In my teaching materials and interactions with students, I make sure that differences are embraced and that all students feel welcome.
When we have an inclusive community, we have a community in which all individuals feel welcome and have the same rights and responsibilities. We want to encourage everyone to achieve their goals and must create an environment in which that is possible.
In addition to modeling respect and appreciation for diversity in your courses, you help students get to know each other and learn from different perspectives. Create an environment and activities in which students feel supported and empowered to share their varying experiences and perspectives and guide reflection on the import of being aware of differences. Also, make sure the material you use in class reflects diverse life experiences.
It is the teacher’s responsibility to make education meaningful to students. Part of this is making sure students can connect to each other or each other’s experiences. Finding common ground amongst diversity and ensuring that students feel like a part of the group, while respecting differences is step one in making sure all students are ready to learn.
From time to time during your course, reflect on whether or not your materials are inclusive or on where you can fit in discussion or activities that bring in different perspectives. Also consider asking students in a mid- or end-of-semester evaluation how they are experiencing the group dynamic or class atmosphere.
Include varying perspectives in your course
Challenge yourself and your students to incorporate a range of perspectives in your course and then to think critically about the benefit of awareness of multiple perspectives.
For example, have students evaluate their own work or projects from a different perspective or have students prioritize concepts from a lesson according to different points of view.
Improve accessibility in your Brightspace course
Improve accessibility in your digital learning environment to ensure that all students can access materials and fully participate in activities.