Top 3 Tips for Diverse and Inclusive Classrooms

Teachers who strive for a diverse and inclusive classroom are doing their part to further a sense of belonging for students!

Cynthia Glover
Formative
Account Executive
Editorial Team
September 28, 2022
Topic

For educators working today, the need to foster diverse and inclusive classroom spaces grows ever more important. The United States has only gained in multicultural diversity with 2020 Census Bureau projections estimating that by “2020, there will be more children of color than white children.” Statistics like this one underscore the importance of having education mirror the country’s changing demographics. Or, in the words of disability-rights advocate Carlos Ríos-Espinosa, “our country continues our painful quest for diversity and inclusion, [and] we must value every member of our community...Our dream is to bring our young people together, in schools, in the community, and in our workplaces, not keep them apart.” 

Teachers who strive for a diverse and inclusive classroom are doing their part to further that sense of belonging. Whether analyzing photos and videos, assigning a group project, or handing out a formal assessment, you, too, can practice effective teaching strategies promoting diversity and inclusion. We’ve listed our Top Three Teaching Tips for doing just that.


Consider Teaching Biases

What are the implicit biases a teacher might bring to a class? Being reflective about one’s own teaching practices is the first step for any teacher cultivating an inclusive classroom space.

  • What frameworks - educational, social, and/or cultural backgrounds - am I bringing to the material? Will they reflect what my students encounter? 
  • What does the course content look like? Does it attempt to reflect diverse student perspectives? Will it spark thoughtful interactions and discussion?
  • Have I used universal design principles that are equitable, simple, and flexible, and that account for variations in students’ perspectives, backgrounds, and physical characteristics?

Implement Inclusive Curriculum Practices

Once you’ve asked those tough questions, turn that reflection into action! 

  • Prepare many teaching methods and instructional formats. Aim for a mix of formative, summative, and project-based assessment styles. Tools like concept maps, creative portfolios, and group presentations help you build in opportunities for shared work and individual learning. Doing this work saves time in the long run and ensures that your students connect to the course.
  • Provide choice. Have you presented the content in a way that engages all learning styles? It’s also a good idea to consider what work needs to be done as a class, and what can happen asynchronously.
  • Add a diversity statement to your syllabus. A document like this outlines the importance of diversity in your classroom and makes sure that your students will be on the same page as you!
  • Consult any students’ IEPs / 504s. For those students with disabilities or individual learning strategies, these plans provide targeted support that teachers should use. Make sure you know what to look for in an IEP or 504 plan, and consult your local Parent Training and Information Center for more information.

Develop an Inclusive Classroom Space

Good curriculum practices equal good classroom practices! After you’ve gone through your course materials, take steps to ensure the classroom remains a positive and welcoming community for all.

  • Support your students. Have a plan for assessing the climate of your classroom as you cover the limits or extremes of complex topics. Be prepared to support your students when they need it, and to welcome their input and perspectives on the material.
  • Face challenges head-on. Make sure you have the tools at your disposal to intervene whenever sensitive classroom issues occur. 
  • Manage behavior. Having a clear sense of how students behave, and what they need to succeed, will allow you to create a behavior-management plan when necessary. 

When it comes to helping vary teaching methods and instructional formats, Formative is here! We’re committed to providing all educators and students with the tools for a more diverse, inclusive classroom. Learn more about our platform here!

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Promotion

We've Officially Partnered with Google Classroom

Formative is now part of Google Classroom’s new integration. Create, edit, and assign any formative without navigating back and forth between platforms!

Learn More
Promotion

We've Officially Partnered with Google Classroom

Formative is now part of Google Classroom’s new integration. Create, edit, and assign any formative without navigating back and forth between platforms!

Learn More

Additional Resources:

Want to know more? Check out the following resources for further support!