Inclusion consultant Shelley Moore pulled up to Agassiz Elementary Secondary School (AESS) late Thursday evening.
Delighted to see her name in lights on the sign, Moore swooped into the AESS library emanating positivity even after hours of driving from Duncan, B.C.
Moore gave a presentation on “shifting education” to a small group of parents, teachers and school district 78 trustees.
“We no longer segregate classrooms by race, but we have no problem segregating by ability,” she said. “We can’t force inclusion, but we can facilitate it.”
Moore said this type of “segregation” is harmful to learning, not just for special-needs learners, but for all students, who won’t get the opportunity to learn from students who are different.
But Moore doesn’t advocate forcing integrated classroom settings without proper support.
She said classrooms that truly celebrate diversity have incredible resources and support to make sure all students are learning and growing.
“Integration is the first step, but it can’t be the last,” she said, adding that simply sharing space isn’t enough to create inclusion and value diversity.
Despite the complexities of creating learning equality, Moore’s overarching message was simple: Defining students as “others” is harmful, unless everyone is an “other” and is celebrated for what makes them different as a student and an individual.
Based out of the Vancouver area, Moore travels around the country to talk to parents and educators about the meaning of “true inclusion.”
She is a speaker, presenter and consultant and has written a book titled “One without the Other: Stories of Unity through Diversity and Inclusion.”
To learn more about Moore’s concepts and presentations, visit blogsomemoore.com.