Special Education Needs and Disabilities in Secondary Education (Canada)

Lay Summary 

Canada is at an important crossroads around lower and upper secondary school students with special education needs (SEN). Research indicates that significant progress has occurred in school inclusion but there are significant, ongoing challenges. Examples of Canadian research include:

- case studies focusing on students with SEN in diverse lower and upper secondary schools (Stegemann and Aucoin 2018)
- how new teachers come to understand inclusion (Specht 2016)
- how learning disabilities are identified and supported (Stegemann 2016)
- supporting students with SEN, such as those with autism spectrum disorder (Maich and Hall 2016)
- the use of assistive technology to support all students (Sider and Maich 2014)
- mental health supports in Canadian secondary schools (Kutcher, Bagnell, and Wei 2015)
- school leadership practices to support inclusion (Sider, Maich, and Morvan 2017).

Inclusion and equity are seen as important aspects of the social fabric in Canada but gaps in support for those with mental health concerns as well as for indigenous students point to a different reality. Limited specific research and a lacking federal vision for inclusive education means that those in indigenous, rural and/or northern communities, or others such as newcomers to Canada cannot always access services. Although research has led to significant changes in inclusive education policies and programs, impactful work needs to continue.


More information about this project can be found here.


Adapted from: https://research.library.mun.ca/14409/

Special Education
Start date 
13 Mar 2020