Creating an Environment of Inclusion in the Classroom Stacie Weatbrook FTLC 1000 “I see nothing inconsistent between being proud of oneself and one’s ancestors and, at the same time, seeing oneself as first and foremost a member of the commonwealth of all races and creeds. My potential is more than can be expressed within the bounds of my race or ethnic identity…. If I had one last wish, I would ask that all Americans could see themselves that way, past the barbed-wire fence of race and color. We are the weaker for these divisions and the stronger when we can transcend them.” -Arthur Ashe, Days of Grace (New York:Ballantine Books, 1993) 186. Share Stories Appreciating others' stories builds a sense of community and commonality between Students and teachers Students and other students Students, teachers, and the course outcomes Freewriting and sharing stories: Freewrite responses before asking for comments -freewriting allows students to formulate an answer rather than being “put on the spot.” Possible prompts: -how can you relate what we're learning to what you already know? -what has brought you to this class and what do you hope to learn? -how will your background be a strength for you in pursuing your education? Active Learning Strategies also Promote Inclusion Not only do active learning strategies help students understand the course material better, they also help the class develop a sense of community and appreciation for each other. Active Learning Activities and Inclusion Pair Share – students share answers in twos which encourages equal participation Fruit Basket – students walk across the room to share answers with someone they haven't met Group Work – teacher or student assigned groups based on interest in a topic rather than who students know Group Field Work – assign groups to observe, collect data, do interviews outside the classroom Group Share – with chairs in a circle, each class member has a chance to share. "Inclusive education does not give up on slow learners, on the poor and the most vulnerable, on people who are differently-abled. Neither does it discriminate in terms of culture and faith affiliation. Instead, it capitalizes on the diversity of individual learners to broaden perspectives and enrich the learning experience. It is about understanding other cultures, other faiths, and people who are different from us, with the aim of achieving greater global understanding and tolerance, and obtaining peace for our conflict-plagued world." – Education for a Peaceful, Just, and Equitable World, Editorial, Manila Bulletin Online "Inclusion is one of the most important words spoken with regard to diversity. The leaders of many organizations and corporations understand that they must create an inclusive environment in order to ensure a level of productivity among their employees." – Dr. Charlita Shelton, President, University of the Rockies "When you have an environment that is truly inclusive, individuals feel comfortable being themselves. They feel more comfortable sharing ideas, and it's through all these different perspectives that you come up with innovation." – Lynette Chappell-Williams, Associate Vice Pesident of Workforce Diversity and Inclusion, Cornell University When a classroom can accept its members and learn from each other's experiences, the whole adds up to more than the sum of its parts and AMAZING LEARNING CAN HAPPEN!