Parents have a critical role—maybe the most important role of all—in effecting change in education at the systemic level. And all it takes for parents to harness that power is a unified message. We need to stop asking education officials for segregation and focus our advocacy efforts on inclusion.
Last week, I chatted with Gordon Porter and David Towell, two powerhouse inclusive education advocates, about ten steps toward an inclusive model of education. This week I am thrilled to share the second part of my talk with Gordon and David, which gets into the fundamental points about parents’ role in moving progressive change from abstract goal to reality.
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.
Real systemic change starts with a unified voice, and I was so honoured to be joined by Gordon and David to help illustrate how the most powerful advocacy work can really begin. A consolidated, pro-inclusion message is the best way to move toward real equity for children with disabilities. This was an enlightening conclusion to our two-part conversation. If you haven’t listened to last week’s podcast, I suggest you start there first.
Thanks for Listening!
Resources & Links Mentioned:
- Ken Robinson Ted Talk
- Ten Keys to Transformation
- #105 Changing the whole education system with Gordon Porter and David Towell
- #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
- An International Perspective on Inclusive Education
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Special thanks to Gordon and David for joining me this week. Until next time!