An inclusive school culture makes everyone feel like they belong (Department of Education, 2018). An inclusive school culture welcomes all students to learn, contribute, and participate in all aspects of school life (Inclusive Education of Canada, 2017). The differences that students bring with them are what enrich the school community (Department of Education, 2018).
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
District policies should guide principals in implementing inclusive practices in their schools, through collaboration with teachers and support staff.
Seeking professional development opportunities and using Universal Design for Learning as a way to plan lessons with all students in mind.
Responsive and relevant curriculum and instruction
The "hidden curriculum" (Jeriad, 2006) is a way of developing character through social-emotional learning and growth mindset.
CHARACTERISTICS OF AN INCLUSIVE SCHOOL CULTURE
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Image retrieved from Inclusive Education of Canada (2017)
- Promotes better communication and problem solving
- Builds commitment Increases energy and motivation for staff and students
- Focuses attention and daily behaviour on important values
- Develops children’s individual strengths and goals
- Fosters respect and belonging
- Builds friendships between children and their peers
- Decreases the impact of harassment and bullying
"The classroom teacher is key to every students educational program and acts as a member of a collaborative team to support the inclusion of a student with special needs."
- Student Support Manual of Programs and Services September (Surrey Schools, 2017)
WHAT TEACHERS CAN DO
- Focus on what connects us as humans (Brown, 2017)
- Create lessons following the Universal Design for Learning ( CAST, 2018)
- Focus on individuals and set goals unique to their abilities
- Work collaboratively with staff (e.g. school counsellors, EAs, learning support teachers, integration support teachers, etc.) to provide effective and quality education for all students
- Seek out professional development opportunities to develop and implement inclusive practices
- Acknowledge parents’ dreams and goals for their child and get them involved
- Accept all children into regular classes and into the life of the school
- Look at all students for what they can do rather than what they cannot do (Department of Education, 2018)
CAST. (2018, September 06). Until learning has no limits. Retrieved September 20, 2018, from http://www.cast.org/
Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement. (2009). Developing A Positive School Climate. Retrieved September 20, 2018, from http://www.ldonline.org/article/31672/
Department of Education. (2018, February). Education and Early Childhood Development. Retrieved September 20, 2018, from http://www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/k12/inclusion.htmlInclusive Education Canada. (2017).
Inclusive Education. Retrieved September 20, 2018, from http://www.inclusiveeducation.ca/
Jerald, C.D. (December, 2006). Issue Brief. School Culture: "The Hidden Curriculum." Retrieved on September 20, 2018 from http://www.ldonline.org/article/26095/
Kluth, P. (n.d.). Is Your School Inclusive? Retrieved September 20, 2018, from https://www.paulakluth.com/readings/inclusive-schooling/is-your-school-inclusive/
Surrey Schools (September, 2017). Manual of Programs and Services. Retrieved on September 20, 2018 from https://www.surreyschools.ca/departments/EDSC/Documents/STUDENT%20SUPPORT%20MANUAL%20of%20PROGRAMS%20and%20SERVICES.pdf