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Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Power of Inclusion

I watched the news report about the graduates who booed and heckled when Ms. DeVos gave the commencement speech. As a fan of respect, I felt bad for the speaker, but as a public school educator who has found DeVos' words and acts often derogatory and demeaning, I could understand the response.

Similarly, I heard a citizen recently inquire about a school decision. The citizen wondered why there was so little voice and choice included in the potential decision. I heard more about this from a student who decried the decision too.

Sometimes in my class, students will resist too. I'll ask them to do something, and it's clear that they won't do it. When this happens, I recognize that I didn't give them any choice or voice in the matter, and typically if they all resist, there's a good reason for it and it's an issue that demands choice and voice.

When decisions are made with inclusive efforts, good lead time, research and meaningful rationale, those decisions are typically embraced, however when decisions are made without the voice and choice of those the decision affects, there is often little or less buy in.

There's great power to inclusion, and there's lost potential when we don't make the time and effort to include those that decisions affect.