Many learners transitioning into college have skill sets they learned during childhood to build upon as young adults. It’s the instructor’s task to provide an inclusive learning environment that can positively impact their performance in class. Although students expect to perform to higher education standards, it’s ultimately the educator’s responsibility to promote a space where learners of all backgrounds and abilities are welcome and respected. Here you’ll explore ways to create an inclusive classroom for adult students.
Establishing Rules of Respect and Communication
An open discussion about the ground rules for student interaction among their peers influences the tolerance of disrespect and exclusive comments in the classroom.
Adults must remain considerate toward their colleagues of different backgrounds and abilities. Having your students collaborate on universal standards to maintain in the classroom can keep everyone on the same page.
Avoiding exclusive language can challenge unconscious microinsults and behaviors and remind your learners to stay mindful of what they say.
Adjust Your Teaching Style
Every student has a distinct learning style that requires a level of accommodation. Knowing how to cater to your students’ needs assists their growth as adult learners and can allow their abilities to thrive.
For example, promoting group collaboration encourages your students to learn varying perspectives and understand different backgrounds. Allowing for independent work by using lectures and discussions provides additional methods to contribute to your curriculum to showcase each student’s abilities.
Consider Learners With Disabilities
When creating an inclusive space, you should design an environment that is equally accessible to adult learners with disabilities. Students with disabilities face many barriers that stem from curriculum challenges and a lack of methods to help them thrive in the classroom.
As people with disabilities grow older, their families and support systems shift toward promoting independence rather than controlling situations. Often, these individuals attend courses and training that help them acquire skills they can use in work settings.
Educators can aid in developing skills, such as math and reading, that individuals with disabilities can apply in the workforce and various areas of life.
While inclusion has come a long way over the years, there is always room for further progress! It is a shared collaboration among learners, educators, and families who help promote a culture that represents all students uniquely and fairly. Knowing some ways to create an inclusive classroom for adult students can encourage a shift in diversity and acceptance that they can benefit from for years to come.