Summer is often considered the ideal time for educators and school leaders to review their libraries and curricula for sufficient inclusiveness and equal representation, and we’d love to help. So we’re offering you our knowledge, insights, and tools to help you audit your resources.
Why is it important for educators to create more inclusive classrooms?
Because in order to learn effectively and grow into functional, successful adults, students need to see themselves represented in their educational materials. Inclusive classrooms help all students develop healthy self-concepts and avoid being stereotyped or marginalized as “the other” instead of being recognized and appreciated for who they are as unique individuals.
How can you start to facilitate more inclusivity in your classroom?
- Download our step-by-step checklist for an overview of auditing your curriculum.
- Find out about new Meaningful Conversations from Raz-Plus.
- Check out this article by Dr. Francesca Pomerantz, which explains the use of diverse teaching materials to promote cultural responsiveness.
- Focus on assigning books that highlight a variety of different family structures, religions, cultures, and identities.
- Incorporate plenty of social-emotional learning (SEL) activities into your classroom activities.
- Utilize writing prompts to encourage students to write about their experiences with culture, race, religion, family, or any related topics that could be helpful as you explore inclusivity.
New From Raz-Plus: Meaningful Conversations
Meaningful Conversations is a dedicated social-emotional learning (SEL) resource within Reading A-Z and Raz-Plus that fully supports educators who want to address SEL topics in their classrooms. Meaningful Conversations presents culturally responsive content with activities for guiding discussion on difficult yet important topics through inclusive and respectful classroom dialogues.
We created Meaningful Conversations to help teachers create inclusive classroom environments and to help students be heard and see themselves and others appropriately represented in the world, thereby developing into more confident, empathetic individuals.
With Meaningful Conversations students can:
- Grow self-awareness, empathy, and social skills by helping students celebrate their similarities and differences
- Construct self-confidence through culturally appropriate windows into the lives of others and mirrored reflections of their own experiences
- Develop inclusive and respectful dialogue skills through classroom discussions facilitated by teachers, guided by clearly defined activities and easy-to-use resources in multiple formats
- Discuss difficult topics safely and appropriately, be heard, ask questions, and hear the perspectives of their classmates