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  • ISBN: 978-1-7781627-0-1
  • Pages: 48
  • Publication year: 2022
  • Online supplement
  • Type of resource

    Professional resources

  • Audience

    Educational leaders/instructors

  • Format


  • Subject area


  • Targeted grade range

    Primary (K-3)
    Intermediate (4-6)
    Middle (7-9)
    Senior (10-12)

  • Series

    Quick Guides to Thinking Classrooms

  • Language


Supporting All Learners: Creating the Conditions for Inclusive Classrooms

Author(s): Usha James
Publisher(s): The Critical Thinking Consortium


Designed to guide educators in taking an inclusive approach in all subjects and grades, Supporting All Learners provides simple but powerful starting points for creating inclusive classrooms. Through classroom strategies and examples, this resource provides guidance to help educators make everyday decisions about instruction and assessment and create inclusive learning environments for all learners.

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The Quick Guide supports an inclusive approach by:

  • Encouraging reflective thinking about inclusive teaching practices
  • Providing insightful guidance and strategies for promoting inclusion in the classroom
  • Inspiring educators to take steps to create inclusive classrooms

It features:

  • Powerful classroom strategies and approaches
  • Practical templates for educators to use or adapt
  • Online component with modifiable templates and links to helpful resources
  • Inclusive classroom examples and stories from other educators

It is perfect for:

  • Educators looking for practical steps they can take within their classrooms to create inclusive learning environments that support all learners.
Why Is Inclusion Important?

Even small steps can have a big impact in our classrooms. Getting to know our students through meaningful conversations can help us be more intentional in our instructional decision making.

Supporting All Learners: Creating the Conditions for Inclusive Classrooms Quick Guide modifiable templates

Includes modifiable templates

Why Is Inclusion Important in the Classroom?

Educators everywhere are grappling with how to best serve the needs of every student. Classrooms are becoming more diverse, and inequities continue to exist in schools, communities, and the broader society. Educators recognize the importance of inclusion in the classroom to address those inequities.

The benefits of inclusion in the classroom are clear: Students achieve better results when teachers plan appropriately and find ways to capitalize on the strengths and address the diverse needs of all students. There is no shortage of reasons to adopt an inclusive approach to teaching—the most important reason being that each student has a right to learn to their full potential.

What Is an Inclusive Classroom?

Inclusive classrooms provide all students with a sense of belonging and the environment and approach they need to succeed and thrive. At the heart of an inclusive learning environment is student-centred decision making and inclusive educators who adopt an inquiry stance toward their own teaching practices.

How to Create Inclusive Classrooms?

Creating inclusive classrooms is an active decision that educators must make every day. It informs all their choices from instructional and assessment strategies to the resources provided to students, to the way students are grouped, to how they respond and interact with students. Creating an inclusive learning environment that supports all learners takes commitment to inclusion guidelines and a willingness to critically examine their beliefs, assumptions, and practices.

How Does Critical Thinking Support Inclusive Classrooms?

It is important in an inclusive classroom to ensure that all students are presented with challenging opportunities to think about the curriculum. Critical inquiry invites students to examine the content being taught and to make a reasoned judgment rather than simply recount facts. By framing the teaching of content as a critical inquiry question or task that has multiple entry points and is scaffolded to support different learning styles, we can ensure that all students have an opportunity to think critically.

Usha James, Executive Director of the Critical Thinking Consortium (TC²), shares her thoughts on five key points for creating inclusive classrooms.

0:00 Start
0:01 How can we create the conditions for inclusive classrooms?
2:17 What is an inclusive mindset?
3:14 When and how can we better know our students?
4:49 How can we differentiate?
6:29 When and where should we universalize our instruction?

"Using a critical thinking framework invites teachers to think deeply about their practice and to consider the complexities of equity and inclusion, while respecting personal and individual experiences and points of view. Critical inquiry is an authentic way for teachers to engage in the learning, reflect on their practice, and be intentional with instructional choices, creating a culture of belonging, where all students learn, and diversity is valued."

— Dani Sever, Principal, Calgary, Alberta

Quick Guides to Thinking Classrooms

Quick Guides to Thinking Classrooms series emerged from the success of Creating Thinking Classrooms, a TC² resource that explores the key pedagogical principles and ideas that will best shape learning in the 21st century. Each title in the series focuses on practical strategies for developing deep understanding, real-life competencies, and thoughtful commitment by students. Useful for beginning and experienced teachers, the Quick Guides are designed to inspire and reinforce creative, critical, and collaborative thinking in students at every grade level.

Assessing Mathematical Thinking: A Focus on Reasoning Competencies Quick Guide

Assessing Mathematical Thinking: A Focus on Reasoning Competencies

This new title in our Quick Guides to Thinking Classrooms series introduces empowering assessment practices and tools designed to build student and teacher reasoning competencies needed to effectively assess and evaluate mathematical thinking in support of learning growth in math.

Teaching Students to Use Criteria Quick Guide

Teaching Students to Use Criteria

This new title in our Quick Guides to Thinking Classrooms explores criteria for judgment: what they are, how to support student use of criteria, when and where to best make use of criteria, and how to assess for effective student use of criteria.

Building a Community of Thinkers Quick Guide

Building a Community of Thinkers

Use the practical ideas, examples and templates in this resource to build a learning community in which high-quality thinking is modeled, supported and explicitly encouraged.

View the Quick Guides to Thinking Classrooms series

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