Discussion Starters: Navigating Your Journey to Inclusion

Just like the mariners of old, we know that we must chart our course for increasingly successful inclusive schools and societies. What tools do we need? What questions must we ask and answer? Whether we are ambitiously charting our course for deep space, medical advance, new worlds, or inclusive schools, we recognize that we have work to do, experiences to enjoy, and friendships to build!

Many of us recognize that we have more steps to take to reach our goals of a fully inclusive school culture. As you continue your journey, consider these navigational questions in order to chart an exciting and successful trip.

For Educators Charting the Course

  • Are we truly inclusive in all aspects of our thinking, planning, and teaching?
  • Do we share ownership for all students?
  • Do we have high expectations for the success of every student?
  • Are we collegial in our relationships with our peers?
  • Welcoming of every student?

For Students Charting the Course

  • Do we seek out a friendly, supportive relationship with all of our friends in school and in the community?  
  • Do we protect each other from bullying or peer pressure?
  • Are we the friend we want others to be to us?

For Parents Charting the Course

  • Do we create inclusive homes and neighborhoods?
  • Do we join with educators in finding ways to improve inclusive schools and in celebrating the successes – large and small?  
  • Do we make certain that our children’s circle of friends includes the diversity reflected in our community and in our world?

For Schools Charting the Course

  • Are inclusive practices a non-negotiable for our entire faculty?  
  • Do we evaluate our current status in providing inclusive classrooms and schools and do we create plans for continuous improvement?  
  • Do visitors to our school immediately feel the climate of acceptance and engagement?

For Agencies Charting the Course

  • Do we offer services and supports to children, youth and families that are compatible with an inclusive philosophy?  
  • Is our message clear and well communicated?
  • Do we model inclusive approaches and decisions?

For Communities Charting the Course

  • Does our community provide inclusive settings and opportunities for students to learn about their place in society?  
  • Do we model an inclusive living and learning environment?
  • Do the message and experience we provide to citizens reinforce inclusivity that students experience in school?

Share this Activity