Inclusive Education Lessons From Canada

Drawing out the lessons from New Brunswick's long-term commitment to inclusive education.

Author: David Towell

David Towell shares further lessons from Canada, writing the following introduction to his short paper:

A little over thirty years ago, I had the privilege of spending some months of a sabbatical year working for the Canadian Association for Community Living (now Inclusion Canada) - a nation-wide family association advocating for people with intellectual disabilities. As part of this work I visited the province of New Brunswick to see the progress there in establishing a comprehensive system of inclusive education.

In this field New Brunswick was and remains a global pioneer. My host in this visit was Gordon Porter, a local teacher, school principal and, by then, adviser to government, who has been a key leader in this educational transformation. Much more recently, I joined Gordon in writing a short pamphlet - the first in a series drawing heavily on Canadian experience - that tells the New Brunswick story and suggests lessons for achieving system-wide change.

Gordon is now the Director of Inclusive Education Canada (IEC). During 2022, IEC hosted 30 broadcasts (Let's Chat about Inclusive Education) in which he and two other distinguished Canadian leaders (Diane Richler and Jacquie Specht) ‘chatted’ with people - family members, educators, policy makers and university researchers - about their perspectives on contemporary progress and challenges. All of these are available on IEC's website (together with a study guide for those seeking to explore these many contributions in more detail. The 30 broadcasts were presented in three sets of 10 and Gordon invited me to offer a trans-Atlantic perspective on each set.

The primary audience for this work is doubtless Canadian but in this short paper I draw on my three commentaries to suggest some lessons for leaders everywhere in the movement to advance quality and inclusive education.

Read and download the free pdf in your browser, link below.

The publisher is the Centre for Inclusive Futures. Achieving Inclusive Education: Recent Lessons from Canada © David Towell 2023.


Paper | 28.02.23

education, Inclusion, Inclusive Education, Canada, Paper

David Towell


Director of the Centre for Inclusive Futures

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