by Ale Gonzalez, Inclusive Learning Assistant
Throughout the last decades the term inclusion has been mentioned more and more and has become a highlighted word. The meaning of inclusion comes down to accepting and including or being included within a group or structure. So does applying the practice of equal opportunities and/or resources to people who would normally be excluded or “put aside”. As a school and community we’ve grown to become inclusive by advocating for these students who are put aside, looked down on, because of a condition that differentiates them from others and that sometimes limits their ability to do, think or say. I would say there is a lot of work left to do to keep growing as an inclusive school, but here are three basic and important elements that are needed to best practice inclusion in the classroom.
According to Cathy Giardina (What Does an Inclusive Classroom Look Like?, 2019), an educational consultant, there is what she calls The 3 R’s, that better provides effective inclusion in the classroom.
Delivers an environment of respect for every student. Each student has a sense of belonging and is an equal member of the classroom. All recognized by their own talents and unique personalities.
Relationships are born out of belonging, being an accepted and respected member in a classroom. Students are connected and included members in the school’s community.
With established relationships formed, teachers, students and parents develop the capacity to better address all kinds of student diversity and share the responsibility for student success. The classroom becomes the starting point for all students, and services and supports are brought to that classroom as needed and appropriate.
These elements are just a few to consider applying in our classrooms. There is so much more to work with as educators. I invite you all to think about how the dynamics in your classroom play out. What would you add? What would you change?
Giardina, C. (2019). What does an inclusive classroom look like? Inclusive Schools Network. Retrieved February 7, 2022, from https://inclusiveschools.org/what-does-an-inclusive-classroom-look-like/