Dr. Robert Williamson

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education

Research Interests

My research focuses on the examination of inclusive practices from three different yet inter-related perspectives. First, inclusive practice is examined from the perspective of the individual diverse student. Within this line of research, personalized instructional practices are examined. Often this includes the creation and examination of high or low tech- technology based individualized learning systems but also looks at how the individual perceives and receives instructional content delivered within heterogeneous group settings. Second, inclusive practice is examined from the perspective of the family. This focus area recognizes the critical interactions between learning and family that take place outside the school environment and seeks to better understand how these close personal relationships interact to support or detract from the learning process of diverse individual students. Third, inclusive practice is examined from an external systems perspective. This focus seeks to better understand the roles of the greater educational and community based systems that seek to support the living and learning of diverse individuals within multiple environments. In this regard, the experiences and needs of displaced and migrant children with disabilities and their families are of particular concern. It is these perspectives individually as well as how they interact that drive my research journey.

No description of my research would be complete, however, without acknowledging that which connects my research to my personal life journey. My role as a teacher and parent connects my research questions to my personal drive to support children and adults with atypical living and learning struggles. Beyond professional academic inquiry, my questions often have a personal connection to real life situations and people seeking answers. With that in mind, my methodologies are typically a mix of single case designs and quantitative methodologies. The social validity of my work is of the upmost importance and I welcome studies that may answer the questions of one as much as those that answer questions regarding groups. In this regard, the idea of what exactly constitutes evidence based practice in the area of educational methods and practices is very much of interest to me.