Inclusive Education as a Practice of Social Justice

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Charles Bingham, Faculty of Education

Project team: Arden Bonokoski, research assistant

Timeframe: January 2017 to January 2018

Funding: $5,000  

Final report: View Charles Bingham's final report (PDF)

Description: In 2001, SFU signed a memorandum of understanding with the BC Initiative for Inclusive Post-Secondary Education (STEPS Forward) to create opportunities for students with developmental disabilities, who would normally not be eligible to enroll and participate in undergraduate courses, to be included in the academic and social life of SFU. To date, no systematic study has been conducted to assess or improve the quality of teaching for students with developmental disabilities in regular undergraduate courses. This project will assemble SFU professors who have included students with developmental disabilities, through the inclusive post-secondary initiative, in order to discuss successful ways of working with, and learning from, these students. The aim is to consider the ways that professors have engaged students, but also the ways that such work adds to the overall pedagogical sensibilities—and social commitments—of professors.

Questions addressed:

  • How do professors engage students with developmentally disabilities who audit their classes?
  • How can teaching students with developmental disabilities afford insight and broaden professors’ understanding of pedagogy more generally?
  • What can existing theoretical and practical research on educating students with developmental disabilities add to professors’ self-understanding about their practice with such students?
  • What is the value of the materials developed and the coffee klatch conversations for the participants?  What recommendations do they have for improvement?

Knowledge sharing:

Bingham, C. (2017, October). Special needs in an era of learnification. Colloquium presentation at the Faculty of Education, University of Honk Kong, Hong Kong, CN.

Bonokoski, A. (2017). Inclusive Post Secondary Resource Materials for Professors. Retrieved from

Bonokoski, A. (2017, November). Benchmarks for Assessing and Improving the Quality of Inclusion at Post-Secondary Institutions. Presentation at DEMOfest 2017: The Art of Assessment, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.

Bonokoski, A.D., Bingham, C., & Hughson, A. (2018, June 19). Inclusive post-secondary education (IPSE) as a practice of social justice. Presentation at ARUCC/CACUSS Conference, Charlottetown, PEI.

Keywords: faculty development; small group discussion; summaries of literature;  developmental disabilities; under served populations; field notes; reflective notes; special needs;  accommodation;  social justice; UDL; Inclusive Post Secondary Education; Inclusion; Inclusive Education; Inclusive Pedagogy; Professor Identity