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Inclusive practice beyond higher education: Skills for the future

This article explores some of the lifelong benefits of incorporating inclusive practice into your skillset and daily life.
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Inclusive Practice isn’t only something that we should be aware of within higher education – it should be included within our daily lives. In this article we have considered some advantages of incorporating inclusive practice into your life, thinking about desirable skills for employers and the essential interpersonal skills that inclusive practice encourages, as discussed in this course.

Critical thinking and engagement

Being able to think critically about issues going on around you, whether this be on a local level (for example at work), or on a global scale, is a crucial skill for life. It improves your problem solving skills, allowing you to make better judgements. Critically exploring a topic or situation helps you engage with multiple perspectives at once – encouraging you to be a more active learner.

Considering alternative perspectives

Being able to consider alternative perspectives is a valuable skill for the future, as it enables you to think beyond your own immediate experiences, observing problems with a more thorough approach. It allows you to approach scenarios from multiple perspectives, broadening views and understandings, and ultimately enabling you to reach better, more effective conclusions. Even if you don’t agree with alternative perspectives, it is constructive to be able to explore them and reach better understandings about world issues, and more closely the perspectives of your peers or colleagues.

Team building

Inclusive practice is greatly beneficial to effective teamwork as it allows you to further understand and empathise with others. Being aware of how to make an environment inclusive encourages everyone to participate fully and meaningfully, so in a group-work scenario, everyone is more likely to join in and be on board. Making people feel as though they belong and are part of an organisation or group is greatly beneficial to teamwork as we have previously discussed in this course.

Being non-assumptive

Being non-assumptive is a great advantage when it comes to communicating effectively with those around you. Being aware of your own unconscious biases enables you to continually work on making less harmful assumptions about other people, which might otherwise block you from forming meaningful connections. When we lead with a non-assumptive approach, we are open to communicating with those around us on a deeper level.

Interpersonal connections and understanding

Following on from ‘Being non-assumptive’, inclusive practice enables you to have better relationships with others and better interpersonal connections. It provides you with more cultural and social awareness, allowing you to better navigate a diverse environment or workplace.

These skills and forms of inclusive practice don’t exist solely in a learning and teaching vacuum. Using this course, and your own reflections, consider where you can apply and develop principles of inclusive learning and teaching elsewhere in your daily life, and recognise the benefits that this can have on your own outlook and the experiences of those around you.

© University of York
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Inclusive Learning for Students: Building inclusive practice into your life during higher education, and beyond

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