Pedagogies of inclusion: a critical exploration of small-group teaching practice in higher education

Jacqueline Gibbs, Julia Hartviksen, Aura Lehtonen, Emma Spruce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper provides a critical examination of inclusion as a pedagogic principle through a practice-based interrogation of contemporary ‘good practice’ strategies for encouraging inclusion in small-group teaching. The analysis emerges from our experiences of delivering four classroom exercises that are frequently proposed as strategies for increasing inclusion, and borrows insight from critical intersectional feminist pedagogy to interrogate normative discourses of inclusion in HE. We argue that both the terms of inclusion, and the assumption that (verbal) participation is itself a straightforward sign of improving inclusion in classroom spaces, require interrogation. This article thus responds to the proliferation of inclusion discourses in contemporary UK HE, by identifying some of the potential pitfalls of viewing inclusion through the limited lens of participation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

This is an original manuscript / preprint of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Teaching in Higher Education on 9/10/2019, available online:


  • feminist pedagogy
  • inclusion
  • participation
  • small-group teaching
  • Feminist pedagogy


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