The Lighthouse of Equality: A Guide to Inclusive Schooling

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Inclusive Education, Equality, Diversity, Multiculturalism


Inclusive schooling is now widely regarded as the most effective way to maximize the potential of all the students served by our schools. It has traditionally been associated with bringing disabled students into the regular classrooms but I use the term in a much broader way to embrace taking account of differences of all kinds – age, disability, race, culture, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, and other defining characteristics. An inclusive approach to schooling is a matter of increasing importance in a Canada that is more diverse and multicultural every day. Most educators now support inclusion as a theory but there are still significant debates about how best to implement the policies of inclusion.

I am thus confident of wide support for the policy of inclusion. I am less confident that either educators or the general public will embrace the law, and in particular the concept of equality found in the Canadian Charter of rights and Freedoms and human rights codes, as the light- house that can guide educators down the path to inclusive schools. lawyers and judges are more often regarded as sources of fog shrouding the educational process than as beacons of light to guide educators through the complex fog of public education. nonetheless, I will argue that the concept of equality, properly understood and applied with adequate resources, can be the lighthouse that guides us to more inclusive, effective, and even safer public schools.