Fiona Whittington-Walsh, PhD. Chair, Department of Sociology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey British Columbia President, Inclusion BC
The IACP is a pedagogical model that involves the full inclusion of students with intellectual disabilities into Faculty of Arts (FA) courses at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) in British Columbia for credit and on an equal basis with other students. This model opens the doors of education by making existing university courses environments where all students can participate and succeed. Without adapting curriculum, the IACP uses the principles of universal design for learning (UDL) to transform teaching and deliver curriculum to a wide range of learners. This is a student-centred learning environment where everyone is included and valued on equal basis, thereby making it an exemplary learning experience for all and is one of the first fully inclusive, for-credit university certificate programs. Students in the IACP will receive their Faculty of Arts, Certificate in Arts (FAC), an exit credential consisting of 30 academic credits (10 courses) that is fully transferable through the BC Council on Admissions and Transfer. The FAC pre-exists the IACP and is designed to provide an educational experience that prepares students for work, citizenship, and critical engagement with their communities. The IACP pilot was launched in spring 2016 and includes five students with intellectual disabilities who take one FA course each term to complete their FAC. Using a qualitative, ethnographic, and participatory action research methodology, the lead instructor and principal investigator and co-researcher are investigating and assessing the teaching strategies and techniques that support student learning of essential knowledge and skill sets in each of the courses that are part of the IACP. The research approach is two-fold: case study and action research. The courses that are part of the pilot are the foundation for the unfolding case study. Data collection occurs during and after each course using the following methods: (1) instructor self-reflection of both successful and unsuccessful teaching strategies and techniques; (2) voluntary and anonymous student course evaluations; (3) interviews with students; (4) interviews with IACP instructors; and (5) post-graduation interviews with pilot students. Research ethics was approved in 2016. The anticipated outcomes for the IACP include: (1) providing a successful pilot as a model of inclusive pedagogy; (2) creating a teacher’s guide to assist other instructors in transforming their teaching to reach a wide range of learners; (3) identifying policy barriers located within the educational system; and (4) providing leadership and encouraging innovative and inclusive pedagogical practices. The pedagogical foundation of this project has far-reaching potential including, but not limited to, programs that offer English as an alternative language service for international students whose first language is not English as well as influencing pedagogical reform in secondary and post-secondary education. This workshop will introduce The Including All Citizens Project (IACP) including examples of teaching strategies.