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ERIC Number: EJ775776
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Sep
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0094-0771
Strategies for Creating Inclusive and Accepting Middle School Classrooms
Purnell, Paula G.
Middle School Journal (J3), v39 n1 p32-37 Sep 2007
The question of how to best help students understand, accept, and respect difference presents an important challenge for educators. As schools embrace an increasingly diverse population, middle school students are likely to encounter on a daily basis people from diverse backgrounds, and with different abilities and disabilities, in their schools and communities. Many, however, lack the skills they need to overcome their innate fear and distrust of differences. In response, some teachers, counselors, and administrators strive to create inclusive classrooms in which "all" students--regardless of their ethnicity, language differences, socioeconomic background, or ability levels--have a sense of belonging and acceptance. This article describes activities designed to help students become more accepting of differences, both in themselves and in others, and to foster positive interactions among middle schoolers with different backgrounds and abilities. The challenges of inclusion are explored and two classroom simulation activities designed to promote students' understanding of unseen disabilities are provided. Video stories--personal stories shared by students with disabilities--are presented as a format for peer discussion. Finally, implications for future research and program development are considered. (Contains 1 figure.)
National Middle School Association. 4151 Executive Parkway Suite 300, Westerville, OH 43081. Tel: 800-528-6672; Tel: 800-528-6672; Fax: 614-895-4750; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A