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Educators in Canada face unprecedented challenges in supporting students with special education needs in inclusive schools. These complexities include increased programming requirements, greater legal expectations, and amplified diversity of needs. Further, there is a gap between research in the area of inclusive education and the practical, day-to-day experience of school principals; researchers and school principals are often working in isolation of each other. At this important juncture, school leaders have a clear need and a vital interest in linking practice and policy with evidence-based research insights about inclusion.

Since 2016, my research team has completed multiple national studies, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, on the ways in which Canadian school principals and vice-principals support students with special education needs in inclusive schools. An important aspect of these studies has been the examination of critical incidents – either positive or negative – that significantly impact the perceptions and practices of school leaders in their work to foster inclusive schools. The various projects are described in the tabs below. More information is available on the Lead to Include research website.

This research is closely associated with the Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education (Western University). We are strategically identifying areas of further research on inclusion and school leadership, and invite others interested in this area to contact us for collaborative opportunities.

Research Projects