Inclusion in the Classroom: Tips and Tricks (2023)

  • About
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Inclusion in the Classroom: Tips and Tricks

It is important to note that this is guidance material. You are not being required to follow any tips displayed here. However, the Chambers College Diversity, Inclusion, Culture, and Equity committee is encouraging these practices in order to foster a more inclusive environment within the Chambers College community. This guidance is not to censor your beliefs, customs, or Academic Freedom, but to encourage the inclusion of other individuals, thoughts, and beliefs. This guidance material is not to promote “debates” around these issues, but to foster dialogue and understanding.

Why should the classroom be inclusive?

Inclusive practices within the classroom and overall learning environment are beneficial in many ways. Inclusive teaching enhances student learning, retention, and engagement. Research suggests that students who feel excluded from their environment are less likely to successfully learn than those who feel included within the environment (Hurtado et al. 1999). Students who feel disrespected, undervalued, or unwelcome will become unengaged and learning will be minimized, which often leads to withdrawal (Murphy & Zirkel, 2015). Students want faculty and staff who are encouraging, supportive, and compassionate, who can maintain an environment free of disrespect and antagonism.

Problems with Political Correctness in the Classroom

“Insincere politically correct comments undermine pedagogical learning objectives in diversity education” (Avery & Steingard, 2008).

  • It is okay to open honest conversations about marginalized groups. You do not have to be politically correct at all times.
  • Forced or insincere political correctness prevents the sharing of authentic experiences and voices that may be intense and complex and impairs diverse learning.
  • Often in politically correct atmospheres, “students are left with the impression that racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, and the like are no longer present or significant in the workplace because they do not ever hear their counterparts vocalize support for such worldviews” (Barreto & Ellemers, 2005). o How are we to understand and navigate prejudice if we do not talk about it?

What can we do in the classroom?

In no particular order, below are basic tips for encouraging inclusion in the classroom:

  • Get to know your students. Ask them about themselves and their experiences, but also introduce yourself and your experiences.
    • Do not be afraid to have complex conversations in the classroom. Do not be afraid to be vulnerable in the classroom, as long as the classroom is safe and free from hostility (Kishimoto & Mwangi, 2009).
    • Follow the Platinum Rule not the Golden Rule: Do unto others as they would want done to them. Treat someone the way they ask you to treat them.
    • For example, if a student tells you their preferred gender pronouns or preferred name, use those pronouns and/or name.
  • Do not force someone to “out” themselves. Make sure students are aware that sharing their gender pronouns is voluntary. See GlaadorMy Pronouns for more tips on gender pronouns.
  • Provide in-class examples that break from the norm.
    • For example: instead of using John Doe in an example, use a name that is often associated with other racial, ethnic, sex, national origin, genetic information, ability, gender, age, religious, and/or cultural groups. However, be careful not to conform to stereotypical or biased notions, such as creating a Black or African American customer purchasing chicken and watermelon when discussing customer purchase habits.
    • For example: Instead of always using an American city as an in-class example, use a city in a different country or instead of using a well-known company, use a local minority owned business.
  • Teaching materials can often be limited to Western, white, male and middle-class narratives (Hill Collins, 2000; Scott & Sims, 2016). In addition to narratives disseminated by this population, include publications by non-Western, non-white, non-male, and nonmiddle-class authors and narratives.
    • Be careful using potentially biased material.
    • The typical Western World map does not accurately reflect reality. Try using the Peterson Projection map instead.
  • Allowing alternative assignment options for non-traditional students encourages inclusion. o Veteran and Military affiliated and/or non-traditional aged students are further developed emotionally and cognitively than traditional students (Hassan, 2010). They will not learn or engage with the same materials and resources as traditional first-year students.
  • Use inclusive language. Here are a few examples:
    • Language that Encourages Inclusion
      • First-years
      • Everyone, all, folx
      • Spouse, partner, significant other
      • Winter or Holiday Break
    • Language that Creates Exclusion
      • Freshman
      • Ladies and Gentlemen
      • Husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend
      • Christmas Break
(Video) Tips for an inclusive classroom
  • Rider University has a great resource explaining the importance of inclusive language and contains more examples.
  • Making the classroom more accessible encourages inclusion.
    • Use audio equipment whenever possible.
    • You may be able to project your voice, but individuals with hearing impairments will have issues within large lecture halls.
    • Turn on closed captioning when showing videos in class. o Use this reference for online tips: Accessibility for Online Course Content
  • Excessive talking or distractions creates exclusion as this can be very distractive to certain students.
  • If utilizing assigned seats, make sure you ask if anyone needs certain accommodations before assigning seats.
    • Asking students for accommodation preferences in front of their peers promotes exclusion. You can encourage inclusion by request accommodations through email, or similar venues, before assigning seats.
  • Speak up if you see or hear discriminatory practices in your classroom, in the hallways, at campus events, etc.
    • Be an ally for those that cannot speak up for themselves.
      • This is as easy as stopping a sexist conversation or telling someone that a racist joke is not funny.
    • If you are uncomfortable speaking up in that moment, please contact the DICE chair, the Dean’s Office, or DDEI.
      • Continuously engage in self-reflection to understand and monitor your own biases and privileges.
    • You can do this by attending diversity and inclusion events and workshops. o Perform a personal SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
  • Great resources for Inclusive Teaching:

