TIES Inclusive Education Roadmap

Supportive Leadership

Supportive Leadership

Supportive leadership forms the base of the Implementation Drivers triangle. It is impossible to make change at a systemic level without engaged and supportive leaders (Tian & Huber, 2019). Supportive leaders do more than allow change to happen in their system; they are change agents. Supportive leaders are actively engaged in the change process, and they lead by example and are the early adopters of the system’s change goals. They provide clear and consistent messaging and expectations about upcoming change efforts while also acknowledging the challenges that are a part of any change process. Supportive leaders consistently listen to the needs of the people “on the ground” who are responsible for implementing change in their practice and engage in collaborative problem solving to identify and eliminate barriers to implementation.

Supportive leaders for inclusive education:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to inclusive education through their actions and words 
  • View inclusive education for students with significant cognitive disabilities as an equity issue that must be actively addressed 
  • Communicate their expectations for change clearly and frequently 
  • Are aware of the research describing the  improved  outcomes that inclusive education brings to all students in the system
  • Provide school personnel with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively meet the needs of all students in general education classrooms
  • Engage in ongoing honest discussions with teachers, staff, families, and students to ensure that inclusive education is working for everyone