Equity, Access and Inclusion
“We all have a role to play in challenging ableism, which may sometimes leave us feeling awkward or unsure if we’re doing and saying the right things. But, to our knowledge being awkward isn’t deadly. Ableism too often is.” MIchelle Stack, Heidi L. Janz
Michelle Stack is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. Her current work is focused on cooperative colleges and universities and the opportunities they provide for democratic decision-making and housing and food security for students and staff. Michelle is also an IPE/BC Fellow.
Heidi L. Janzi is Core Faculty Member and Associate Adjunct Professor with the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre at the University of Alberta and a national disability rights advocate. She is also a writer and playwright whose creative works focus on the experiences of people with disabilities.
“Research shows that when parents choose educational programs based on large scale assessments and measurable achievement outcomes, they are often choosing programs that rank racializedsocio-economic privilege rather than quality teaching and learning.” Wendy Hughes
Wendy Hughes is a former school principal who is now a doctoral student at OISE with research interests in curriculum, education policy, children’s educational rights and the common school.
“When Japanese Canadians were interned during World War II, their children were excluded from B.C. public schools. The interned communities created alternative schools with volunteer teachers trained in summer programs and led by Hideko Hyodo, the only Japanese Canadian teacher in B.C. public schools at the time. She was later awarded the Order of Canada in recognition of her role and the work of these teachers.” Larry Kuehn
Larry Kuehn is a member of the IPE/BC Board of Directors and chair of the Research and Programs Committee. He is a research associate for the CCPA and retired BCTF Director of Research and Technology. He has written extensively on education matters including funding, globalization, technology and privacy.
“While many schools and classrooms have been working hard to forge a path towards implementing more inclusive practices that aim to service and value all students, the challenges presented by government regulations during the 2020-2021 school year had significant impacts on the ability of schools and classroom teachers to maintain those environments and practices for students. Based on personal observations and reflections, this commentary explores some of the challenges and effects of COVID regulations (i.e. social distancing, limited access to school during non-instructional times, suspension of extracurricular activities, hybrid-learning) on classroom communities. Additionally, comments focus on the impact of regulations on the ability of educators and students to sustain a sense of belonging and the ability of educators to service diverse student needs within the context of COVID policies.” Dr. Gemma Porter
Dr. Gemma Porter is an Assistant Professor at Acadia University and an experienced middle and secondary school teacher. Her teaching interests include Social Studies methods, creative integration of curriculum, principles and practices, and the sociological, historical and philosophical foundations of education. Dr. Porter’s dissertation focused on the history of the Social Studies curriculum in Saskatchewan, including the dominant narratives about Canada and the explicit and implicit messages conveyed through official curriculum.
On August 31st, 2021, Tracy Humphries, BCEDAccess, presented to this legislative committee during its annual consultation process after which it will make recommendations to government to consider in developing the provincial budget.
“I’m here to ask you today to invest, in a significant way, in K-to-12 education, which is still experiencing budget cuts every year. On the table were approximately $100 million in cuts among the 60 school districts for the 2021-22 school year, many of those targeting inclusive education, and there’s more cuts on the table for next school year.”
Tracy Humphries is the Founder and Chair of BCEdAccess. She has been an active volunteer in public schools for over twenty years and has served on her local Parent Advisory Councils and the District Parent Advisory Council in Victoria. She is a dedicated advocate for families of children with disabilities.