Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Honors Education
In education, sorting students according to attainment is common. Such sorting clearly sets up the potential for exclusion, based on the attainment ideals and on the modes of selection. Ideals of inclusion suggest diversity, and those of equity, by reference to impartiality, suggest freedom from bias. Honors education, which celebrates excellence, and references “honor” and all that word and concept infers, heightens and promotes the principled recognition of attainment, giving rise to questions of diversity, equity and inclusion.
The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), in its Ten Steps to Equity in Education, notes that inclusion is intertwined with fairness. How can honors education—and in the case of the discussions in this book, largely honors in US higher education—promote fairness, be diverse, and support equity? If it does not do so, how can it at all claim to be offering a principled version of what the National Collegiate Honors Council (USA) says are “opportunities for measurably broader, deeper, and more complex learning-centered and learner-directed experiences for its students”?
In 2015, the National Society for Minorities in Honors (www.nsfmih.org) was launched in the USA to specifically explore, support and promote diversity, equity and inclusion in and across honors colleges and programs. The first annual NSFMIH conference was held at Oakland University, Michigan. This book began at that inaugural conference, and has been enhanced by enthusiastic contributions beyond that event as well.
Graeme Harper is Dean of The Honors College at Oakland University, Michigan, USA, and founder of the National Society for Minorities in Honors (NSFMIH). He holds doctorates from the University of East Anglia, UK and the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. His publications include The Japanese Cook (2018), Filmurbia: Cinema and the Suburbs (2017), with D. Forrest and J. Rayner, The Future for Creative Writing (2014) and Making Up (2013). He edits New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing and The Creative Industries Journal, and is co-editor of the Journal of European Popular Culture and Studies in European Cinema.
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