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Canadian classrooms are a microcosm of Canada’s diverse society, and educational assistants play a vital role in helping all students feel valued, capable, and included. The Educational Assistant’s Guide to Supporting Inclusion in a Diverse Society uses case studies and examples to present an accessible, practical guide to acquiring the key skills and knowledge you need to be an effective, professional enhancement to the classroom.

Topics include:

  • The many and varied roles and responsibilities of EAs
  • Ethical duties of EAs
  • Effective advocacy techniques
  • The role of reflective practice in solving problems
  • Building relationships and communicating with students, parents, teachers, and school administrators
  • Recent research on the brain, self-esteem, resilience theory, and multiple intelligences
  • The importance of an individualized, holistic approach to student learning
  • Universal Design for Learning, and strategies for differentiating academic and social learning
  • Techniques for observation and documentation
  • Positive guidance strategies for challenging behaviours

Table of Contents

Notes on Terminology
1. Our Diverse Society
2. Considering Inclusion
3. The Role of the Educational Assistant
4. The Educational Assistant as Advocate
5. Introduction to Reflective Practice
6. A Practice of Relationships
7. Communication in Relationships
8. What Do Children Need to Succeed?
9. Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
10. Supporting Academic Learning: Inquiry, Literacy, and Numeracy
11. Supporting Social Skills
12. Positive Guidance Strategies
13. Observing and Documenting
14. Surviving and Thriving
Appendix A. Inclusive Community Planning Matrix
Appendix B. Individual Educational Plan (IEP) Template
Appendix C. Differentiating Instruction for Academic Learning
Appendix D. Differentiating Instruction for Social Learning
Appendix E. A Continuum Framework for Responding to Children
About the Authors

Carole Massing

Carole Massing began her career as an elementary school teacher and developed a particular interest in early learning when her own children were small. Since that time, she has taught in post-secondary programs at MacEwan University, the University of Alberta and NorQuest College. She has also consulted, researched and developed curriculum in early learning and child care, interculturalism, and human service administration. Carole teaches in the Bachelor of Applied Human Service Administration program at MacEwan University.  She earned her PhD in elementary education at the University of Alberta.

Bonnie Anderson

Bonnie began her teaching  career as an Educational Assistant and went on to work as a classroom teacher for three decades. She now teaches at Norquest College in the Educational Assistant and Early Learning and Child Care programs, and has previously taught in the Educational Assistant program at MacEwan University.

Carol Anderson

Carol Anderson is a retired educator with thirty-nine years of extensive teaching experience working with school aged children in diverse classroom settings. She is trained both as a K-12 educator and as a specialist for children with communicative challenges, in particular children who are deaf and hard of hearing. She brings with her expertise in working with children who have a wide range of exceptionalities, creating positive inclusive classrooms, and differentiating instruction for all learners.