Johnny Warström, CEO and co-founder of interactive presentation platform Mentimeter

Promoting #Diversity and #Inclusion

A diverse and inclusive classroom is one that treats each student according to their individual needs and is, in theory, a happy one. However, in any classroom, there will inevitably be louder and quieter students.

In a large group, it is easy for the quieter voices to get lost, resulting in these individuals participating less in group discussions, shying away from larger group activities, and often falling behind as a result. It’s not that they don’t know the answer, they just lack the confidence to express themselves in front of others.

With studies suggesting that one in five girls admit that they would rather not put their hand up in class to avoid drawing attention to their appearance, teachers and practitioners need to be more vigilant than ever to create a diverse and open setting, in which all students can flourish.

The question is: How can you help all of your students express themselves effectively in a way that they feel secure and comfortable?


Providing an inclusive, safe and varied learning environment is central to promoting engagement across a diverse student population. Small changes and an acknowledgement of empathy within the classroom can help shift the pattern of behaviour from an age of broadcasting one’s self to a more diverse environment of acknowledgement and listening.

Firstly, let’s consider language. Whether it is addressing tone, volume, intonation, or even the way you are speaking to the class, think about how you would like to be posed a task. Listen to the classroom and the language being used by your students.

Openness is key, let the creativity flow. Group participation doesn’t necessarily just mean throwing a question out to the whole class. Games, quizzes and quick-fire pop-quizzes can open the floor to the more kinesthetic learners in the class. Platforms such as Google Classroom, Mentimeter and even Quizlet for Teachers can make this a lot easier, and be integrated easily into lesson plans.

Use technology to your favour, instead of confiscating it

A study from the Department of Education suggests that students who take even a small part of lessons online do in fact perform better in tests. However, keeping momentum and consistency is always a challenge. Interactive programmes such as Mentimeter can be used to achieve this in a way that will reach multiple learners simultaneously through portable devices.

Multiple-choice quizzes and the option for students to ask anonymous questions during class opens a new channel of discussion for all students to interconnect, with a degree of anonymity. The involvement of technology and quizzes gives students the feeling of participation, therefore boosting inclusion and engagement with the subject at hand, whilst breaking up the more traditional learning models.

Movement in the classroom

The VARK (visual, auditory, read/write and kinesthetic) modalities is a well-known and respected theory of learning by most practitioners:

  • V: A visual learner may require pictorial diagrams
  • A: An auditory learner will require a conversational breakdown
  • R: Read  /write will work well with a traditional teacher and book work model
  • K: Kinesthetic learners require a physical action to grasp the information.

However, adopting all four of these considerations into everyday lessons can be difficult, especially when literacy, numeracy, and science subjects often take precedence over daily lesson plans.

One such way is to completely shake up a traditional lesson plan and get everyone involved - get the whole classroom up out of their seats and moving.

Adding movement into the classroom will boost initial enthusiasm, whilst conversation amongst students will allow others to help those who may be struggling to understand the subject matter in a new way. Moreover, this method avoids any one individual being singled out as it promotes the whole group working together.

Students who may be struggling more to grasp the material can openly discuss this with their peers and have the open forum of anonymous quizzes to question the materials they find challenging, as the lesson progresses.

Acknowledgement is key

It may seem cliché or somewhat obvious to most, but often the best way to create a stable foundation for open conversation and rapport is to build respect. This is especially evident amongst students who have traditionally struggled, stayed quiet, or even misbehaved in the past.

Giving praise and recognition to these students develops a positive association to behaviours that can otherwise be lost in a sea of noise, therefore enhancing respect and reducing the fear of giving an opinion.

Top Tip: Set aside time on a Friday so that you and your students can praise each other for achievements during the week.

By ensuring there is trust between you and the students, it will encourage them to talk more openly to you if there is a problem. Research from the University of Rhode Island has shown that listening to students is critical in the development of the student/teacher relationship. It helps students to feel connected to the school, builds trust and in turn motivates learning.

Holding reflection sessions or allowing extra time for one-on-one sessions will allow students to name any problems they may have inside or outside of school and will make them feel acknowledged. Regular contact with your students will make them feel more comfortable and more likely to contribute to class.

Today’s students have grown up in the era of social media, helping individuals to broadcast their previously-ignored opinions. As is often the case, the pendulum is expected to swing the other way as we enter a new decade, with a premium being attached to active listening and empathy over self-obsession.

As proven, this should also be reflected in the classroom using a forum format, with interactive channels of communication that gives a voice to everyone and supports the inclusion of marginalised students. A small change in dynamics can make an otherwise intimidating classroom setting into a place where everyone is included, acknowledged and listened to.

Johnny Warström, CEO and co-founder of interactive presentation platform Mentimeter

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertiser Skyscrapers

Video Advert

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page