The American education system has always been keen on inclusivity in the classroom, and the rest of the world is catching up soon. But when it comes to organizing an inclusive classroom, few have a clear idea of the term. Does inclusivity mean treating all the students equally, despite their perceived differences, or is there more? Can an inclusive classroom ensure the highest possible outcome for every student? These are all valid questions that require thorough discussions.
Studies show that an inclusive classroom provides a morale boost to students as they are not segregated based on their perceived otherness. Different types of students can be in the same classroom and perform to their fullest abilities if the teacher is mindful of their specific needs. The goal is to create a learning environment that works for all students. Continue reading this article to find out how an educator can create an inclusive classroom for students.
Create Better Opportunities: When it comes to teaching new things, an educator should remember that each student might require a unique approach to learning. A teacher should create better opportunities in class for students to learn the same things. For example, a teacher might want to teach a class how to write an argumentative essay. So, he provides the topic: How Do Natural Disasters Impact Lives of People? Everyone starts writing, but he notices one boy has his head over the desk and is not writing anything. Now, the boy might have a different interest and would better perform with another topic. So, the teacher provides him with a different topic: An Essay on your favorite Football Game. You can see how a teacher can engage students with varied interests with no extra effort on his part. The goal was to write an essay, and now everyone is invested in writing the same regardless of different topics.
- Teachers should always provide different options to students to choose from. The availability of choices helps them pick their favorite topics and motivates them to perform better.
- Each class should introduce multiple textbooks to offer students a better understanding of similar topics. The teacher may follow the much talked about differentiated instruction technique to create individualistic learning patterns.
- Listen to what the students have to say about their curriculum. Teaching them will be a lot effective if the teachers actively reflect on the thoughts expressed by the students. Teaching should be a two-way communication process.
Group Activities: In an inclusive classroom, students can be of different religions, races, and ethnicities. They may even have mixed performing skills. Therefore, grading their papers based only on the traditional examination method will not be the right approach to assess their abilities. Teachers can organize group activities that allow students to develop alliances and bonds with other students. These group projects help them learn better about other’s cultural heritage and traditions. For example, a teacher may form a group with a proficient English-speaking student and an ESL student so that their different abilities can complement each other.
Class Etiquette: When students come from different backgrounds, they often hesitate to mingle with their classmates. These differences can cause a hindrance to their learning. It is easier to make the marginalized group of people feel ostracized. It is the responsibility of a teacher to stop bullying mentality and show the commonality among all. There must be a code of conduct that every student must follow in order to be in the classroom.