The Power of Options: Creating Inclusive Classrooms Through Choice

These invisible choices are all around us, often hidden by forces that would rather we didn’t think about them. And it’s usually easier to simply look the other way. But they’re still choices. – Seth Godin

Every day, educators make thousands of decisions (consciously and unconsciously). For example, what to cover in a lesson and what to skip over, what to emphasize or highlight and those to ignore, what to say or respond to, and what to ignore or let pass.

You get the idea…

And when it comes to meeting the needs of a range of learners, the number of choices that are being made before, during, and after a lesson are likely unknowable.

Yet we know there are implications (big and small) for all the choices we make (seen and invisible).


How can we make choices that will support and aid student learning vs. choices that will restrict or even harm students?


Here are a few ideas…


1. OR SOMETHING ELSE: Always consider and add one more choice to any situation or option. For example, if you are offering students the option to pick between A and B…add at least one more or choice – Option C, which can be “or something else”.

2. HARD TO REACH PLACES: Embed choice even into “hard to reach” places like testing and assessment situations. When you feel something has to be a one-size-fits-all, get creative and think about ways you can learn what a student knows or can do and/or offer choices that will allow them to perform at their best (e.g., in a chair or standing, with headphones or without, with a pen or pencil).

3. DIFFERENTIATION IS KEY: Choice is the friend of inclusion. The simple act of offering a choice widens the circle of acceptance in terms of thoughts, ideas, actions, interests, preferences, and beliefs. When educators suggest they are offering choices because the curriculum is modified, they are missing an opportunity to truly differentiate. Choice is a critical part of lesson design and core teaching practices, which limits the need to adapt the lesson or learning experience.



  • Here’s How to Rock the Range of Learners [vlog with practical tips]
  • Strength and Interest Product Grid (with examples) [download]
  • 101 Ways to Bring Student Choice into Learning (an Inclusive schooling PD offering) [link]

As a teacher, I’ve witnessed firsthand the incredible impact of incorporating choice into learning. It’s like unlocking a treasure trove of potential in each student. With options ranging from learning styles to product outputs, students feel empowered to express themselves in ways that truly resonate with them. It’s not just about what they learn – it’s how they learn, and that makes all the difference.

The impact of choice in learning cannot be overstated. It’s like giving students the keys to their own magical kingdom, where they reign supreme over their learning destiny. The ‘101 Ways’ resource has provided our educators with a toolkit to create truly inclusive and empowering learning environments. Our students are thriving, and it’s all thanks to the power of choice!