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Observing the observers

Dr Liz Austen and Stella Jones-Devitt Sheffield Hallam University

This project tested the use of digital storytelling in several ways: as an intervention for engaging in difficult conversations about positive cultural and behavioural change; as a method of data collection; as an innovative way of sharing evidence and expertise.

The project focusses on the discussion of 'critical Whiteness' within organisational development. Previous research by the project leaders concluded that a lack of discussion about critical Whiteness and subsequent impact on possible curriculum change might create barriers to addressing the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) attainment gap (Jones-Devitt et al. 2017).

Consequently, approaches that address implicit bias often focus on individual rather than organisational responsibility for change, resulting in minimal acknowledgement of critical Whiteness, per se. An exploration of critical Whiteness is an important and overlooked area of positive cultural and behavioural change within organisations. This project collected and analysed data from one higher education institution and developed a digital practice guide to support the development of further work across the sector.

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