Outline Some of the Ways Practitioners can use to Promote Equality and Inclusion.
Equality and inclusion are two crucial parameters that are important in maintaining harmony among people belonging to different cultures, religions and regions. Equality Act 2010 emphasizes equality among all people irrespective of their gender, age, socioeconomic status, culture etc. Practitioners should promote equality in their fields by respecting other’s cultures, customs, beliefs and visions (Callister,2021).
A doctor should be non-judgmental and patient-centred in his practice and treat his patients despite social or cultural differences. A lawyer should also practice equality and inclusion while working with his colleagues and clients. A teacher can be influential in promoting inclusion and equality among his students. He can guide them through various methods to accept and respect other people’s cultures and diversity.
How can a Teacher Promote Equality and Inclusion in a School Environment for Children?
Discussed below are some of the ways through which teachers can promote equality and inclusion among students within a school environment:
1-Equal Education for Disabled Students:
Education is equally important for everyone. Disabled students also have equal rights to education. The teacher should treat them equally and affectionately like other normal students. The teacher must educate other students to cooperate with their class fellows with any disability. Teachers can promote such physical activities to educate students about any hearing, vision or other physical disability and guide them on how they can cooperate with such fellows.
For example, the teacher can give students an activity about how they will guide their fellow with blindfolded eyes or understand words only by using lipreading while watching a muted video. The convention on the rights of persons with disabilities passed by the UN stated that the availability of equal and inclusive education opportunities is one of the fundamental rights of students with disabilities.
Teachers should not promote any discrimination among such students. Such methodologies should be adopted that can fulfil the special educational needs of such students, e.g., Teaching them with drawings, models, videos etc., so that they can understand and learn well and participate in class activities (Ainscow,2020).
2-Introduction to Various Cultures:
Students belong to different cultural, regional or social backgrounds, so their identities can differ from others. According to the equality act 2010, there should be no discrimination in class based on socioeconomic status or cultural or religion-based differences. “Multiculturism theory of education” explains that there should be equal respect for each culture, customs, language, religion etc. (Kalantsiz,2020).
Teachers should develop a sense of harmony and equality among students and treat them equally irrespective of their culture or social backgrounds. An activity of “themed weeks”, for example, Islam week, Christian week, Buddhist week etc., will highlight the importance and equal significance of each religion and culture.
Celebration of culture day in school is an extremely important activity. A group activity about presenting significant features of different regions and cultures can be assigned to students, which will be beneficial in introducing multiculturism among students. Learning different languages can also be an effective method for developing better communication among students. Teachers can arrange quizzes about different languages in class. They can assign a task to each student to tell other students about their native or regional language, as equal participation of each student in the class is mandatory (Deer,2020).
3-Communication Between Teacher and Students:
A teacher should develop proper communication among his students to understand their deficiencies and behaviours and urge them to participate in in-class activities. All students in the class are not of an equal calibre, so the teacher should teach students according to their IQ level. Question and answer sessions should be conducted at the end of the lecture to communicate with students by answering their questions. Ginott’s congruent communication theory explains that there should be harmonious communication among teachers and students.
Instead of pointing to a specific student in class, the teacher should convey his message while talking in general terms. For example, if a student uses a mobile phone in class, the teacher can explain that using the phone during class can affect her learning and grades instead of pointing to that student. The teacher needs to take care of the self-respect of the student.
This theory supports the equal and inclusive educational practice as it emphasizes using such techniques to urge every student to participate in class activities. Instead of promoting favouritism in class, the teacher should listen to his students equally and arrange equal opportunities and chances for every student (Charles et al., 2019).
It is essential for the character building of students that they should know about general stereotypes of society about education, gender discrimination, social status etc. Equality Act 2010 stated that equality and inclusion should be among people irrespective of social boundaries or differences. The teacher should adopt a positive teaching approach while teaching in class and challenge negative stereotypes that can affect their student’s vision.
Discussion about the latest news and research in class can effectively educate students about different aspects of life. Group discussions and debates are important as students can learn much through discussions. The teacher should assign any topic of discussion to class, for example, why job opportunities are less for females as compared to males, and one group should give points in favour.
Other groups should give points against the topic. So that students will know both sides of the story and can choose the right side according to their perception and vision. Teachers can present society’s general ideas about different aspects, such as racism, and give students true or false options. Students will pick an option according to their vision, and the teacher will ask why they chose it. Such discussions will help develop better communication among students, and teachers and teachers will understand the mindset of their students, which is vital in their personality shaping and character-building (Paul,2018).
5-Outdoor Visits and Activities:
Outdoor education theory emphasizes using other places of historical or cultural significance for learning instead of classrooms. Outdoor visits and one-day trips to any tourist attraction place or other historical places like museums, libraries, restaurants, etc., will promote equality and inclusion among students (Hill,2012).
Through such trips, students will view different things and learn communication skills, problem-solving skills, independence etc., through such trips. Teachers can ask different questions about the historical or cultural significance of the place and tell them stories and historical facts related to that place. He can assign them to write names of all those new objects and what they think about such things. This will increase their information and general acceptance of different social and cultural factors. Teachers should take care of students’ feasibility and socioeconomic status while arranging such trips (Deer,2020).
Equal and inclusive educational practice is highly important for students. Teachers should be properly trained regarding how to promote class equality. Making an appropriate lesson plan for students and its application in class can be beneficial. Different educational seminars should be conducted in schools for general awareness about teaching and dealing with students with special needs (Promoting inclusive practice,2018).
Monthly parent-teacher meetings and proper communication among students and teachers are mandatory for keeping an eye on his learning and improvement in class. Inviting social experts, famous people, or motivational speakers in class will motivate students. Arts competitions in class, e.g., painting competitions, will involve students in-class activities. Teaching through storytelling is also beneficial.
Ainscow, M., 2020. Promoting inclusion and equity in education: lessons from international experiences. Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, 6(1), pp.7-16.
Charles, C.M. and Cole, K.M., 2019. Building classroom management: Methods and models. Pearson.
Essays, UK. (November 2018). Promoting Inclusive Practice in the Classroom Lecture. Retrieved from https://www.ukessays.com/lectures/education/inclusion/promoting/?vref=1
Hill, A., 2012. Developing approaches to outdoor education that promote sustainability education. Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education, 16(1), pp.15-27.
Kalantzis, M. and Cope, B., 2020. Multiculturalism and education policy. In Ethnicity, class and gender in Australia (pp. 82-97). Routledge.
Karl Paur.2018. Strategies To Promote Inclusion In School. Available [online] at: https://iqmaward.com/news/strategies-to-promote-inclusion-in-school/
Lynch, K. and Baker, J., 2005. Equality in education: An equality of condition perspective. Theory and research in education, 3(2), pp.131-164.
Lynne Callister.2021. How to Promote Equality & Diversity in the Workplace. Available [online] at: https://www.skillcast.com/blog/promote-workplace-equality-diversity
Marcel Deer.2020. Promoting equality and diversity in the classroom. Available [online] at: https://cpdonline.co.uk/knowledge-base/safeguarding/promoting-equality-and-diversity-in-the-classroom/