Quick Search:

Neurodiversify your curriculum

Grose-Hodge, Magdalena and Hamilton, Lorna G. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0526-8252 (2023) Neurodiversify your curriculum. In: Unconference on Open Scholarship Practices in Education Research, 9-10th March 2023, Online. (Unpublished)

Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: https://osf.io/xyefz/


Neurodiversity is the naturally-occurring variation in the human brain regarding movement, sociability, learning, attention, mood, and other mental functions (Armstrong, 2011). However, neurodivergence is often deemed a disorder as it is still largely seen through the lenses of the medical model shaped by the normative approach to science. According to this model, the difficulties that neurodivergent individuals face are inherent to the diagnosed disorder, rather than stemming from a misalignment between individual characteristics and non-inclusive environments, as well as the structures within the society that marginalise those who do not fit into the accepted norm. Diagnostic decisions are made on the basis of identifying specific atypical behaviours through observation. They are, therefore, influenced by cultural values and expectations of standard behaviours together with skewed norms as research into behaviour is conducted mainly on Rich, Educated, Western, Industrious, Democratic, Elite and Neurotypical (REWIDEN) individuals. Additionally, whether a specific behaviour is seen as atypical depends on existing social power relations, public perceptions and narratives and at present, the language used to discuss neurodivergence is often discriminatory, othering those who do not fall into the normative standard.

Some of the main values of Open Scholarship are accessibility, diversity, equity, inclusivity and social justice. However, neurodivergent academics and students are rarely included in the discussion. Academics should aim to change the status quo by raising awareness of neurodiversity, de-pathologising language and promoting participatory research. Validating the neurodivergent community will allow science to benefit from increased epistemic diversity.

Applied to the classroom setting, barriers arise when educators are not attuned to the diverse needs of their students, and/or when the demands of the hidden curriculum prevent some students from fully engaging with the learning experience. Lack of awareness of different neurotypes in the classroom may lead to what Milton (2012) calls the double empathy problem, which refers to the reciprocal deficits in understanding that occur when people have different communication preferences, social norms and expectations of each other, particularly across neurotypes. As educators, we can critically reflect on our assumptions and practice to eliminate double empathy barriers in the classroom.

In this workshop, we will explore ways in which we can “neurodiversify” the open scholarship curriculum and work towards neurodiversity-affirming education. We will consider how educators can bring awareness of neurodiversity into their teaching, for example through the purposeful use of non-pathologising terminology in relation to cognitive and learning differences. Using practical examples, we will demonstrate the promise of inclusive pedagogical approaches, such as Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and strength-based assessment, to improve the learning experience for all. Finally, we will consider how collaborative team-working within open science practice may be particularly beneficial for neurodivergent students and researchers and, conversely, how science can be improved by the inclusion of all neurotypes. The workshop will be complemented by a resource pack that can be adapted and used in teaching practice.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Status: Unpublished
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC1200-1203 Inclusive education
School/Department: School of Education, Language and Psychology
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/7606

University Staff: Request a correction | RaY Editors: Update this record