Human beings have valued ‘identity’ more than all non-tangible possessions since time immemorial. We choose to identify ourselves based on gender, class, caste, region, community, religion, nationality and the list is just too long to stop. More often than not, we forget that our identity is a part of us. We tend to get delusional that we are a part of an identity forced upon us. Identity cannot be compartmentalized. It can neither be split into halves and thirds, nor can it have clearly defined boundaries. More importantly, it shouldn’t become a tool that paves way for hatred and the separation of an individual or a specific group on the whole.
Today when our world has become fragmented, ‘Inclusive behaviour ‘ is the one thing that can ensure a happy and safe learning space for kids.
A school plays a crucial role in influencing a child’s perspective. It not only bears the responsibility of providing academic excellence, but also has the responsibility of being the hub of intellectual learning and values that are pivotal to life. As our education system evolves, our educational programs, strategies, and the lessons designed for children should look at accommodating all learners, irrespective of their differences.
Educators also have a major role to play in inculcating inclusive behavior in children. As the most influential people in children’s lives, teachers have the responsibility of encouraging and fostering the virtue of respecting all human beings. This also goes hand in hand with children being taught to not be judgemental about each other’s uniqueness.
We, the teachers, as active participants of the education system, must find different ways of teaching so that classrooms actively involve all children. It also means finding ways to develop friendships, nurture relationships and mutual respect between all children, and between children and teachers in the school.
A school that adheres to inclusive teaching is where a child truly understands his/her identity and also develops the healthy attitude of accepting and respecting identities that are different from his/her.
At the end of the day, no matter what divides us, humanity and compassion must bind us together as human beings. Centuries of evolution and decades of globalization will be a mere waste if we fail to notice the beauty in diversity.