An inclusive classroom is one in which all students are supported and encouraged to share their views and concerns with the class. Teachers in inclusive classrooms use a variety of teaching methods to include students with many different learning styles. The inclusiveness of the classroom is dependent on course content, methods of instruction and class organisation. As a teacher, you can implement strategies to ensure your classroom is inclusive for all students.
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Choose course content that comes from many different perspectives. Be careful not to present the course material in a biased way that does not include several interpretations.
Present course content using different mediums. Some students learn better from in-class readings, whereas other students learn best by viewing videos. Include several different ways to learn the material so all students have the best chance at understanding it.
Empower students to make decisions in the classroom. The most powerful learning comes from taking risks and learning from mistakes. Encourage students to take initiative on in-class projects and discussion groups. Empower students by allowing different paths to completing projects and assignments based on the student's work preferences.
Provide constant feedback. Students need clear goals and feedback about their progress toward these goals. Design assignments that are challenging and measurable. If students know which goals they are working toward, they will be more likely to achieve them.
Separate the class into small groups, allowing each student to get a turn to share their ideas with other students. Many students find it easier to include themselves into a small group setting than a large classroom setting.
Open up discussion regarding the textbook. Instead of just assigning textbook reading and then testing students on the material, allow students to disagree with the book and with one another over its contents. Every textbook is written from a particular perspective, each with its own stereotypes. Students in an inclusive classroom must be able to express their views about the material in a safe setting.
Encourage parent involvement in classrooms with younger learners. Parents know how their children work most effectively and can be an invaluable resource for a teacher looking to design an inclusive classroom. Ask parents about the preferences of their own children and give the parents a voice in classroom development.
Tips and warnings
- Show students you care about them. Students want to be heard, and they will be more inclined to get involved in the classroom if they feel the teacher genuinely cares about them.
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