Inclusive classrooms are all about the community. Students feel valued, students have ways to participate, students are provided with opportunities to learn & succeed, and students work together as part of a diverse learning environment.
What does an inclusive learning community look like???
Anything! An inclusive learning community is not defined by certain set-ups or models, rather, they are defined by approaches that ensure all kiddos have the opportunity to be present, participative, and successful.
How can this be achieved? Keep reading to find out 5 ways you can build an inclusive learning community
1. Offer Varied Learning Opportunities Inclusive learning communities are underpinned by the assumption that diversity exists and needs to be supported effectively. In other words, difference is normal and all kiddos are provided with appropriate supports. Inclusive learning communities provide opportunities for all students to grow academically and socially. They provide students with multiple access or entry points to the curriculum outcomes because inclusive learning communities uphold the notion that not all students are working at the same level on the same thing. Inclusive learning communities provide students with choices to not only empower them, but to provide students with meaningful supports.
2. Build Relationships Between Staff & Students Inclusive learning communities value the importance of relationships between staff and students. Collaboration between all members is a guiding pillar that drives how students are supported, how teachers are supported, and how the community functions. Relationships develop through effective communication and interactions.
3. Include Parents & Guardians Inclusive learning communities include parents and guardians as part of their child's planning team. No questions asked.
4. Support Community Life Schools are microcosms of society. Creating inclusive learning communities without building inclusive communities would be silly. So, it is important to include aspects of community life within your inclusive learning community. Through shared activities and experiences, students will begin to develop an understanding of how students (other than themselves) are productive members of the community. For example, running a recycling program in the school allows for different learning opportunities within one shared experience that mimics running a business in the community.
5. Ensure All Students Have Sense Of Belonging & Acceptance Much like with the inclusion of parents and guardians, this one is a no questions asked! In inclusive learning communities, all students have a sense of belonging and they know that they are accepted.
Keep these 5 ways to build inclusive learning communities in mind as you set out to navigate the 2019-2020 school year.