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Teachers need to provide students with a safe and supportive classroom environment that facilitates active participation and engagement of all students.

This information will:

  • provide key ideas for facilitating a supportive learning environment
  • provide teachers with reflection points on the importance of providing a supportive learning environment.
Teacher and students with hands raised

How to create a supportive learning environment

Creating a supportive and understanding learning environment is particularly important when discussion activities deal with sensitive issues in relation to mental health and wellbeing. In order to provide a safe and engaging learning environment for students, it is important for teachers to:

  • collaborate with students to develop a group agreement that sets the parameters for class discussions
  • reflect on their own role in discussions - acting as a facilitator of the conversation to help to generate many viewpoints
  • value all student contributions and make this known
  • use a range of questioning techniques which open up discussion rather than trying to get to a quick right answer
  • recognise that some students may not feel comfortable sharing
  • explore ways of dealing with this such as using think, pair, share activities
  • explore ways to ensure that all students get an opportunity to speak, such as using talk tickets.

Reflection

  • How can these tips be translated to your staffroom?
  • How will you share this information with your colleagues?