A special thank you to all who helped create this manual. In no particulate order, special thanks to Joshua Hall, Jeremy Roberts, Lauren Cooper, Rachel Nieman, Sarah Glenn, Nany Lynch, Sarah Buda, Kayla Follmer, Graham Peace, Rebel Smith, Cindy Dalton, Arron S Fleming,Richard Riley, Edward Tomlinson, Daniel Brewster from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Dr. Ellen Rodrigues from the LGBTQ+ Center, and Aisury Vasquez and Spenser Darden from the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.


Avery, D. R., & Steigard, D. S. (2008). Achieving political trans-correctness: Integrating sensitivity and authenticity in diversity management education. Journal of Management Education, 32(269).

Barreto, M., & Ellemers, N. (2005). The perils of political correctness: Men’s and women’s responses to old-fashioned and modern sexist views. Social Psychology Quarterly, 68, 75-88.

Hill Collins, P. (2000). Black Feminist Thought. NY: Routledge.

Hassan, A. M., Jackson, R., Lindsay, D. R., McCabe, D. G., & Sanders III, J. E. (2010). Bottom Line: The veteran student in 2010. About Campus, 15(2), 30-32.

Hurtado, S., Milem, J., Clayton-Pedersen, A., & Allen, W. (1999). Enacting Diverse Learning

(Video) Resource / Inclusion Tips + Tricks for IEPs | Mrs. D's Corner

Environments: Improving the Climate for Racial/Ethnic Diversity in Higher Education. ASHEERIC Higher Education Report, 26(8). Washington, DC: The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

Kishimoto, K., & Mwangi, M. (2009). Critiquing the rhetoric of "Safety" in feminist pedagogy: Women of Color offering an account of ourselves. Feminist Teacher, 19(2), pp. 87-102.

Murphy, M. C., & Zirkel, S. (2015). Race and belonging in school: How anticipated and experienced belonging affect choice, persistence, and performance. Teachers College Record, 117(12), 1-40

Scott, C., & Sims, J. (2016). White teachers in diverse classrooms: Using narrative to address teaching about racial dynamics. Developing Workforce Diversity Programs, Curriculum and Degrees in Higher Education. Hershey, PA: IGI Publishing.


Accessibility for Online Course Content. (2021). West Virginia University. Retrieved from

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Faculty Toolkit. (2021). Northern Illinois University: Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Retrieved from

(Video) Inclusive Practices in Your Classroom

Inclusive Teaching Practices Toolkit. (2021). Association of College and University Educators. Retrieved from

Nelson Laird, T. F. (2014). Reconsidering the Inclusion of Diversity in the Curriculum.

Association of American College and Universities: A Voice and Force for Liberal Education.

Retrieved from

Peterson Projection Map. (2017). Oxford Cartographers. Retrieved from

Resources for Understanding and Confronting Racism and Its Impact. (2021). Duke Office for Institutional Equity. Retrieved from

Pronouns Matter. (2021). Retrieved from

(Video) Five Steps to an Inclusive Classroom

Sauders, S., & Kardia, D. (1997). Creating Inclusive College Classrooms. University of Michigan: Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. Retrieved from

Tips for Allies of Transgender People. (2021) Glaad. Retrieved from

(Video) Classroom Management Tips for Inclusion Students


Inclusion in the Classroom: Tips and Tricks? ›

Creating an Inclusive Climate

Build Relationships: It is important for teachers to foster a one-on-one relationship with each of their students as much as possible. This can be accomplished by greeting them each at the door, asking them about their interests, and using genuine praise in the classroom.

How can I make my inclusive classroom better? ›

Tips for Making Classrooms More Inclusive as Students Head Back To School
  1. Use inclusive language on all forms. ...
  2. Stock your library shelves with diverse books. ...
  3. Create a welcoming bulletin board. ...
  4. Develop clear classroom and/or school agreements. ...
  5. Prepare for teachable moments. ...
  6. Model inclusive language.
Aug 24, 2018

What are the 3 teaching strategies for inclusive education? ›

Inclusive teaching strategies
  • Create a consistent routine.
  • Provide a visual schedule.
  • Prepare students for an upcoming transition.

How do teachers promote inclusion in the classroom? ›

Creating an Inclusive Climate

Build Relationships: It is important for teachers to foster a one-on-one relationship with each of their students as much as possible. This can be accomplished by greeting them each at the door, asking them about their interests, and using genuine praise in the classroom.

What is most important in an inclusive classroom? ›

Providing an individual education plan (IEP) is most important in an inclusive classroom. In an inclusive classroom, students with a diverse background, varied skills, diverse abilities, and challenges are grouped in a single classroom.

What are the four P's of inclusion? ›

The 4 P's of Diversity & Inclusion: Being Present, Proactive, Persistent and Passionate.

What are the 5 essential elements of inclusion? ›

Five Core Components for Advancing an Inclusive Workplace
  • Leadership. ...
  • Employee Engagement. ...
  • Ongoing Training and Support. ...
  • Policy Review with a Focus on Equity. ...
  • Financial Resources.
Sep 23, 2020

What are the 3 principles of inclusion? ›

Three Principles for Inclusive Learning Design
  • Principle 1. Understand Your Learners and Organizational Culture.
  • Principle 2. Design Authentically.
  • Principle 3. Leverage Technology.
  • Advancing Toward D&I.
Dec 29, 2020

What are the five 5 steps to an inclusive classroom? ›

Five Steps for Creating Welcoming and Inclusive Learning Environments
  • Build Trusting Relationships. Know all of your students as people not just as learners. ...
  • Ensure Safety and Inclusion. ...
  • Make Diversity Visible. ...
  • Set High Expectations and Deepen Learning Opportunities. ...
  • Learn and Grow.

What does an inclusive classroom look like? ›

An inclusive classroom climate refers to an environment where all students feel supported intellectually and academically, and are extended a sense of belonging in the classroom regardless of identity, learning preferences, or education.

What is an example of an inclusive classroom? ›

An inclusive classrooms features students of all learning styles and ability levels. For example, an inclusive classroom could have a mix of gifted students, auditory learners, visual learners and students with disabilities such as ADHD, students who are in wheelchairs, and students with executive functioning issues.

How do you promote inclusion in activities? ›

Short-term diversity and inclusion activities that you can do in a day
  1. Celebrate calendar days around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. ...
  2. Host cultural or traditional parties. ...
  3. Seminar on inclusive behaviours. ...
  4. Groups of employees share their most defining moments. ...
  5. Discuss unconscious bias in the workplace.
Mar 1, 2022

What does inclusion look like? ›

Inclusion is a sense of belonging, connection and community at work. Inclusive organizations help people feel welcomed, known, valued and encouraged to bring their whole, unique selves to work.

What does inclusion sound like in the classroom? ›

An inclusive classroom is a general education classroom where students with and without learning differences learn together. Inclusive classrooms are welcoming and support the diverse academic, social, emotional, and communication needs of all students.

What is least important in an inclusive classroom? ›

The socio-economic status of teacher is not important for promoting inclusive education.

What are 7 pillars of inclusion? ›

What are the 7 Pillars of Inclusion?
  • ACCESS. Access explores the importance of a welcoming environment and the habits that create it. ...
  • ATTITUDE. Attitude looks at how willing people are to embrace inclusion and diversity and to take meaningful action. ...
  • CHOICE. ...
  • POLICY. ...
Oct 5, 2018

What is the golden rule of inclusion? ›

The Golden Rule of Providing Support in Inclusive Classrooms: Support others as You Would Wish to Be Supported - Julie N.

What are the six signature traits of inclusion? ›

Six signature traits of inclusive leadership
  • Cognizance. ...
  • Curiosity. ...
  • Courage. ...
  • Cultural intelligence. ...
  • Commitment. ...
  • Collaboration.
Feb 4, 2022

What are included in the six steps to inclusion? ›

Six steps to embedding a diversity and inclusion strategy
  • Train people managers in diversity and inclusion. ...
  • Be aware of protected characteristics - but think beyond them. ...
  • Address your unconscious bias. ...
  • Promote and support employee networks. ...
  • Gather, report and act on diversity and inclusion data.
Jul 20, 2021

What are the three C's which help to create a condition for inclusion? ›

By being curious, courageous, and committed individuals, we inspire our teams to become more welcoming and inclusive.

