At the very root of the inclusive model is actively fostering a sense of belonging. From the very first paragraph of the Alberta Education “about” inclusive education website we read:
“Each of us needs to belong. A sense of belonging is part of our business, social and personal interactions. We belong to sports teams, places of worship, community leagues and service clubs because doing so creates meaning in our lives. Feeling included shapes our identity, bolsters our self-esteem and fuels our personal growth.”
Belonging is about developing an attitude that removes the instinct to judge and sort and replace it with one that is based on accepting, supporting, even embracing the differences. An attitude of awareness that seeks to celebrate differences while ameliorating any negative impacts that are both real and perceived.
This video may have just been an English assignment in school – the flashcard story has been used for 21st Century learning, cries for help and in this instance to introduce a conversation around the sense of belonging: