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What is an Inclusive Classroom? What Teachers Need To Know

Inclusive classrooms are general education spaces where students of all learning abilities learn together, in one classroom. Inclusive education benefits all students involved, providing a rich and diverse learning environment, which supports social and emotional development for children with and without special learning needs.

For teachers, the inclusive classroom is a fantastic opportunity to promote diversity and bring a range of benefits to the children you work with. Let’s take a closer look at these positive outcomes for your students.

Inclusive Education Benefits

When done well, inclusive classrooms can allow everyone to benefit, and provide children with the opportunity to develop a strong emotional understanding and sense of compassion for those around them, which they will take with them, through life and into adulthood.

By bringing diverse learners together, it can also help to reduce stigma, as the class can talk openly about the different ways in which different people learn, find common interests and build lasting relationships too.

What’s more, by its very nature, an inclusive classroom environment is a kind, caring and supportive space where children are encouraged to embrace their differences and discover their commonalities.

While the inclusive classroom can, and should, be available for students of all ages, younger children appear to experience the emotional, social and communicative benefits we’ve highlighted above very quickly and deeply.


Inclusivity In The Classroom

What are you currently doing to create an inclusive classroom environment?

When starting out with creating an inclusive educational environment, it’s always a good idea to assess your current situation, and reflect on what you already offer your students.

To help you better understand what you’re currently doing to promote an inclusive environment, we’ve come up with a few questions that will help you to reflect.

  1. How do your teaching methodologies acknowledge and address the experiences of students of different abilities in your classroom?
  2. Do you actively encourage your students to consider the perspectives of others in your classroom?
  3. How often do you encourage conversations about these differing perspectives and experiences?
  4. Are your teaching examples non-stereotypical and do they reflect the diversity of your classroom?

Ways to create an inclusive classroom

  • Add it to your syllabus - By adding a well-worded, thoughtful statement to your class or school syllabus, you can ensure that both new starters and existing students are aware of your stance on creating an inclusive classroom. Make it clear that all those with disabilities and different learning needs are welcome in your classroom and you’ll be one step closer to offering a truly inclusive environment.
  • Share ideas with colleagues - Whether it’s at your regular staff meetings, or even on social media, the more awareness of inclusive classrooms the better. Plus, the more teachers who are on board within your school, the easier it will be to ensure you’re offering a welcoming and friendly experience for learners of all abilities. Let them know about what you’re doing in your classroom, or share inclusive resources wherever possible.
  • Vary your assessment methods - It can be tricky to vary assessment methods when it comes to exam seasons, but within your classroom, you can attempt to offer a range of assessment options. This helps to demonstrate to students that they can pursue different learning pathways and that success can look different for each individual.
  • Encourage openness with students - Set out regular time to talk with your students about what their learning goals might be, what success looks like to them and discuss openly as a group wherever you can. This can encourage them to better understand each other, encourage respect between everyone and create an understanding environment in the classroom.
  • Ensure you have resources for all abilities - By providing a holistic approach to all learning abilities, you can support your students to achieve their full potential. Applications such as those from Special iApps have been proven to be extremely helpful in supporting children with learning difficulties in their educational development.

If you’re passionate about creating an inclusive classroom environment, and would like a plan on getting started, take a look at our inclusive classroom checklist. We’ve created this checklist specifically to help teachers create a welcoming, caring space for children of all abilities.


Creating Inclusivity

As we’ve highlighted above, creating an inclusive classroom offers a huge amount of benefit when it comes to emotional and social development for children, and helps to reduce stigma too.

By further exploring the reflections and tips for an inclusive educational setting as we’ve highlighted in this article, you can be one step closer to helping the children in your classes benefit from this type of learning.

If you need further support in providing learning resources to children of different learning abilities in your classroom, consider subscribing to Special iApps.

Our award-winning applications have been specifically designed to address the learning needs of children with a range of abilities, providing them with the opportunity to develop and succeed with their education.

Learn more about our Special iApps membership here.

Inclusive Learning In Schools