Leadership Impacts on Inclusive Education: Shifting Practice to Meet the Needs of 21st Century Learners

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  • Inclusive education is an ever-evolving area of practice, requiring teachers and educational leaders at school, jurisdiction, and provincial levels to adapt and adjust policies and initiatives to support the diverse learning needs present in Alberta’s 21st century schools. Currently, inclusive education is focused in primarily three main areas, with the first area centered around creating cultures of inclusivity with a focus on collaborative teaching and learning initiatives, leadership support through policy and the Alberta Leadership Quality Standard (Alberta Education, 2020), as well as provincial level special education coding requirements. The second area of inclusion, supporting inclusive environments, ensures educational leaders are supporting all learners through the use of culturally relevant curriculum and land-based learning initiatives, providing market choice in education, the implementation of inclusive and supportive spaces, as well as classroom design and use of technology as a universal support. The third area of study, building capacity, explores leadership support of teacher professional development and growth, teacher supervision and evaluation practices, mentorship and modeling, as well as the effective use of differentiated teaching strategies, providing all students with an equal opportunity to demonstrate their learning and understanding. The subsequent review of the research literature on leadership support of inclusive education
    practices found much work needs to be done in Alberta to foster inclusivity, as current provincial level policies act as barriers to inclusion, resulting in the province modeling a system of integration, which leaves school-based educational leaders in a limited position to carry out broader sweeping change initiatives for the benefit of Alberta’s diverse learning needs.

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    Research Material
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International