What are the core values of inclusion? ›

  • The values of inclusion.
  • Everyone is born in. We are all born as equal citizens and part of a community, we are only later excluded.
  • All means all. ...
  • Everyone needs to be in. ...
  • Everyone needs to be with. ...
  • Everyone is ready. ...
  • Everyone needs support - and some need more support than others. ...
  • Everyone can communicate.

What are the two types of inclusion? ›

Inclusion has two sub-types: the first is sometimes called regular inclusion or partial inclusion, and the other is full inclusion. Inclusive practice is not always inclusive but is a form of integration.

What is the golden rule of providing support in inclusive classrooms? ›

The golden rule for adult support in inclusive classrooms is to support others as one would wish to be supported. Adequately applying the golden rule requires knowledge and imagination. Educators need to know the effect of their actions on students.

What does an inclusion teacher do? ›

The inclusion teacher focus is on scaffolding activities and differentiating instruction to meet the needs of all students, not just the special education students. Provide direct support to students in a classroom by delivering instruction and ensuring learning through a variety of co-teaching models and strategies.

What is an example of inclusion? ›

Offering equal access to company resources is a fantastic example of inclusive behaviors in the workplace. For instance, do not limit access to senior management to some workers. Instead, ensure that all employees have equal support from team leaders and other company resources.

How do you create an inclusive environment? ›

9 Ways to Create an Inclusive Environment

What are 3 benefits to having an inclusive classroom? ›

Studies reveal that schools that have implemented inclusive classrooms see higher academic achievement, increased self-esteem, and more social interactions within the classroom, not to mention a better understanding of those with disabilities.

How do you create diversity in the classroom? ›

How can you Promote Diversity and Multiculturalism in the Classroom?
  1. Get to Know Your Students. ...
  2. Maintain Consistent Communication. ...
  3. Acknowledge and Respect Every Student. ...
  4. Practice Cultural Sensitivity. ...
  5. Incorporate Diversity in the Lesson Plan. ...
  6. Give Students Freedom and Flexibility.

How do you build a sense of belonging in the classroom? ›

How to Cultivate a Sense of Belonging in Schools
  1. Create a Positive and Supportive School Environment. ...
  2. Encourage Social Interactions. ...
  3. Celebrate Diversity. ...
  4. Encourage Student Involvement. ...
  5. Promote Teacher-Student Relationships. ...
  6. Establish Clear Expectations and Guidelines.
Mar 10, 2023

How do you include everyone in the classroom? ›

  1. Make it Personal. Provide opportunities for students to share their own experiences and perspectives. ...
  2. Include Various Perspectives. Provide a variety of perspectives on the topics you teach. ...
  3. Know Your Students. Get to know your students. ...
  4. Respect Diverse People. ...
  5. Respect Diverse Talents.

How do I make my classroom feel inviting? ›

Tips for Setting Up a Warm and Welcoming Classroom
  1. Establish relationships early on. Allow your students a glimpse at who you are outside of the classroom. ...
  2. Build relevance between your classroom and your students' lives. ...
  3. Create space for curiosity and discovery. ...
  4. Inspire confidence in each student in your classroom.
Aug 3, 2021

What to do for inclusion Week? ›

10 Easy Inclusive Schools Week Celebration Ideas

Put up an inclusion bulletin board in your classroom or the school hallway. Hang up pictures of disability heroes or student work on the topic of inclusion. Talk about Inclusion and Inclusive Schools Week during morning circle and include various modes of communication.

What is an inclusion activity? ›

Diversity and inclusion activities refer to the process of integrating people of different races, ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds into the workplace culture. Diversity and inclusion activities are intended to promote increasing team participation and a sense of belonging.

What is inclusion lesson plan? ›

Inclusive practice refers to the instructional and behavioral strategies that improve academic and social- emotional outcomes for all students, with and without disabilities, in general education settings.

What is inclusion in a school setting? ›

Simply put, it means accepting, understanding and catering for students' differences and diversity whether that's physical, cognitive, academic, social, or emotional. The goal of inclusive education is that students spending time outside the regular classroom environment is an exception rather than the norm.

