Are leaders leading the way with inclusion? Teachers' perceptions of systemic support and barriers towards inclusion

Stuart Woodcock, Lisa Marks Woolfson

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This study explored teachers’ views of systemic support for inclusion and barriers to its success at school and classroom levels. The research employed a thematic analysis of the insights of 120 Canadian primary and secondary teachers. Findings show that many key issues surrounding the success of inclusion lie not only at the level of the classroom teacher in terms of their attitude and practical application of inclusive strategies in the classroom, but that they also lie in the school climate and culture, and through systemic support from leadership and the Board. Major concerns were around human resource, other teachers’ attitudes, competing demands, leadership and board support, and professional development. Results suggest the need for greater focus on high leverage, maximum impact systemic support at the leadership level if education systems are to truly make a paradigm shift towards inclusion.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Early online date29 Nov 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Nov 2018


  • inclusion
  • systemic support
  • teacher attitudes
  • teacher concerns

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