Inclusive Pedagogy, Celebrating Uniqueness

Pedagogy in its nature should be inclusive. It entails being fair as an ethical virtue and being considerate and mindful in a way that everyone feels welcome. One step toward inclusiveness might be practicing tolerating and learning from diverse views and thoughts.

While waiting in an outdoor dining, I noticed this crew waiting patiently as well.

I think one challenge is that we want to treat the students impartially, but students are not all the same. There needs to be an understanding of each student’s individuality while having the idea of the collective view. In an international setting, the dimensionality of inclusiveness reveals itself in several qualities from micro-cultural differences to individual ones. Each environment consists of many micro-cultural communities along with individual characteristics. An inclusive education opens doors to pupils to see from various lenses rather than narrowing their view and force them to look through one predefined lens. This respect promoting and hospitality for all attitude, creates an environment where everyone learns and fosters cultural competence. Encouraging classroom atmosphere favorably influences students’ determination, channels strengths for learning, and engenders motivation that further learning. Such classes involved engaging in conversations and improve understanding of differences. Inclusiveness results in empowerment, when everyone feels the sense of belonging to the environment, find the language to express emotions, and feels being heard. Such a sense of empowerment can enhance communities’ growth and enrichment.

8 replies to “Inclusive Pedagogy, Celebrating Uniqueness

  1. Hi Sara!
    I love your take on the importance of an inclusive classroom environment! How does that apply across different disciplines? What is your field? It’s easier for me to imagine an environment where students can express themselves in an arts and humanities class because this is my field. I suppose each field of knowledge allows for different spaces and different ways in which students can express themselves. How do you articulate a space for that in a natural sciences class, for example?

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    1. Hi Aline, Thanks a lot. My field of research is architecture, so on some levels, it relates to humanities studies as well. Typically, design studio classes have an engaging atmosphere, and the instructor develops a tailored approach for each individual’s design project, mostly because of the nature of the design. In a natural sciences class, though, I imagine it would be totally different, especially in more crowded ones. In such cases, I think the professor’s general attitude and behavior become more important due to fewer one-to-one encounters. What do you think?

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  2. Hey Sara, I really enjoyed reading your post. You made some great points about how to tie inclusivity and cultural competence together and I am glad that you are spending time thinking about that. The last part about when people feel a sense of belonging that this is the gateway for truly meaningful interactions to happen and growth to occur.

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  3. Hi Sara,

    Thank you for sharing this. “Inclusiveness results in empowerment” has to be ONE of sentences that says it all to me. I appreciate all the context you used and how nicely you summarized your thoughts on inclusivity. Feeling empowered and like you belong opens room for real conversations and sharing experiences that can further our understanding of different cultures and people and so many more things that facilitate how we work together.

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  4. Hi Sara,
    I liked reading your take on inclusivity. I agree with your thinking that when talking about inclusivity, we only think about treating everyone impartially, but we should also respect the individuality of each student.
    I know it’s easier said than done. How do we tailor our lectures and assessments to 60 students in a class? But the least we can do is encourage students to tell us their needs without fear and be accommodating to anyone who approaches us for help.

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  5. Hi Sara,
    Thanks for your thoughts! When I was thinking about inclusive pedagogy, I felt confused about how to balance the relationship between the individual and the collective. I really enjoyed your perspective. It made me feel less confused and inspired me to think more about this. It shouldn’t be an either-or problem, instead, as you said, we should see from various lenses. By having active and sincere conversations, we see differences but also make connections. We then grow together as a community.

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  6. Hi Sara,

    I really liked your philosophical view on what inclusive pedagogy means. Some of the points reminded me of the difference between “equality” and “equity”; we want to treat them impartially, with equality, but respecting their uniqueness and celebrating their differences, while understanding their needs to thrive in the classroom (equity). I loved the pic, it summarizes perfectly your post, a great shot!

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  7. Hi Sara,
    Your rhetoric reminds me of what people used to say when talking about race “I dont see race” versus the newer rhetoric that essentially says “our differences are worth celebrating.” Thinking of students as completely unique individuals rather than all being equal is the bare minimum that a professor should do in order to communicate and connect with their professors. My professors who have understood my circumstances or have made an effort to get to know me have definitely been the ones who have made an impact. Professors who are able to bring up these connections and remember them are definitely the stand outs in education. Definitely interesting to think about how this rhetoric has changed over time!

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