Principles of Inclusion

Inclusion is a way of thinking and acting that demonstrates universal acceptance and promotes a sense of belonging for all learners.

Inclusion is not just about learners with special needs. It is an attitude and approach that embraces diversity and learner differences and promotes equal opportunities for all learners in Alberta. Alberta’s education system is built on a values-based approach to accepting responsibility for all children and students.

Principles of Inclusive Education

The following six principles are key to achieving Alberta’s vision for an inclusive education system. These principles can guide and inform value-based and learner-centred decisions related to policies, practices and actions at every level of Alberta’s education system.

  1. Anticipate, value and support diversity and learner differences - Welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments create a sense of belonging for all learners and their families.
  2. High expectations for all learners - Creating a culture of high expectations begins with an accessible curriculum and meaningful and relevant learning experiences. Educators and families act on the idea that, with the right instructional supports, every learner can be successful.
  3. Understand learners’ strengths and needs - Meaningful data is gathered and shared at all levels of the system—by teachers, families, schools, school authorities and the Ministry—to understand and respond to the strengths and needs of individual learners.
  4. Reduce barriers within learning environments - All education partners work together to identify and reduce barriers within the curriculum, the learning environment and/or instruction that are interfering with students' ability to be successful learners and to participate in the school community.
  5. Capacity building - School leaders, teachers, education professionals, families and community partners have ongoing opportunities, relationships and resources that develop, strengthen and renew their understanding, skills and abilities to create flexible and responsive learning environments. Capacity building takes place at the personal, school and system levels.
  6. Shared responsibility - All education partners, including school and jurisdictional staff, families, community service providers, post-secondary institutions, teacher preparation programs and government are committed to collaboration and are committed to the success of all learners.

Inclusive Education in Alberta