In 2016, the research team completed a national study, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), on the ways in which principals and vice-principals in Canada support students with special education needs in inclusive schools.
This initial study led to other research projects on inclusive school leadership, including a SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant to support the development of interactive case studies for principals’ professional development and the SSHRC-funded Intersectionalities in Leadership conference in June 2019. In addition, in 2019 the team received a SSHRC Insight Grant to further explore inclusive school leadership over the next five years.
This Lead to Include site is the product of the team’s work over the past five years and aims to provide school leaders with resources to support their professional learning on inclusive education for students with special education needs.
MEET OUR TEAM
Associate Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University and Inclusive School Leadership Research Group Principal Investigator
Steve is the lead researcher on four nationally-funded research projects examining how school principals foster inclusive schools for students with special education needs. He is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada where he teaches courses on school leadership and special education.
Assistant Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University
Associate Professor, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador
Professor, Western University and Director of Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education
Jacqueline is the director of the Canadian Research Centre on Inclusive Education and a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Western Ontario. She is a strong advocate for inclusive education. Her work on this project is guided by that passion.
Ph.D. Candidate, Brock University
Carolyn received her PhD in Clinical Psychology and MA in Clinical Psychology from the University of Western Ontario. She teaches courses on mental health and is the developer and instructor for the Mental Health Certificate. She is focusing on areas in which principals, mental health and special education interests intersect.
Jeffrey is an assistant professor of Educational Psychology and Inclusion at the University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education. As a former classroom teacher, Dr. MacCormack's research on after-school programs, executive functions, social competence, and play-based learning is also informed by 10 years of experience teaching elementary students and many years of teaching post-secondary adult learners. His work has focused on creating spaces where youth can thrive. He also has an orange-tabby Persian kitten, who is a troublemaker.
Jhonel is a collaborator on the Lead to Include team. He is a provincial math educator and leader who is very passionate about equity and inclusion. He currently works at the Ontario Ministry of Education as an Education Officer while pursuing his PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Brock University. His research interests focus on school leadership, inclusion, equity in mathematics, mathematics achievement of racial minorities, and teachers’ expectations. His involvement in this project centers around the intersectional aspects of inclusive leadership.
Assistant Professor, Brock University
Associate Professor, University of Victoria
Monique Somma is an assistant professor at Brock University, mainly instructing teacher candidates' cognition, educational psychology and inclusive education. Having worked front line as an educator in schools for many years she recognizes the important role of administrators in successful school-wide and classroom-focused inclusion. Her research includes best practices for inclusive education for students with exceptionalities from preschool to grade 12 through research partnerships with school boards and community organizations.
APHRODITE AL ZOUHOURI
Aphrodite is a graduate student with a Masters of Education from Wilfrid Laurier University, focusing on the effect of war trauma on education. She taught Syrian children in Lebanon for 6 years and worked with many NGOs supporting the Syrian refugee community in the educational field. She is currently a Research Assistant on our team and is working as a Senior Administrative Assistant in the Teaching & Learning Department at Laurier.
Donna is an Associate Professor in Educational Psychology and Leadership Studies in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria. Experiences working within transdisciplinary teams to support children and youth with significant and multiple learning challenges are fundamental to her work. Access, Inclusion, Opportunity are concepts central to her undergraduate and graduate-level teaching practice and research. Her research focuses on the intersection between teacher beliefs, knowledge, experiences, and instructional practices in promoting inclusion for all.
ARABA MAANAN BLANKSON
Araba has a background in international development and public policy with thematic interest in human security, education and development, and global social governance. She holds a Master of International Public Policy from the Balsillie School of International Affairs at Wilfrid Laurier University, and an MSc in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK. She graduated from the University of Ghana with Honours BA in Political Science and French.
Anders is a special education teacher in British Columbia. Anders completed his Bachelor of Education and received his teacher education training at Simon Fraser University. His special education specialization was also obtained at SFU. Anders graduated from Memorial University in 2019 with a Master's of Education in Educational Leadership. His Master's work focused on school leadership, support for teachers, and professional development as important aspects required for K-12 schools to be inclusive. Anders has a passion for inclusive education and loves to work with and support students with exceptional learning needs every single day.
Keifer is an Ontario Certified Teacher currently employed in the Halton District School Board. He holds a degree in Child and Youth Care from Ryerson University and has a passion for examining and improving behaviour management strategies used in the classroom. He is currently involved with a project that explores the experiences of school leadership and how they impact the inclusion of special education needs students across Canada.
Emma is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in International Education Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. She manages the social media platform and has a passion for inclusive education. She also loves animals and loves to curl!
Megan is currently completing her Bachelor of Education at Laurier in the Junior/Intermediate division with a specialty in French. Megan previously graduated from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor of Social Science in the French immersion stream. Megan is passionate about the use of technology as a means to make education accessible for all.
Raha is working in Higher Education sector with passion for experiential learning, innovation, and process improvement. Currently, she is working on achieving her Master of Business Administration (MBA) to increase her knowledge of analyzing data, and to improve her leadership skills. She is a research assistant on the team and helps with Desire2 Learn project.
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