I’d like to share with you a powerful paper that I read yesterday.

As a preamble consider this: The field of instructional design and technology has it’s fair share of problems. Naming them begins the process of tackling them, but it takes ongoing and dedicated work – and courage. I’ve been filled with hope over the past couple of years as a larger and more diverse group of people have led the way in tacking equity, diversity, and inclusion in IDT.

The paper? Romero-Hall, E. (2021). Navigating the Instructional Design Field as an Afro-Latinx Woman: A Feminist Autoethnography. TechTrends, (0123456789). If you have access to the journal: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-021-00681-x If you don’t have access: https://www.readcube.com/articles/10.1007/s11528-021-00681-x

What is the paper about? Dr. Enilda Romero-Hall details some of her personal experiences, as a woman of color and a graduate student, professor, researcher, and instructor in a field dominated by men, and white men in particular. She also describes the ways in which intersectional feminism guided her scholarship and responses. Please read the paper yourself – it’s worth the time reading Enilda’s words in her voice.

Why is the paper important to me (and possibly to you)?

  • The kinds of things that Enilda describes – lack of diversity and representation in the field, aggression and micro-aggression, etc etc –  aren’t just present in other fields. They’re in IDT too. They’re systemic. They’re not other people’s problems. They’re our problems too.
  • If you’ve been to AECT over the past few years, you’ve likely met Enilda. Personal stories, especially when connected to people we meet/know, may have a transformative power (which is partly why the volume that Ana Donaldson edited on Women’s voices in Educational Technology is such a significant piece of work). Full disclosure here: Enilda and I have known each other for many years. Our grad student days overlapped, though at different institutions. We’ve also served in AECT’s Research and Theory division together, and collaborated on a few other areas (a paper, a couple of panels, a grant, etc).
  • Addressing issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the field is an ongoing work that shouldn’t be solely relegated to those who do equity, diversity, and inclusion research. For example, one step that we can all take in our teaching is to diversify and decolonize our reading lists. Toward this, the University of Huddersfield provides a toolkit to explore.