The Best Tools in the Inclusive Teaching Toolbox

The Best Tools in the Inclusive Teaching Toolbox


What is this Research About?

Very little research focuses on what teaching strategies university instructors use to create an inclusive teaching environment for students with disabilities. Inclusive teaching requires a combination of beliefs in students’ abilities, knowledge of inclusive teaching practices, university policies, and student learning, design that supports learning, and actions that work with students. This study focused on identifying effective inclusive teaching practices that benefit learners with disabilities. 

What did the Researchers Do?

Utilizing individual interviews with 119 faculty members, the researcher investigated how faculty engage in inclusive pedagogy structure implemented their courses, and their rationale for doing so. The researcher conducted in-depth interviews with faculty members who had students with disabilities in their classroom and were identified by students with disabilities as engaging in inclusive practices. The interviews were transcribed and coded to identify themes in the participants’ responses. 

What did the Researchers Find?

The faculty members who were interviewed reported that any action carried out to help students with disabilities benefits everyone. Secondly, they shared a belief in students and their capabilities. The faculty members reported that they felt it is vital to ensure students understand that faculty trust them and their learning ability. They described their efforts to ensure that students believe in their potential and hold high expectations for themselves. Students were situated as the central and most important figures in learning. The faculty members also highlighted the importance of fostering their students’ participation and active roles in their development. Finally, they reported that personal investment from faculty is key. They report that students become more engaged when faculty express passion for teaching. 

→  How to Implement this Research in Your Classroom

Inclusive teaching depends on a combination of belief in students’ ability to succeed, knowledge of pedagogical best practice, design of accessible courses, and actions that support student learning. In this study, the researcher interviewed faculty who had been identified by their students as practicing inclusive teaching. The interviewees recommended the following strategies to create an inclusive classroom:  

  • adopt a positive attitude to disability  

  • be flexible, approachable, and ready to help  

  • plan the course meticulously 

  • learning should be active and student-centered 

  • ensure students with disabilities believe in their potential and that faculty members take an active interest in their learning and have high expectations of them  

  • establish how subject matter is relevant using real, examples, and by relating theory to practice 

  • establish genuine empathetic relationships with students to encourage interaction 


→  Citation

Moriña, A. (2020). Faculty members who engage in inclusive pedagogy: Methodological and affective strategies for teaching. Teaching in Higher Education,  https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2020.1724938 

→  Keywords

  • Higher education
  • Disability
  • Inclusive pedagogy
  • Teaching 
  • Methodology
  • Affective strategies

Creative Commons by logo This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Canada License


Snapshot Writer: Eric McCutcheon

Snapshot Publication Date: 2020


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