The Role of Inclusive Education in Social Change

When you’re trying to enact positive social change, start by focusing on inclusivity in education. Young people need to be in engaging environments that welcome different perspectives and value construction interactions.  With the help of motivated mentors and teachers, this type of setting can come to fruition. 

Read on to learn about the value of inclusive educational practices in social change!

Create More Mindful Young People

Introducing intentional educational practices directed at inclusivity can help young people appreciate the diversity of those around them. There are many simple steps educators can take to do this. 

For example, educators can incorporate underrepresented groups in readings. They’ll gain a more nuanced understanding of a persecuted group’s challenges. When reading autobiographies and other first-hand accounts, they’ll also develop stronger empathy.

Further, educators can ask students to advocate for particular issues through speeches or essays. And they can guide open conversations on difficult topics. Inclusive educational practices can give students an audience that they might not otherwise have for their opinions. Educators must establish a space where students feel called to contribute to class conversations and ask questions. Letting students work and discuss guided prompts in small groups, for instance, can help even the most insecure students start to feel like they have a voice. 

Build Better Approaches to Conflict Resolution

Inclusive educational practices also help promote better conflict resolution strategies. Some young people may lack models at home to help them know how to handle tense moments. That’s where educators and mentors can step in and model more respectful behavior.

Educators can help moderate tactful conversations in the classroom about difficult social justice topics. Racial inequality, gender discrimination, and environmental justice are among the relevant topics that educators can weave into class discussions. As a result, students will know how to probe these topics with a more respectful mindset.

Educators and mentors can share de-escalation strategies when disagreements start to emerge, as well. This may include repeating statements by others to clarify points of confusion. Or it may mean walking away from a heated situation. Such strategies can help students learn how to interact more effectively with individuals holding different opinions.

Prioritize Inclusivity in Education

Making inclusivity a centerpiece of educational programming can help ensure that new generations of young people value diversity and work to support it. Educators, whether in traditional or non-traditional educational settings, need to foster spaces where all voices carry equal weight.

Incorporating diverse voices into curricula and taking field trips to cultural sites are among the ways educators and mentors can promote this cause. In the end, they’ll help ignite awareness in their students. And that can help create stronger social justice engagement when these students enter the workplace and beyond. 

At OhanaHC, we endeavor to create inclusive educational environments where students feel heard. If you want to support this effort, we will help you step into the right role. Please fill out the contact form on our website or email us at info@ohanahc.org to learn more!

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Ohana of Howard County, Inc. is following the CDC, Maryland, and Howard County recommendations to ensure the safety of students, volunteers, and staff. At this time, we will be moving to in-person programming and masks are optional. When appropriate, we will provide hybrid or virtual options for engagement.

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