Creating a Respectful Learning Environment

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  • 0:03 Respect
  • 0:34 The Role of a Teacher
  • 2:02 The Role of Each Student
  • 3:50 The Role of the School
  • 4:40 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

What is respect? How can teachers create a respectful learning environment? Teachers, students, and schools all play a role in fostering respect for others in academic settings. This lesson offers useful strategies for promoting inclusion and respectful behavior in schools.


We're all the same, yet we are all different. We're the same in that all of us want to feel like our feelings and views are being respected. We're different in that we may have different cultural and family backgrounds or we come from a unique community.

Even when we have differences of opinion, we still want our opinions to be respected. This is true whether you are 90 or 9. And this is why it's important to create a respectful learning environment for children and be inclusive of all cultural, socioeconomic, or religious backgrounds.

The Role of a Teacher

Respect is a term that refers to courtesy, esteem for another person or their viewpoints, and deference to someone else's rights and positions. Most adults are aware of the notion of respect and teachers play an important role in creating a respectful learning environment for children. Teachers should strive to show sincere respect when it comes to a colleague's cultural background, a student's family situation, and the community they live in.

Teachers do not necessarily have to rely on made-up opportunities to teach their students about respect, nor does it have to be a part of a formal lesson. This may help in some cases, but it isn't always necessary because students can learn from observing respectful behavior demonstrated by their teachers and other adults. This is why it's important teachers are cognizant of how they interact with their colleagues and students on a day-to-day basis. To sum it up, students can be taught proper respect by simply observing teachers model respectful behaviors towards others.

Let's go over an example of this. A classroom may be filled with students of all sorts of cultural and religious backgrounds. A teacher who makes it a point to showcase the unique traits of each individual's culture or religion when important holidays come up, shows respect towards all students. If the teacher were to focus solely on one culture or religion, then this would be disrespectful towards some students. Students will be able to sense this unfair treatment and the teacher shouldn't expect them to learn a fully proper sense of respect in return.

The Role of Each Student

Teachers also need to ensure that students actively participate in creating a respectful learning environment. This means teachers need to monitor and correct students when they use disrespectful words or an inappropriate tone of voice towards another student. Students should be polite to others who have different cultural backgrounds or who come from a different socioeconomic background than they do. Students must also be polite to their teacher and other adults, as well as other pupils. Some students may think it's acceptable to be disrespectful if even one student is allowed to be.

When talking with one another, students should be told they have to listen to another classmate without interrupting them. Interrupting a classmate while they're talking is disrespectful to them. While listening to their classmate, their body language should also convey respect as well. This means they need to fully face the child who is talking and acknowledge what they are saying by making eye contact and nodding their head.

Children must understand that they are expected to work with everyone in the class regardless of whether they are a boy, girl, or of a different cultural, socioeconomic or religious background.

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