The Challenge of Making Schools Inclusive

Gordon L. Porter, C.M., O.N.B., Director Inclusive Education Canada Making schools inclusive is a complex and multi-layered challenge. It involves several aspects that make it difficult. For many educational leaders and policy makers it is apparently too difficult. Thus, the need for action to address the key challenges:

1. Human Rights and Equity issues;

2. Political and policy matters, including funding mechanisms;

3. School organization and structures of support for students and teachers;

4. Pedagogical & Instructional practices, including improving teacher training and professional learning;

5. Managing complex change in a coherent way (and making schools inclusive is a complex change).

Gordon L. Porter is the educator with experience in senior positions; skilled in leadership and organizational matters; high level of skill in training, consultation, planning, evaluation and facilitation; more than 30 year commitment to achieving equality and equal rights for persons with disabilities; extensive experience in developing workable linkages between individuals, communities and government; researcher, writer and trainer in education, with emphasis on policy and practices to support inclusive schooling; extensive experience in international work promoting human rights and social/school inclusion; traveled and worked in more than 40 countries during the last 15 years. He serves as Senior Advisor at Ministry of Education, Culture and Employment, Government of the Northwest Territories, Canada, providing direction and specialist consultation on policy and program enhancement for the “Inclusive Schooling Directive” of the Ministry. He has been working with the Deputy Minister, Assistant Deputy Minister and other senior officials as well as School Superintendents on program review and enhancement including action plan for change.