6S Conceptual Framework of Inclusive Contexts

We developed a 6S Conceptual Framework of inclusive contexts, informed by inclusive pedagogical approaches (Florian & Spratt 2014; Makoelle & Malindi 2015; Salazar, Norton & Tuitt 2017), but mostly, we were guided by Williams et al’s. (2005) Inclusive Excellence (IE) Framework.

The development of the 6S Framework of inclusive contexts is presented in Table 1.

Using the 6S Framework of inclusive contexts, we reviewed, analyzed, and interpolated twenty-two cultural artifacts (Ellis et al. 2011) through a systematic literature review process (Dewey & Drahota 2016).  These cultural artifacts, which focused almost entirely on the pivot to online learning, were the online webinar discussions which were hosted between the 13th of March and the 24th of June 2020, by the ACSA (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture—representing the USA) and the AASA (Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia—representing Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea). A similar body in South Africa, the AEFA (Architectural Education Forum Africa—representing South Africa), did not host any online webinar discussions during this time. In lieu of this, we drew on informal conversations, formal writings and online conversations on general higher education, surfacing from South African educators. The webinar data that we analyzed, was delivered by participants (presenters, panel members and chairpersons) who represented multiple institutions globally, and acted from a position of collegiality and sharing. On the whole, they were open to new ideas and genuinely sought to not only share their ideas and experiments, but also to learn from each other, building upon mutual respect. We searched for data that resonated, expanded, contradicted, challenged or reinforced our 6S Framework of inclusive contexts. Under each of the inclusive contexts, we identified the most significant inclusive practices that are integral to a radically inclusive studio.

Systemic Inclusive Context

Social Justice Inclusive Context

Support Inclusive Context

Spatial Inclusive Context

Symbolic Inclusive Context

Structural Inclusive Context

Next, we drew from our respective experiences and contexts, to discuss and reflect on these identified inclusive practices. We framed this ethnographic exploration as considerations for a radically inclusive studio for diversity, equity and inclusion. As participants in our regular online conversations about the webinar data, we extended the approach of the webinar participants, by creating a safe space where we were able to freely express our opinions, and take a stance (or not) about contentious and sensitive issues which often surfaced. Creating an environment which supported the expression of new ideas, was essential to establishing trust and expressing our personal value systems. While we did not always reach consensus, mutual respect was always acknowledged, and of paramount importance during our collaborations. As feminists, however, our positions and provocations almost always aligned, and helped to consolidate and extend our perspectives about what constitutes a radically inclusive studio. Finally, we used a diagramming methodology, to visualize, explore, and test our proposition.

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