A National Vision
Returning from New Brunswick, and returning soon to Alberta and BC, it is clear to me that across his country teachers are all wanting the same thing, and being challenged by the same thing - inclusion. Globally, inclusion has been policy now for many years. The Salamanca statement was signed by 92 nations almost two decades ago. As is often the case, however, policy preceded training. It's appropriate to tell teachers that this is the direction in which we are going - but then training in "the how" must be provided, and this is where governments and universities across this nation have fallen down. I meet very little resistance to the concept of inclusive education these days (occasionally, but rarely), it is the how of meeting competing pressures to meet the needs of diverse learners and improve achievement outcomes that teachers are struggling to reconcile. I believe UDL can provide the framework that both supports inclusive education and improves student engagement and achievement for ALL learners. Thank you to the teachers and educational leaders of New Brunswick who welcomed me to their province, asked thoughtful questions, and expressed genuine caring for their students!
I am an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia in Inclusive Education, and the developer of the Three Block Model of Universal Design for Learning.