Best Practice

Building belonging in your classroom: Theory, tweaks, and transformations

How can we ensure that our students feel they ‘belong’ in our classrooms? Sanum J Khan offers some practical ideas and encouragement for teachers
Image: Adobe Stock

Building a sense of belonging in classrooms is an on-going process that involves everything from seemingly small acts to larger more strategic planning.

In recent years, I have been pleased to see an increasing amount of research, books, blogs and podcasts dedicated to the creation of such spaces. Not only does building a sense of belonging feel like the ethical thing to do in a values-driven establishment, but it also influences learning and improves outcomes.

In Motivated Teaching (2020), Peps Mccrea outlines the importance of building belonging when planning for success in the classroom and notes: “The more we feel we belong to a group, the more we invest in its goals and conform to its norms. The less we feel we belong to a group, the less we will be open to its influence, to the extent that we may even oppose what it advocates.”

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