Three ways to create Equity in the Inclusive Classroom

1. Culturally Relevant Teaching

Teaching using cultural relevant methods exposes students to diverse cultures in deep and meaningful way. It can be used to emphasize social justice and activism. 

Culturally relevant teaching recognizes the intersections of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, and disability. 

2. Develop & Enforce Classroom Norms

An important part of creating classrooms that demonstrate equity and diversity is setting norms in your classroom that promote inclusion. Be explicit about how students will demonstrate respect as well as share ideas, opinions and values. 

Teachers must first teach students how to disagree in a respectful manner. Teach and demonstrate the use of Restorative Practices to promote self-awareness, self-management, social skills, and decision-making. Address the use of stereotypes immediately and discuss openly, so that students may learn and grow. It is often helpful to create class norms or rules together. This will allow students to feel they have ownership over their community. 

3. Community Involvement

 Invite community members into your classroom as experts. Ask them to read a book about their culture or a particular issue that relates to their culture that they would like to share. Invite people to visit your class as guest speakers to talk about a specific topic your class is learning about and how it impacted them. Invite individuals from the community disabilities to talk about their experiences. 

Creating ways for students to experience diversity respectfully creates students who are more willing to accept or tolerate the differences of others. The more exposure students get to diversity the more prepared they will be for life in the 21st Century outside the classroom.