Pedagogy is the art and science of how something is taught and how students learn it. Our innovative approach to equity pedagogy is based on a broad understanding of diverse identities and marginalized communities and reflects an understanding of culture as patterns and culture as power. Our model combines three key paradigms: 1) a human rights foundation and analysis of privilege, power and marginalization; 2) an anchoring to professional practice expectations and quality care; and 3) an integration of adult education principles and a developmental approach to the acquisition of knowledge and skills on issues of power and inequality. It recognizes that individuals always bring a range of knowledge, life experience and skill on diversity issues and it engaging multiple levels of learners to disrupt prejudice and bias, while maintaining a positive learning edge for all is both challenging and necessary. Our approach is grounded in evidence of health disparities and concepts of privilege and marginalization. It invites students /health care providers to explore strategies for navigating the layers and intersections of both privilege and marginalization at the same time, while avoiding the too frequent pitfalls of diversity education which can (inadvertently) reinforce simplistic identity silos, hierarchies of oppression or a guilt response – none of which are useful for health practitioners or service organizations. We have found that this approach resonates with health professionals and provides a clear ‘bottom line’ of equity practice expectations while equipping staff to recognize the complexities of the application of principles into practice. The deeper level understanding and ability to apply in practice is fundamental to health system transformation.
Our model and approach has been developed over several years of diversity education in a large urban hospital as well as academic settings. Our context is one of the most diverse cities in the world that is home to the largest Aboriginal and LGBT populations in Canada; where almost 50% of the city residents are racialized people and immigrants who speak over 160 languages. In this context diversity must be understood as a complex multiplicity of identities and effectively educating staff (and students) in a framework on diversity and health equity is requisite to ensuring quality care.
In a health care context managers have a dual responsibility for cultural competence in clinical care to achieve health equity while effectively addressing issues of workforce diversity. This can be particularly challenging in a unionized environment where fairness is often translated into “treating everyone the same”. The core objectives for the workshop included: understanding the impact of health inequities on diverse and marginalized groups; identifying the impact of power dynamics and diversity in managing teams and fostering a healthy workplace; and developing strategies and approaches to addressing diversity and health equity in leadership. Strategies were grouped under three key domains: self awareness, cross cultural communication and translating awareness of health equity into actions to promote inclusivity.
Results indicate that the approach is effective in increasing awareness, knowledge, as well s the ability to apply it to practice, Diversity & Health Equity Tool illustrated increased knowledge, skills, and competencies of managers and the gains were maintained over time
See more of: Evidence-Based Practice Sessions: Oral Paper & Posters