Modernizing the educational system in the USA and Canada: a comparative study


The purpose of the article is to identify the measures taken to modernize the US and Canadian educational system, to highlight the similarities and differences that characterize reforming efforts in the US and Canada in order to provide quality education for children with special educational needs. Historical and retrospective methods are applied for consistent disclosure of the inclusive education genesis; the comparative method is used to compare and contrast the reforms to modernize education and to include children with special educational needs in regular schools. Taking into consideration the level of social movement and the federal government’s influence on the educational policies, similar and different measures to modernize schools in the USA and Canada are identified. The similarities include: that inclusive education in both countries depends on how active social movement for equal opportunities and equity is; how efficiently legislation responds to students’ needs; how a teacher training system takes into account a school’s need to educate every child; and appropriate funding to accommodate student needs. Differences include the following points: inclusion of students with disabilities into the regular educational setting in the USA is clearly expressed in the U.S. inclusive education legislation, and this legislation is imperative to the placement of students with disabilities into a regular education setting while in Canada inclusion is recommended except New Brunswick and three territories where the policy is totally inclusive. The research novelty. The study emphasizes the importance of the legislative imperative of using evidence-based practices, "Response to Intervention", "Multitiered Support System" that provide for the special educational needs of all students. The practical significance of these research findings is determined by the research problem relevance, novelty, and conclusions of general theoretical and practical value. The results can serve as a theoretical and methodological impetus for comparative pedagogical research. The reforms described in the research accentuate the importance of measures that can significantly improve the quality of education and provide all children with the necessary support to reach their potential.

Keywords: modernization, reforming, inclusive education, children with special educational needs, state policy, legislative framework, "Response to intervention", "Multitiered support system"