9 ways to create an inclusive learning space:
- Expose yourself to a variety of viewpoints in order to expand your understanding of other’s experiences; try to find a variety of resources
- Make sure to include diverse textual and photographic examples
- Be open to feedback
- Be willing to accept criticism, identify ways to improve, apologize when necessary
- Find community
- Interact with the communities you serve outside of your job
- Learning cultural values and holidays provides an opportunity for connection
- Get uncomfortable
- Sometimes you will need to brush subjects you feel unequipped or unsure on handling, but avoiding it will not resolve that problem
- It’s easier to relate to people like us, but that should be encouragement to stretch
- Don’t forget gender
- Does the space reflect the inclusivity you want?
- You must accommodate people from the whole spectrum of genders, so what language and styling do you use to reflect that?
- Beware “imperceptible” distance
- Are you internally putting what you hope is imperceptible distance between you and some students you find less than likeable, or are you leaning in with them? Are you challenging yourself daily to make sure that your actions line up with your intent?
- You have to make an attempt to relate even to those you probably wouldn’t like
- Validate code switching
- It’s normal for people of cultural/ethnic minorities to change which language/slang style they use depending on who they are speaking with
- Accept that’s a thing, don’t make a deal out of it, and validate a person’s choice to either code switch or not do so
- Embrace the elephant in the room
- Acknowledge that people may not have exposure to religious, cultural, or ethnic differences and have questions about them
- Allow for compassionate discussion of these differences; way to practice emotional awareness
- Identify and Challenge Bias
- Some conflicts may arise where people feel cultural differences are to blame
- Work to identify when that might be happening, how to lead discussions that can reduce that tension, and inspire changes to behavior going forward
Retrieval practice is the act of trying to recall information without having it in front of you
– i.e. What are the parts of a heart?
Frequently asking learners to retrieve information builds those mental connections to remember that information
Techniques to introduce more retrieval practice:
- A question is asked to all students, students consider this question (think), find a partner (pair), and discuss what they think the answer is
- Can be straightforward questions with a firm correct answer or open-ended
- The first part is the most important part!
- Low/No-Stakes Quizzes
- Pretty self-explanatory
- Make them frequent and not graded to reduce pressure
- Brain Dumps
- Have students use a piece of paper to write down everything they know about a topic within a specified amount of time
- (If you’re working with a group, they can share these)
- Then gaps in their learning based on the subject matter
- Once a card has been mastered, keep it in the deck instead of discarding it (consider removing it once it has been successfully retrieved three times)
- Actually recall the info instead of using the info on the card to job their memory
- Shuffle the deck (keep the order new)
These are learning activities, not assessments!
Practicing should be done is frequent, sort bursts
Include feedback on gaps of knowledge
Make sure that the retrieval practices reflect the skills needed during assessment
– Records needed for reviews, food components for each meal, etc.