Master of Education in Distance Education (MDDE) 631

Inclusive Leadership and Practice in Education

Course cover

Delivery Mode: Group Study

Credits: 3

Prerequisite: None.

Availability: Normally, Winter Term Only

Note: MEd program students must complete Mdde601 & Mdde602 prior to all other courses
Early access to the Moodle Learning Management System begins a few days before the official start date of your course. At that time you will have limited course access.


Student populations today are more diverse than ever before. Ensuring that each student is meaningfully included and successful is a challenge for teachers, instructors, administrators, and others involved in the educational process. Differences in ability levels, ethnicity, cultural background, and gender identity, among other factors, can provide learning environments with a rich kaleidoscope of features. With inclusive leadership and practice, student diversity can add value to the learning environment, providing opportunities for meaningful learning, personal growth, and community building.

MDDE631: Inclusive Leadership and Practice in Education addresses the skills, knowledge, and attitudes required to deal successfully with student diversity. Theories and research from sociology, inclusive education, and inclusive leadership will be addressed, as well as relevant legislation and policies. Personal attitudes, values, and beliefs pertaining to particular differences will be explored. Through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities, participants in the course will investigate how learning environments can be made more student-centered and inclusive. Participants will address current challenges they face in a collaborative manner designed to create an ongoing community of practice. 

Course Goals

The course is designed for students to achieve the following goals:

  1. Analyse and critique the basic theories supporting the development of inclusive practices.
  2. Appraise the inclusive practices and values of learning environments.
  3. Design effective strategies for the application of inclusive practice in the classroom and educational workplace.
  4. Apply the principles and strategies of inclusiveness in their teaching practice.
  5. Advocate for the application of inclusive practices in the educational environment.

Course Outline

The course is divided into three units:

  • Unit 1: Inclusiveness Theory
  • Unit 2: Leadership Theory
  • Unit 3: Design and Application.

Learning Resources

Online Study guide and Readings


Ryan, J. (2006). Inclusive Leadership (Vol. 2). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Student Assessment

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1: Students will perform a critical review of two major theories – one pertaining to inclusiveness and one pertaining to leadership. 25%
Assignment 2: Students will describe, critically analyse and moderate a discussion about an educational setting in which a lack of inclusiveness is a concern. 30%
Assignment 3: Students will provide a report, evidence of and reflection on how they have or plan to apply and support the expansion of inclusiveness practices in their classroom / workplace. 30%
Course participation: Students are expected to participate in the course forums and web conferences. 15%
Total 100%

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.