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In 2006 Gordon Kyle of Community Living Ontario and Gordon Porter from CACL/ Inclusive Education Canada, made a visit to a senior staff member of the Ontario College of Teachers. They discussed issues involving professional standards for teachers and highlighted the need to make sure teachers in Ontario schools have the knowledge and skills to make inclusion successful.
The discussion turned to the use of case studies in providing professional learning opportunities for teachers. It happened that Deirdre Smith, the College staff officer was an expert on the case study approach. One thing lead to another and a partnership was developed. Smith and Gordon Porter merged their interest and passion for both case studies and inclusive education and this new book is the result.
The book is built around 25 case studies that describe the situation of a teacher, a school principal, other professionals as well as parents. Each case is actually a short story set in a particular place and illustrates some part of the challenge and opportunity of inclusive education. Each case is offers a distinct learning opportunity for the reader. There are some suggestions about the issues raised and that might form the basis for reflection. In addition, three to five “expert commentators” were invited to share their thoughts on what was specifically meaningful to them as they reflected on “the case”. These experts are professors, teachers, school principals, superintendents, parents and advocates. Most are from Canada, but a number are from the United States and more than a dozen are from countries around the world.
In addition to the cases, the book has an opening chapter written by Gordon Porter and Diane Richler who share a twenty five year partnership in promoting inclusive education both in Canada and in countries around the world. Vianne Timmons, President of the University of Regina, and a strong supporter of inclusive education and Brian Kelly, Director of Student Services with the New Brunswick Department of Education were also contributors to the publication of the book.