The Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board has just celebrated 30 Years of Fully Inclusive Education for All. Their mission statement: “EACH BELONGS”.
This remarkable book by Jim Hansen collects the history — including an extensive collection of documents and letters from teachers and families — that tell the stories of the struggles from the inside over 30 years.
For anyone who ever has the thought, “It’s a great idea, but let’s be realistic,” this is an important book. Hamilton is a steel town. It is a collage of immigrant communities. It isn’t wealthy. They had no extra funds. They believed it was possible — and important and they just did it. Their secret is extra love and caring for all.
About the DVD
Each Belongs is a great book. But, you need to see and hear Jim Hansen and his team to fully appreciate the remarkable work they did to welcome all students. So we made a DVD. It is ‘interviews’ with Jim Hansen and his colleague Phil DiFrancesco on how they created an inclusive school system. They are frank, funny and profound. If you need to have your schools and families hear it from the horse’s mouth — you need this DVD. Two additional interviews put this work in context. Gary Bunch, a Professor of Education from York University in Toronto reviews the history of special education and puts Hamilton in that context. Gerv Leyden, is a professor at the University of Nottingham who has observed the Hamilton experience over the decades. He summarizes the British experience and puts the Hamilton experience in that context.
A great resource book for educators, families and policy makers who want to make inclusion happen – especially in a school system.
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