"Be Strong; Know What You Need": A Narrative on Inclusive Leadership
Based on an in-depth interview with a retired school principal, this paper explores questions around what it means to practice inclusive leadership in an Ontario school board from the mid 1970s into the 21st century. Using semi-structured interview questions, the investigation specifically sought to understand the practice of creating inclusive schools for students with disabilities. A narrative style using found poetry was used to give voice to the interviewee. Central to the practice was the need for a strong moral purpose and a vision of inclusion, as well as the ability to build relationships across parents, teachers, students, and other school staff. Additional insights included the need for the sharing of knowledge among all levels of school personnel. Instructional leadership, formal decision making approaches, and legislative procedures did not appear to be as important in ensuring inclusion.
Keywords: inclusion; inclusive leadership; disabilities; special education
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