By Ariella St. Rose (she/her)
Education tends to be taught through the lenses of groups that are not marginalized and as a result, students can often feel excluded in class due to race, language, religion, gender, poverty, or a disability, (Open Society Foundations, 2019). It is difficult for students to be in an environment where they constantly feel overlooked and unaccounted. I have met students who believed that higher education wasn’t for them because of the disadvantages they would face. How do we help to combat this? Through building inclusive class environments.
The goal of inclusive classrooms is to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn and that all feel welcome during the process, regardless of circumstances or identities. The very design of the course should support learners so that no one feels left behind (Darby, 2020). We can implement inclusive environments not only through Universal Design for Learning, but Culturally Sensitive Pedagogy and Accessibility.