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How to Create Effective & Engaging Content Pt. 2: Embrace Inclusivity

In our last blog, we explored why it’s important us to take into account the context of what we create: our learners! If you haven’t read it yet, check it out here.

This time around, let’s look at another VERY important topic: inclusivity.


Study after study has shown that there is no single larger influence in a classroom than a teacher (Cantrell and Kane 2013; Chetty et al. 2014; Rockoff et al., 2011). We hold a lot of power in the lives of our students! But as a famous comic book character once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” We have a responsibility to empower all of our students—even (and especially!) the ones who aren’t like us.

Hollywood has long struggled to do this. Movies don’t do a very good job of representing and complicating the lives of marginalized groups. Although attitudes towards inclusiveness have waxed and waned over time, white, male, cisgendered perspectives in media continue to dominate at the cost of black and brown voices, religious minorities, and individuals in LGBTQIA+ communities. 

For example, a 2021 study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, called “Missing & Maligned: The Reality of Muslims in Popular Global Movies,” found the following when they studied 200 popular movies from 2017–2019: 

This study highlights the same struggle in classrooms throughout the United States (2021). Ultimately, as teachers, we have the power and responsibility to change the dynamics of misrepresentation, marginalization, and minimization. We can do this in our schools and classrooms—no matter the grade, subject, or locale.

Content, just like our classrooms, needs to promote represent and embrace inclusivity.

While there is no single starting point for any educator to begin this process, making changes to how we create content is certainly a small yet measurable way to do so. Let’s be clear, this means that these efforts:

As a ninth year history educator, probably the single biggest recommendation I can give is REFLECT. Here’s three questions I meditate on when I create content for my students:

Take a look at this sample lesson from my World History course to see how some of these questions manifested themselves–especially the Street Fighter activity at the end!

So how do you create content that embraces inclusivity? Leave a comment below and share your ideas.


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