Making classroom environments more inclusive doesn’t just ensure students’ academic progress and lays the foundations of a safer, more harmonious community. It nurtures respect among students, making them more empathetic members of society. Inclusive classrooms protect students from bullying and ensure they get an equal chance to express themselves academically without fearing judgment. Moreover, a diverse learning experience makes the community more tolerant of different ideas.
Educators play an important role in making the dream of inclusive classrooms come true. This blog explains how present-day teachers can effectively champion the cause of inclusivity with these simple tactics:
Get to Know Your Students by Their Names
Your mission to create a tolerant, inclusive classroom environment begins with building a rapport with all students. The first step toward rapport-building involves knowing your students by name, learning their likes and dislikes, and determining their strengths and weaknesses.
That’s how you’ll soon begin to understand what ticks your students and how to motivate a particular student to study. Students will trust you more and listen to you.
Take Your Students’ Limitations into Account
Consider your students’ different limitations when creating a lesson plan. That’s because inclusivity is about catering to various learning needs. Some students have no access to laptops at home, or English could be their secondary language.
You must also be aware of students with special education needs and disabilities (SENDs). Therefore, make the learning process more accessible to kids with hearing impairments by offering transcripts of your lessons. You can leverage the services of translation and transcription service providers like taurho-transcribes.co.uk to ensure your lectures are understandable and accessible to every student. Make sure nobody gets left behind because of their different needs. The video/audio transcription and translation in multiple languages will help kids overcome their limitations.
Make the Classroom a Safe Space for Students
Give your students a safe learning space to express themselves without fearing getting teased, bullied, or harassed. Nobody should receive backlash for being incorrect; mistakes should be tolerated. A respectful and tolerant learning environment can make the community safer.
But creating a safe space also means giving students ample independent learning options.
Many educators try scaffolding methods where they’ll break down the learning material. For instance, the teacher will solve a problem, step back, and let all students do it independently. Scaffolded instruction encourages students to tackle a problem alone in the classroom, with less teacher support. In this way, students progress and become independent. This method accommodates diverse learning styles and abilities.
So, instead of providing all students with the same level of support, provide guidance tailored to their individual needs. It works well for students with ADHD who need some space to learn.
Ensure all Students Participate in Discussions
Not every student likes to participate in classroom discussions. Many students remain silent when the teacher asks everyone a question, even if they know the answer. Some reasons behind this behavior include:
- Talking out loud makes them uneasy, uncomfortable
- It gives them anxiety when they’re the center of attention
- They are not confident about the answer
You can cater to this situation by calling on students for an answer. Be aware if a student is trying their hardest to over-participate. Praise introverted students when they answer questions and appreciate a student for merely participating.
Find New Ways to Deliver Lectures to Students
Instead of adhering to old-fashioned lecture-based instructional methods, you can make learning more interesting and engaging by trying new teaching styles. For instance, a survey shows that 67% of students found gamified learning more engaging than traditional learning.
Teach your students using videos, animation, and infographics. Give them different group projects that hone their research skills. The less boring your lecture gets, the more inclusive your students will be.
Diversify Learning Material and Academic Info
Making your classroom more inclusive goes beyond practicing tolerance in the class. You should also focus on diversifying the learning material and exposing students to different perspectives on historical events. Let students see the biases in the works of various authors to hone their critical thinking skills and teach them the importance of studying varying opinions on controversial issues.
For instance, when teaching kids about the British Empire, you can have them look at how the Asian and African nations used to feel around colonialism and living under the Crown.
Display the Timetable Clearly in the Classroom
As children with dyslexia and autism struggle with organization, you can make them feel more inclusive by displaying the timetable clearly in the classroom. This visual stimulant helps them keep up with all the classroom activities and not feel left out because of their conditions.
Also, it’ll help differently-abled students to look ahead to their favorite activities, mentally prepare for the least anticipated ones, and actively participate in the learning process. Sharing this timetable easily empowers all young learners as they can tackle difficult tasks fearlessly.
Let Every Student Progress at a Different Pace
Every student learns at a different pace, so you shouldn’t compare them. Learning should not become a competition; it needs to remain a constant process where the accomplishments of one student are not used to dishearten other students. Comparing one student’s progress to another will discourage the slow learners in the class and may even stop them from progressing.
As an educator, you should analyze every student’s progress rate and determine what motivates them to become fast learners. Ask them which part of the syllabus they find difficult to grasp or what changes they would like to make in the learning process. Listen to your students actively, particularly the ones with special needs. Help them identify their shortcomings and find areas for improvement.
A classroom that celebrates diversity and empowers students leads to the foundation of a safe, respectful, and tolerant community. Suppose you’re an educator looking to make inclusivity the bedrock of your pedagogical stratagem; then consider the tips discussed above. Ensure that all students participate in classroom discussions, diversify their learning material, and provide differently-abled with the requisite academic resources. These tips help create a safe learning space for kids!