Separate is never equal. That’s one of the key takeaways from my conversation with Gordon Porter and David Towell, two inclusive education advocates that have teamed up to develop a guiding document called Advancing Inclusive Education, which looks at the Canadian province of New Brunswick as a particularly interesting case study in how inclusion can move from abstract concept to concrete reality.
There are ten steps that Gordon and David say can help pave the way toward a new education model that embraces all students as valuable and teachable. It all comes down to eliminating segregation and understanding that all students—and all teachers—are different. With the right supports in place for schools and classrooms, true inclusion is really possible.
Gordon Porter is a lifelong inclusive education advocate and current director of Inclusive Education Canada. He has been a policy advisor to multiple education ministries, both Canadian and international; has participated in multiple human rights and education projects with agencies such as the World Bank and UNICEF; has edited numerous books and videos on inclusive education; and is a member of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest honour for Canadian citizens.
David Towell is a sociologist interested in how we can change large systems, such as education systems. He was a leader in the UK movement to move people with disabilities out of institutions and into their communities. He has turned his focus in the 21st century toward inclusive education and has been a volunteer supporter of Inclusion International (and its European counterparts) for more than 20 years.
I was absolutely honoured to be joined by David and Gordon for this discussion, which will continue next week! Part 2 of this conversation will focus on the role of different stakeholders (especially parents) in achieving this progress. Stay tuned for more!
Thanks for Listening!
Resources & Links Mentioned:
- Ken Robinson Ted Talk
- Ten Keys to Transformation
- #034 Why Children Are Less Disabled in New Brunswick ~ with Gordon Porter
- Family Associations as Agents of Educational Transformation Chart
- Supporting Teachers: A Foundation for Advancing Inclusive Education
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Special thanks to Gordon and David for joining me this week. Until next time!