On October 29th, Dr. Bruce Beairsto offered the province an extremely thought provoking workshop around inclusion and why special education has to go. He started the morning relating his personal journey of involvement with, and growing understanding of inclusion. He emphasized the crucial difference between the architectural metaphor and the medical metaphor of inclusion, and the importance of the classroom teacher as a constant adult mentor. He ended his morning urging the participants to take action, collaborate and keep on striving for something greater.
After the captivating morning presentation, each hosting site went on to discuss what was presented in the morning, if they agreed with what was presented, current status of inclusion in each of the districts the participants were from and what they can all do going back to their individual roles. The session was streamed to Kamloops and Quesnel involving more than 80 participants. With backchanneling taking place using Twitter (#setbcevents) and Today’s Meet, it was an event that displayed how participants from different areas in the province can come together with the correct implementation of technology.
Bruce has taken up various roles in the educational system, starting off as a science teacher and making his way to becoming superintendent of the Richmond district. He is currently an adjunct Professor at SFU and continues to be a frequent speaker and consultant across the province. He holds a Masters Degree in Physics and a Ph.D in Educational Leadership.
Dr. Beairsto’s slides are available to download.