In an inclusive education model, do teachers have to build a one-size-fits-all curriculum, then do extra work to accommodate students with disabilities? Dr. Leyton Schnellert says no. Leyton, a lifelong inclusive education teacher, believes it’s not only possible for teachers to build a truly inclusive curriculum, it’s actually not that hard to do.
Open-ended pedagogies that focus more on individual student growth than achievement of specific targets is a core principle of Leyton’s teaching philosophy. Focusing on an end goal but figuring out the route as they go can be the way forward for teachers that want to embrace the diversity of strengths and abilities in their classroom. He stresses collaboration with other teachers and with the land itself as important to inclusivity, as well as decolonizing and indigenizing education.
Leyton is an Associate Professor in UBC’s Department of Curriculum & Pedagogy. His scholarship attends to how teachers and teaching and learners and learning can mindfully embrace student diversity and inclusive education. Leyton's community-based collaborative work contributes a counterargument to top-down approaches that operate from deficit models, instead drawing from communities’ funds of knowledge to build participatory, place-conscious,
and culturally sustaining practices. He has been a middle and secondary school classroom teacher and a learning resource teacher K-12.
I loved this chat with Leyton, who presents an exciting model for real diversity and inclusion in education.
Thanks for Listening!
Resources & Links Mentioned:
- Podcast with Niigaan Sinclair – Brandon University
- IBC/CIIC Inclusive Education videos: Exercising Self Determination in our Schools , Indigeneity and Disability in our Schools , Reframing Challenging Behaviour in our Schools , Getting Ready to Work in our Schools
- Blog post about Welcoming Indigenous Ways of Knowing project in the South Okanagan: Educators and Indigenous Partners Developing Relational Accountability and Co-constructing Practices , Educators and Indigneous Partners developing relational accountability and co-constructing practices
- A related piece that focuses on equity and professional development: Professional development that positions teachers as inquirers and possibilizers , Professional Development That Positions Teachers as Inquirers and Possibilizers
- The Small Secondary School Think Tank: Collaborating for Equity for Indigenous Learners in Rural Schools
- Research article related to co-teaching: It's All About Thinking: Building pathways for all learners in the middle years , Learners at the Centre: Re-imagining Learning in the Middle Years , Working Together to Create Student-Driven Interdisciplinary Learning: Desert Sands Community School
- Some pedagogical examples: Critical Literacy: Children as Changemakers in their Worlds , Writers Workshop: Every Child an Author , Literacy centres and stations: Developing self-regulating learners , “Comfortable to take risks”: Seaton Secondary School , Rewriting the Traditional Grammar of Schooling: Vernon Community School , Student Inquiry
- The Class Review.
- Romance, Relationships, and Rights: Theatre for Social Change
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Special thanks to Dr. Leyton Schnellert for joining me this week. Until next time!