Strategies for Fostering Inclusion in the Classroom

Inclusive teaching can help educators expand their understanding of what they can achieve. To this end, The Teaching Center at Washington University aims to improve teaching and learning by integrating innovation in the classroom. Here are some strategies for inclusive teaching and learning which are featured on their website.

· Include diverse content, materials, and ideas

Select topics and materials which reflect diverse content. Be open to new ideas, which can enhance knowledge and produce discussion and collaboration among students.

· Create an inclusive environment

Communicate expectations, including how students are expected to interact and ask questions. Encourage students to “think out loud,” ask questions and consider alternative perspectives to those they hold.

· Encourage a growth mindset

Create a classroom environment where mistakes are okay as these experiences lead to learning.

· Strive for equality of access to instruction and assistance

Share information on the academic and non-academic assistance that is available to students. (Not all students will have read the school’s prospectus from cover to cover.)

Criteria for work evaluations should be shared with all students.

· Use feedback to refine and improve methods

Ask a colleague to observe your teacher-student interactions and identify any adjustments you can make to increase full participation and eliminate barriers. Ask students to complete an anonymous course evaluation at midterm and integrate their feedback in the remainder of the semester.

For more information about strategies for fostering inclusion in the classroom, click here.