The Centre’s mission is to empower the education community with the knowledge they need to be effective with all students.  This is accomplished through research, and knowledge mobilization activities.  Many of the members of the Centre are actively involved in both initiatives.

Click on the links below to learn more about current projects underway.

Beginning Teachers Study

What is the Beginning Teachers Study?

The Beginning Teachers Study is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Scholars from multiple disciplines related to education (equity and diversity, human rights, advocacy, disability studies and special education) across Canada are collaborating on the important issue of creating competent and confident teachers for the inclusive classroom.

We are interested in the self-efficacy, beliefs and instructional practices of beginning teachers, the factors that shape their development in their initial teaching experiences, and over time. We followed beginning teachers throughout their program and into their first years of teaching to determine how they develop their practice to teach in diverse classrooms.

Please see the Newsletters below for more information and updates, including curated resources for educators during Covid-19.  

Are you a teacher in your first 5 years of teaching in K - 12? Interested in participating in a research study on the development of inclusive practice? Receive a $25 Starbucks card as a thank-you. If interested, click HERE. For more information, contact the lead investigator, Jacqui Specht @ 

School Leadership

School Leadership


School Leadership for Inclusion

Dr. Steve Sider together with other Centre members have been investigating the experiences of school principals experiences with inclusion over the last few years. Most recent SSHRC insight grant “Inclusive School Leadership” is led by Dr. Sider and includes centre members Sheila Bennett, Jeffrey MacCormack, Kimberly Maich, Donna McGhie-Richmond, Nadia Rousseau, Monique Somma, and Jacqueline Specht . This grant builds on previous work and continues to investigate experiences that shape the approaches that school leaders use in creating inclusive school environments. More information and resources are available at

Pandemic Insights and Response

Pandemic Insights and Response


Diversity via Distance

The Covid-19 pandemic demanded a quick response to gather and share insights.  Dr. Jessica Whitley led a team comprised of Centre members  MacCormack, Matheson, Specht, Sider and Maich to research and report on diversity at a distance and the lessons learned from families supporting students with special education needs during remote learning.  Access the article at

School Leaders & Pandemic

Two additional studies have focused on the experiences of school leaders during the pandemic.  One of these studies (Sider) included survey data from 82 Ontario principals, and a second study (MacCormack) included interviews with 38 principals primarily from Alberta and Ontario. Some of the findings from these studies are available at:

MacCormack et al.

School Leadership and Inclusive Education In an article from the Winter 2021 issue of the Canadian Association of Principals, Drs. Sider, MacCormack and Whitley share three common themes from the above studies to inform what we know about how school administrators have interacted with students with special education needs – and their parents – during the pandemic. Second, we provide insights into what the pandemic has taught us about inclusive education. Finally, we raise questions for exploring the intersection of school leadership, family engagement, and inclusive education going forward. Access this article at: Schools as an Equalizing Force: What the pandemic has taught us about school leadership and inclusive education – CAP (  

International Outreach

International Outreach


Children in Haiti creating chalk art. Photo credit:

Initiatives | Haiti | ELI Collab (

Supporting Inclusive Education in Haiti

In June of 2021, Dr. Steve Sider, co-applicant members of the Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education Drs. Kimberly Maich and Jacqui Specht, collaborators and partners were notified that their proposal had been successful, and they were awarded nearly $200,000 for a Partnership Development Grant from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). During the three-year duration of the grant, Western University, through the Centre, along with four other Canadian universities and three partner organizations from Haiti will develop a partnership between the two countries to strengthen research and teacher education on disability and inclusion. 

Below is a link to a brief TEDX talk (13 minutes) given by Steve Sider, as he shares experiences from recent collaborations with school principals in Ontario and Haiti. Re-Imagining Education in Haiti: Steve Sider at TEDxSixteenMileCreek - YouTube   

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Promoting Successful Inclusion in Ghana (2019-2022)

A team of Canadian and Ghanaian academics/stakeholders have assembled as part of an SSHRC Partnership Development Grant to share indicators of successful inclusive education in Ghana and provide resources to promote inclusive education for Ghanaian students. Principal Investigator: Dr. Magnus Mfoafo-M’Carthy. Co-investigators from the Centre: Drs. Jacqueline Specht, Steven Sider and Kimberly Maich.

Dr. Steve Sider’s blog regarding the experience: