanding of intersectionality facilitated by Dr Amita Bhakta and Dr Akile Ahmet.


Wednesday 18 January, 2-3.30pm, please sign up here.


Student identities in the classroom: power, positionality, and pedagogy

“What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves.” (Horton & Friere 1990) 

Within the classroom there exists multiple layers of power and disadvantage that staff and student identities embody. This can lead to both pedagogical challenges and opportunities. Building on our workshop entitled ‘Is intersectionality relevant in Higher Education?’ we invite colleagues to attend this workshop to discuss and  reflect on the challenges of creating principled spaces of teaching and learning.   

In this session we will work through a series of teaching scenarios focussed on students’ identities and how we respond to the issues raised in the scenarios. We also invite colleagues in advance of the session to send scenarios that they would like to discus

Tuesday 28 February, 2-3.30pm, please sign up here


Inclusive Pedagogies with members of the SEP

Inclusive pedagogy is at the crux of creating an inclusive educational experience for both students and staff. Inclusive teaching refers to pedagogy that attempts to serve the needs of all students, regardless of their backgrounds or identities, and to support their engagement with subject material.

This session, in collaboration with student panellists from the Student Education Panel (SEP) will cover how inclusive pedagogy has traditionally been understood as well as providing LSE’s approach to inclusive pedagogy. We will hear from students about their experiences and some of the ways in which they envision inclusive teaching at the LSE. The latter part of the session will involve asking participants to share examples of their own teaching practice that we can discuss, allowing us to consider some of the following questions: 

  • In what ways does current pedagogy other students?
  • Is inclusive pedagogy good for all students? Why/why not?
  • What are the barriers to creating inclusive teaching?

Developing Higher Education Identities: Findings and discussion

As part of the Developing Higher Education Identities component of the Inclusive Education Action Plan, between 2021/2022 we carried out an autobiographical research project with 15 LSE students. The aim of the research was to capture the different identities students embody as they enter university, and how these shape the often complex task of navigating higher education. 
The research was co-created with our participants, providing space for self-definition and inviting them to tell their stories in their own words and on their own terms. 

In this workshop we will collectively engage with the key themes, narratives and recommendations from our research. We hope to facilitate an open discussion around ways in which the findings from this research can inform our practices both in the classroom and across the school to better humanise and connect to our students, recognising and learning from the multitude of experiences and identities they embody. 


Tuesday 7 March, 12-2pm, please sign up here

For the full Atlas programme, please click here.