Inclusive Education [LS.IE]
School staff fulfill their respective roles with a shared understanding of the ways in which an inclusive education system supports learning.
Exploring the Context
An inclusive education system is one that demonstrates behaviours and decisions that reflect valuing all students. Inclusive education is not just programming for students with special needs or disabilities. The process of getting to know oneself and others leads to staff and students developing empathy for others while contributing to the welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment.
Some learners have profound and ongoing needs and others have short-term or situation-based needs - every learner’s needs are unique. Inclusive Education calls for flexible and responsive learning within environments that can adapt to the changing needs of learners.
This assurance element provides trust and confidence that all educational stakeholders understand and demonstrate Alberta Education’s Six Principles of Inclusive Education:
- Anticipate, value and support diversity and learner differences - Welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments create a sense of belonging for all learners and their families.
- High expectations for all learners - Creating a culture of high expectations begins with an accessible curriculum and meaningful and relevant learning experiences. Educators and families act on the idea that, with the right instructional support, every learner can be successful.
- Understand learners’ strengths and needs - Meaningful data is gathered and shared at all levels of the system - by teachers, families, schools, school authorities and the Ministry - to understand and respond to the strengths and needs of individual learners.
- Remove barriers within learning environments - All education partners work together to remove barriers within the learning environment so that all learners are successful and can participate in the school community.
- Build capacity - Government, school and system leaders, teachers, education professionals, families and community partners have ongoing opportunities, relationships and resources that develop, strengthen and renew their understanding, skills and abilities to create flexible and responsive learning environments. Capacity building takes place at the personal, school and system levels.
- Collaborate for success - All education stakeholders, including school and system staff, families, community partners, post-secondary institutions, teacher preparation programs and government are committed to collaboration to support the success of all learners.
Alternative Context: Ongoing Pandemic
Inclusion remains a significant priority regardless of the method of lesson delivery. It will be continually challenging to provide aspects of an inclusive system of education with isolated, remote delivery. To this end, school staff will be continuously required to review and evaluate their methods of delivery to best suit each learner’s unique needs. Similarly, school staff will continue to explore best-practice strategies to reach and teach students whose needs are not well-served by remote learning.
Avenues for Development
- School staff engage and participate in the CASS Leading for Inclusion Module.
As we continue to attend to the Inclusive Education Element, we see the provincial Indicators of Inclusive Schools within our Division across five dimensions:
- Establishing Inclusive Values and Principles
- Building Inclusive Learning Environments
- Providing Supports for Success
- Organizing Learning and Instruction
- Engaging with Parents and the Community
- Accountability Pillar results demonstrate growth in the agreement of students, parents, teachers and school boards members that supports and services for students can be accessed in a timely manner.