Book review of THE INCLUSION TOOLBOX: Strategies and techniques for all teachers, by Jennifer A. Kurth and Megan Gross, Corwin, 2015 ISBN: 9781483344157
THE INCLUSION TOOLBOX is a complete resource for K-12 teachers, inclusion facilitators and leaders aiming to build inclusive education practices to ensure all learners – including those with individual education plans – are successful. The authors advocate for true inclusion, that is when “a student, regardless of his or her disability label, is a full member of an age-appropriate general education classroom.” Planning, implementing and sustaining a complete inclusive setting and providing appropriate transition plans require a strong commitment and can be challenging for inclusive team members.
This comprehensive book can help make inclusive education a reality. The toolbox is organized in three parts: (1) setting up inclusive education and preparing for school start-up; (2) implementing inclusive education and working with students, families and agencies for quality day-to-day service; and (3) expanding inclusive practices to maintain and strengthen inclusive educational environments. The toolbox offers numerous resources to help teachers and administrators provide learners with what they need to be successful.
Inclusive education resources are commonly designed for a student’s diagnosis or disability label. However, the focus in each of the 15 chapters in this toolbox is on resources, strategies and ideas that can be implemented by inclusive team members to benefit all students. For example, the Universal Design for Learning framework is discussed as an approach for planning and designing adaptations for students’ academic success. The authors also emphasize the importance of student well-being and offer strategies for social inclusion and extracurricular inclusion as necessary aspects of complete inclusive settings.
Chapters include a synthesis of literature and research findings, sample documents that can be easily customized, technology suggestions for using online applications to communicate and collaborate with team members, case studies illustrating exemplar practices, administrator insights for minimizing challenges in fostering inclusive practices and effective leadership strategies to support students, staff and parents. A website with downloadable forms also supplements each chapter in this all-encompassing resource designed to support meaningful inclusion in schools.
Photo: Dave Donald
First published in Education Canada, May 2015