Inclusive education means that all students attend and are welcomed by their neighbourhood schools in age-appropriate, regular classes and are supported to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of the life of the school.
Inclusive education is about how we develop and design our schools, classrooms, programs and activities so that all students learn and participate together.
Inclusive education is about ensuring access to quality education for all students by effectively meeting their diverse needs in a way that is responsive, accepting, respectful and supportive. Students participate in the education program in a common learning environment with support to diminish and remove barriers and obstacles that may lead to exclusion.
Inclusive education is carried out in a common learning environment; that is, an educational setting where students from different backgrounds and with different abilities learn together in an inclusive environment. Common learning environments are used for the majority of the students’ regular instruction hours and may include classrooms, libraries, gym, performance theatres, music rooms, cafeterias, playgrounds and the local community. A common learning environment is not a place where students with intellectual disabilities or other special needs learn in isolation from their peers.
Effective common learning environments:
- Enable each student to fully participate in the learning environment that is designed for all students and is shared with peers in the chosen educational setting;
- Provide a positive climate, promote a sense of belonging and ensure student progress toward appropriate personal, social, emotional and academic goals;
- Are responsive to individual learning needs by providing sufficient levels of support and applying student-centred teaching practices and principles.
- Common learning environment: an inclusive environment where instruction is designed to be delivered to students of mixed ability and with their peer group in the community school, while being responsive to their individual needs as a learner, and used for the majority of the students’ regular instruction hours.
Inclusive Education Canada is guided in all of its actions by principles that are consistent with its values and beliefs. Every action will be tested against these principles. Every action, statement, policy, or publication will honour and promote the principles of:
- Human rights
- Mutual responsibility
- Moral courage
Our Values & Beliefs
- All members of the human family are full persons. Our human essence cannot be reduced to words, labels, categories, definitions or genetic patterns. Every person is unique. No one can be replaced or copied. All persons are ineffable.
- All persons are entitled to respect. Respect requires recognition of and concern for the dignity of every person. Dignity is fragile. It must be protected from all harm.
- All persons have inherent dignity. Dignity belongs to us just because we exist. It is not something we earn or receive.
- All persons have inalienable dignity. Dignity cannot rightfully be ignored, diminished or taken away.
- All persons have equal dignity. Dignity does not depend upon physical, intellectual or other characteristics. Neither does it depend upon the opinions that other people have about these characteristics.
- All persons have inherent and equal worth. Our value as persons is neither earned nor accumulated. It is unrelated to health status or any genetic or other personal characteristic.
- All persons have inherent capacity for growth and expression. Every person has the right to be nourished physically, intellectually, socially, emotionally and spiritually.
- All persons are entitled to equal access and opportunity. Equality demands protection from all forms of discrimination or harm, and access to the supports necessary to enable equal participation.