About Us

Who We Are

The Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education is a network of stakeholders who provide a uniquely Canadian view of inclusive education. The partnership is comprised of people with expertise in leadership, research methodologies, and theoretical approaches; they have experience working with diverse partners and stakeholders, and a employ a range of approaches and contexts for knowledge mobilization.

Our Mission

Inclusive education is mandated across Canada. It is an effective approach and a human right, yet we still do not implement it as effectively as we could. This partnership is creating knowledge and disseminating it across the country to increase the ability for the educational community to ensure successful academic and social outcomes for all students. We are collaborating to ensure that the fundamental human right of education is provided to even the most vulnerable students in our society. This builds the character of all and contributes to our truly Canadian understanding of inclusion.

The classroom is a microcosm of society. To create a context where all are valued, we must implement inclusion well. The most dangerous situation occurs when students with exceptionalities are placed in regular classrooms, but are not included. This sends the message that inclusion does not work and harms those who are most vulnerable. This partnership reinforces the message that all members of our society are valued and can co-exist - it strengthens the very fabric of our inclusive Canadian society.

Inclusive Education

Understanding inclusive education

What is inclusive education?

Difference Between: Exclusion, Segregation, Integration and Inclusion

Students with disabilities or who are gifted are :

Graphic Illustration of Inclusion

Excluded: Denied entry to their community schools or an educational program.

Segregated: Educated separately from typically developing peers.

Integrated: Placed in the same classroom as their peers, but they are expected to conform.

Included: Participate and learn with their peers in the same classroom.  Adaptations and accommodations are made for all to succeed.

Why is inclusive education important?

Everyone has something of value to contribute, and everyone has a right to belong.

Lisa Friedman (disabilitiesinclusion.org)

What are the characteristics of an inclusive school?

All children can succeed in an inclusive environment. Effective inclusive schools have the following characteristics: 

  • Welcoming, accepting atmosphere; no assumptions about students' abilities
  • High expectations for staff members and students
  • Provide opportunities for  participation in the classroom and school setting
  • Encourage development of relationships through seating setups, role models and buddy relationships 
  • All children need opportunities to participate in activities that allow them to understand societal expectations. They gain an understanding of their strengths and their interrelationships with others. 
  • Children need to believe they are competent at something and that others believe they can succeed in social, athletic, moral and creative abilities, as well as the ability to learn.


Bunch, G. (1999).  Inclusion: How to. Inclusion Press.

Hutchinson, N.L., & Specht, J. (2020). Inclusion of learners with exceptionalities in Canadian schools (6 th ed.). Pearson.

Lehane, P., & Senior, J. (2020) Collaborative teaching: exploring the impact of co-teaching practices on the numeracy attainment of pupils with and without special educational needs, European Journal of Special Needs Education, 35(3), 303-317. https://doi:10.1080/08856257.2019.1652439

Somma, M., & Bennett, S. (2020). Inclusive education and pedagogical change: Experiences from the front lines. International Journal of Educational Methodology, 6(2), 285-295. https://doi.org/10.12973/ijem.6.2.285

Wolfensberger, W. (1975).  The origin and nature of institutional models. Human Policy Press.

Additional Resources

Essential Best Practices in Inclusive Schools Guide (2012). The Best Practice Indicators are divided into fourteen areas that impact effective inclusive education. Vew the complete updated document click  HERE

The Best Practices Indicators Questionnaire for Schools, adapted from a version created by Anne Denham and colleagues. To view this document, click  HERE.  

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