Inclusive Instructional Practices

SSTs and their regional partners (e.g., ESC personnel) support districts and their schools in planning instruction, delivering instruction, and assessing the effects of the instruction delivered on student learning. Inclusive instruction supports grade-level learning for all students from prekindergarten to graduation through effective teaching practices in diverse classrooms. Cultivating student engagement and providing learning supports and assessments, inclusive instructional practices enable each student to meet academic, behavioral, and social needs.

In supporting the use of inclusive instructional practices, regional providers assist district and school personnel to proactively co-plan to meet the instructional needs of diverse learners, ensure all students have access to a rigorous curriculum aligned to grade-level standards, ensure that a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) is in place to meet the needs of each student, both academically and behaviorally, and promote the use of proportional representation of students from student groups (e.g., students with disabilities) in all classrooms. Insert PDF titled Inclusive Instructional Practices Non-negotiables with Zoom functionality so users can enlarge it.

For more information on how Ohio regional providers support districts and school personnel in the use of inclusive instructional practices, click below:

The instructional practices that teachers use have a strong, direct influence on students’ learning (Ball & Forzani, 2009; Hattie, 2009; Rowan, Correnti, & Miller, 2002). A wide range of practices have positive effects (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001), but not all of them work well with all students or in all contexts (Meyer, Rose, & Gordon, 2014; Tomlinson, 2017). When teachers understand how to use a variety of effective Instructional practices as well as how to assess their impact, a district’s capacity expands.

Expertise with inclusive instructional practices involves the ability to make use of practices that give each student access to the knowledge and skills in the general education curriculum (Frattura & Capper, 2007; Tomlinson, 2017). Three types of practices shape effective instruction: practices relating to planning instruction, delivering instruction, and assessing instruction. To be effective each set of practices needs to address several important criteria.

Effective planning of instruction involves careful translation of academic standards, attention to the different ways that students learn, selection of high-quality resources, and support for a positive learning environment. Bringing together all of the educators with relevant expertise allows teams to “co-plan” to serve every student (Frattura & Capper, 2007).

Effective delivery of instruction takes place through a repertoire of practices that help students integrate new knowledge and skills into an evolving framework of competence and meaning. Among other practices, this repertoire includes practices for setting the stage, activating prior knowledge, providing clear explanations, demonstrating new concepts and skills, promoting engagement, fostering discussion, guiding practice, and offering precise feedback (Astleitner, 2005; Hattie, 2009).

Effective assessment of instruction focuses simultaneously on improving student learning and improving instructional effectiveness (e.g., Black & Wiliam, 2006; Maughan, Teeman, & Wilson, 2012). It involves the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data about adults’ implementation of practices as well as about students’ emerging competence. In both cases, assessment is effective only as a support for wise decision-making. Student learning benefits when educators use assessment information to improve how they teach.

For additional reading related to inclusive instructional practices, see the following resources:

  • Astleitner, H. (2005). Principles of effective instruction — General standards for teachers and instructional designers. Journal of Instructional Psychology, 32(1), 3–8.
  • Ball, D., & Forzani, F. (2009). The work of teaching and the challenge for teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 60(5), 497–511.
  • Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (2006). Developing a theory of formative assessment. In J. Gardner (Ed.), Assessment and learning (pp. 81–100). London, UK: Sage.
  • Frattura, E. M., & Capper, C. A. (2007). Leading for social justice: Transforming schools for all learners. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
  • Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D., & Pollock, J.E. (2001). Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
  • Maughan, S., Teeman, D., & Wilson, R. (2012). What leads to positive change in teaching practice? Slough, UK: National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) Programme: Developing the Education Workforce. Retrieved from
  • Meyer, A., Rose, D. H.., & Gordon, D. (2014). Universal design for learning: Theory and practice. Wakefield, MA: CAST.
  • Rowan, B., Correnti, R., & Miller, R. (2002). What large-scale survey research tells us about teacher effects on student achievement: Insights from the Prospects study of elementary schools. Philadelphia, PA: Consortium for Policy Research in Education
  • Tomlinson, C. A. (2017). How to differentiate instruction in academically diverse classrooms. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.