How do you integrate non sexism in the classroom? ›

6 Ways You Can Promote Gender Equality In Your Classroom
  1. Be Reflective and Be Objective. ...
  2. Get Feedback From Colleagues and Students. ...
  3. Use Gender-Neutral Language When Appropriate. ...
  4. Explain the Context. ...
  5. Seat and Group Students Intentionally. ...
  6. Use Project-Based Learning.
Nov 5, 2022

What strategies do you use to support different learning styles in the classroom? ›

Tips for Accommodating
  • Engage the student in conversation about the subject matter.
  • Question students about the material.
  • Ask for oral summaries of material.
  • Have them tape lectures and review them with you.
  • Have them tape themselves reviewing material and listen to it together.
  • Read material aloud to them.
Apr 6, 2021

How can you make a classroom more culturally inclusive? ›

There are however, steps that school districts can encourage in order to make the learning environment in classrooms more culturally responsive.
  1. Assess your own personal biases. ...
  2. Get to know your students. ...
  3. Adapt your teaching and curriculum. ...
  4. Elevate the students' culture and native language. ...
  5. Involve family and community.
Mar 1, 2020

How to create a welcoming an inclusive classroom environment? ›

Five Steps for Creating Welcoming and Inclusive Learning Environments
  1. Build Trusting Relationships. Know all of your students as people not just as learners. ...
  2. Ensure Safety and Inclusion. ...
  3. Make Diversity Visible. ...
  4. Set High Expectations and Deepen Learning Opportunities. ...
  5. Learn and Grow.

What are the four ways to create an inclusive culture? ›

4 ways leaders can build an inclusive culture
  • Establish 'psychological safety' Team members should feel as though they can share their thoughts and opinions freely, so everyone feels heard and all ideas are on the table, not just those of a select few. ...
  • Discourage 'groupthink' ...
  • Encourage 'servant behaviour' ...
  • Be honest.

What are 4 strategies that support cultural competence? ›

How do I become culturally competent?
  • Learn about yourself. Get started by exploring your own historical roots, beliefs and values, says Robert C. ...
  • Learn about different cultures. ...
  • Interact with diverse groups. ...
  • Attend diversity-focused conferences. ...
  • Lobby your department.

How do you promote equity and diversity in the classroom? ›

Seven effective ways to promote equity in the classroom
  1. Reflect on your own beliefs. ...
  2. Reduce race and gender barriers to learning. ...
  3. Don't ask students of color to be “experts” on their race. ...
  4. Diversify your curriculum. ...
  5. Hold every student to high expectations. ...
  6. Avoid assumptions about students' backgrounds.
Mar 19, 2020

What does inclusion look like in the classroom? ›

An inclusive classroom climate refers to an environment where all students feel supported intellectually and academically, and are extended a sense of belonging in the classroom regardless of identity, learning preferences, or education.

What are the problems of inclusion? ›

This includes body shaming, discrimination against one's fashion sense, hair shaming, and height bias. Another example of this diversity and inclusion issue is the discrimination against the artistic expression of a person like having tattoos, piercings, bright color hair dyes, and other body modifications.

What is a disadvantage of inclusion classes? ›

Most districts rush the process or inclusion in order to look good. In many cases, the student may not be ready or has skills or disabilities that are better handled in a separate and smaller environment. 2. Students can get lost in a large classroom; especially, if there are no collaboration among the students.

What are the disadvantages of inclusive? ›

Disadvantages of inclusive education

Some children may feel inadequate next to their non-disabled children hence lowering their self-esteem which would make it hard for them to concentrate. Students who require special education services may require additional accommodations to get through the school day.

What are the 4 components of the inclusive classroom? ›

Inclusive classrooms are welcoming and support the diverse academic, social, emotional, and communication needs of all students.

What are 3 benefits of inclusion in the classroom? ›

Some of the benefits of inclusion for children with (or without) disabilities are friendship skills, peer models, problem solving skills, positive self-image, and respect for others. This can trickle down to their families as well, teaching parents and families to be more accepting of differences.

What are the top 4 reasons to support inclusive education? ›

10 Reasons for Inclusive Schools
  • All children have equal access to education.
  • All children learn alongside their same-age peers.
  • The focus of education is on the child's abilities, not disabilities.
  • Children become accepting and understanding of one another's abilities, talents, personalities, and needs.


1. 4 Ways to Make Classroom Participation More Inclusive
2. 5 Inclusive Classroom Strategies You Can Do Today
3. Strategies for Making Classrooms Inclusive | Accessing Inclusive Education | #spedewcation 🌻
4. The Inclusion Classroom: An Inclusive Education Movement
(Teachings in Education)
5. How to Create An Inclusive Classroom
6. Inclusive Teaching and Learning Strategies: Culturally Responsive Techniques
(Colorado Department of Higher Education)


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