Reflections on Scholarship and Research - Gender equity through to Intersectionality - conceptual and in action.

Activity: Scholarly activities in Learning and Teaching reflectionAdvanced scholarship reflection


I have been collaborating , educating and researching in social inclusion social justice space for some period of time, however, with deep thinking and the establishment of a research and scholarly collaboration have moved my conceptual framework to that of applying an intersectional lens. My role in this is at a personal level and how societal change is required to enhance the true and unique capability of all humans/individuals. This started me drilling down and contesting my own theoretical stance of how to increase inclusion and overcome culminative disadvantage to those with multiple social vulnerability. This also meant how was I to change my theoretical approach to encompass an intersectional lens in teaching and research. (See research paper Not only did it stop there but after delivering an educational module on intersectionality, it became a necessity to consider creating first a group of national and international scholars who could have deep consideration and thinking of issues surrounding intersectionality and what it could deliver for society and the transformative impact of teaching and research. This research group is called the Social Equality, Intersectionality and Inclusion Research Group (SEIIRG Social Equality Intersectionality & Inclusion Research Group)
On reflection and consulting within and external to the university a model for professional development was required to translate the knowledge of intersectionality into developed for a research group. This made me consider the current educational module, the pedagogy of it, the issue of safe place and space within teaching and the use of personas to safeguard identity threat. (Abstract accepted – paper under development as per below).

Overcoming identity threat: using persona pedagogy in inter-sectionality and inclusion training
Cate Thomas 1*
1School of Social Works & Arts, Faculty of Arts & Education, Charles Sturt University, 2678 Wagga Wagga, Australia
*Correspondence:; Tel.: +61 0269332398
Abstract: There are many efforts and strategies in place to increase the inclusivity of work-places which is a positive approach, but little thought is provided to the personal cost of participants in undertaking some of these initiatives. Often due to the choice of pedagogy, participants may be placed in the situation to reveal hidden parts of their identity which leads to vulnerability and unpredicted exposure in the workplace and organisation. The paper examines the key issue of identity threat whilst undertaking inclusion and intersectional-type training. The paper highlights the continued need to challenge bias and other forms of exclusionary behavioural and cultural practices, however, this must be done in a cautious manner to uphold the safety of wellbeing of all individuals. A solution to minimize or overcome identity threat is offered via the use of persona pedagogy where personas are used expands one’s own world views and limits vulnerability ex-posure. The persona approach initiates experiences different to an individual’s lived experience which evokes critical reflection of one’s own positionality by taking on another persona. The paper concludes that the use of persona pedagogy leads to true transformative learning in the workplace whilst protecting the identity of individuals.
Keywords: persona pedagogy; inclusion education; scenarios; identity threat; critical reflection, empathy; expanding one’s worldview; disclosure of difference; safety and wellbeing.

Ultimately all this work in this space coming together drilled down to the issue of the relevance of intersectional identity to all careers, professions, spaces and places, and our pedagogy! This issue of pedagogy and ways of educating around intersectionality must just be that….. based in the concepts and lens of intersectionality. It needs to be able to raise awareness of and be receptive to these intersectional social identities of individuals who are learning around in justice and intersectionality.
Bringing these strands together (research, teaching, research group and educational delivery) through reflection is impacting how and why I teach, have delivered changes to the way I teach and the pedagogy used for transformative and authentic learning.
Period2021 → …
Event titleFederation University: SJIDE writing retreat
Event typeWorkshop


  • Reflection
  • Intersectionality
  • pedagogy
  • learning and teaching
  • transformative research