What is Inclusion?
Inclusion is an attitude and an approach to learning that embraces the diversities and differences of individuals, and promotes equal opportunities for all.
Principles of Inclusive Education
Alberta's vision of an inclusive education system comprises 6 principles that are key to achieving this goal:
- Anticipate, value, and support diversity and learner differences – Welcoming, caring, respectful, and safe learning environments create a sense of belonging for all learners and their families.
- High expectations for all learners – Creating a culture of high expectations begins with an accessible curriculum and meaningful and relevant learning experiences. Educators and families act on the idea that, with the right instructional supports, every learner can be successful.
- Understand learners’ strengths and needs – Meaningful data is gathered and shared at all levels of the system (teachers, families, schools, school authorities and the Ministry) to understand and respond to the strengths and needs of individual learners.
- Remove barriers within learning environments – All education partners work together to remove barriers within the learning environment so that all learners are successful and can participate in the school community.
- Build capacity – Government, school, and system leaders, teachers, education professionals, families and community partners have ongoing opportunities, relationships and resources that develop, strengthen and renew their understanding, skills and abilities to create flexible and responsive learning environments. Capacity building takes place at the personal, school, and system levels.
- Collaborate for success – All education partners, including school and system staff, families, community partners, post-secondary institutions, teacher preparation programs and government are committed to collaboration to support the success of all learners.
How We Talk About Disabilities
Words can shape our ideas, perceptions, and attitudes about ourselves and others. Using language that puts people first acknowledges that individuals with disabilities are first, and foremost, people. (e.g.: use 'a student with a disability' rather than 'a disabled student').
When discussing specialized supports and services, it may be more helpful to describe what the student needs - based on their strengths, challenges, interests, and experiences - rather than focusing on their disability.
Inclusive Education. Alberta Education.