Blue Ribbon Panel on Inclusive Education in Alberta Schools
Prompted by a myriad of concerns from teachers and administrators in Alberta schools, the Annual Representative Assembly of the Alberta Teachers’ Association passed a resolution in May 2013 to strike a Blue Ribbon Panel on Inclusive Education in Alberta Schools. Members of the panel were chosen to represent various roles and perspectives in the education system. They shared their experiences and reviewed research on the state of inclusion in Alberta. The panel concluded that the basic principles of effective implementation have not been addressed sufficiently. Those principles are (1) shared vision, (2) leadership, (3) research and evidence,
(4) resources, (5) teacher professional growth, (6) time and (7) community engagement (Alberta’s Education Partners 2010). Specific recommendations to various stakeholder groups within each of the essential conditions outline steps that can be taken to ensure that inclusion works effectively in Alberta’s classrooms. Alberta has a choice—to accept inadequate implementation or to become a world leader in research and successful inclusion practices.
Read the September 10, 2014 ATA News Release and
backgrounder of highlights from the blue ribbon report
Read the full text of the Report of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Inclusive Education in Alberta Schools.
Read Inclusive Education in Alberta Schools: Getting it Right, a companion document containing excerpts from the Report of the Blue Ribbon Report on Inclusive Education in Alberta Schools.
The ATA News is publishing a seven-part series outlining the recommendations that fall within the seven themes. The articles will appear below as they are published.
Shared Vision (ATA News, October 21, 2014)
Leadership (ATA News, November 18, 2014)
Research and Evidence (ATA News, January 13, 2015)
Resources (ATA News, February 10, 2015)
Teacher Professional Growth (ATA News, March 10, 2015)
Time (ATA News, April 7, 2015)
Community Engagement (ATA News, March 6, 2015)
Alberta Education has been engaged in a process to revamp special education in Alberta. That process began with the Setting the Direction consultations and has evolved into Action on Inclusion. A primary element of Action on Inclusion is the introduction of learning coaches to facilitate inclusion in schools. According to Alberta Education, “Learning coaches work to improve student achievement by providing local support to teachers to strengthen inclusive practices.” The Association has developed a discussion paper and subsequently submitted a formal position from the teaching profession.