Jennifer Katz

Associate Professor

Research Interests

Inclusive Education
The Three-Block Model of UDL
Universal design for learning (UDL)

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs


Great Supervisor Week Mentions

Each year graduate students are encouraged to give kudos to their supervisors through social media and our website as part of #GreatSupervisorWeek. Below are students who mentioned this supervisor since the initiative was started in 2017.


Jen goes out of her way to introduce me to other faculty members (at UBC and other universities) and has provided many opportunities for me to network and present my work around Canada and the US...this has introduced me to a network of support that I really appreciate and value. She has high expectations that push me to my best work, is supportive and encouraging, and is always in my corner. Thanks Jen!

Sarah Skinner (2019)


Graduate Student Supervision

Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

United Nations sustainable development goal 4: exploring inclusive education of students with developmental disabilities in Lagos state, Nigeria (2022)

In Nigeria, students with disabilities including developmental disabilities (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disabilities) account for a rising number of students, or potential students in schools (Adeniyi, Owolabi, & Olojede, 2015). Since the inception of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 4 in the year 2015, many schools seem to be running inclusion practices in Nigeria. Meaningful inclusive practices consist of both academic and social inclusion in the classroom and school community (Sokal& Katz, 2015) This study used a single case qualitative case study design to explore an inclusive school with two students with developmental disabilities attending inclusive classrooms, drawn from a school of over 712 pupils of early years to Year 6 (Between ages 3-11 years), five mainstream teachers, including mainstream teachers for the two students with developmental disabilities, two learning assistants, two special needs teachers, two peers and two parents of students with developmental disabilities. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with the participants via UBC zoom and documents analysis. Themes and subthemes emerged from the data and were analysed using thematic analysis. The findings suggest the key impact of funding, teacher training, school environment, socio-cultural beliefs etc. play in the success of inclusive education for students with developmental disabilities. Additional findings suggest that students with developmental disabilities experienced meaningful inclusion in the social life of the classroom when they are included in the group and when their individual learning goals were woven into classroom activities and daily classroom routines school while the academic life of the classroom for students with developmental disabilities is in an adapted or restricted role

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Participation in an inclusive classroom: classroom members' perspectives of the school participation of a student with significant disabilities (2018)

In British Columbia, students with significant disabilities are included in general education classes with their peers. True inclusion goes beyond having a physical presence in the classroom and involves meaningful participation in both the social and academic life of the classroom (Katz, 2012). Meaningful participation consists of three inter-related components: active engagement in a task, the perception of participating, and the context in which it occurs (Eriksson & Granlund, 2004). Participation supports the healthy development and well-being of a child (Law, 2002), yet many students with significant disabilities are not receiving the necessary supports to fully participate at school (Kurth, Morningstar, & Kozleski, 2014; Sokal & Katz, 2015).The current study used a qualitative case study design to explore how a student with significant disabilities participates in an inclusive classroom. More specifically, the study focused on factors that influenced participation, using the Canadian Model of Occupational Performance and Engagement (CMOP-E) as a theoretical framework. CMOP-E suggests that interactions between factors relating to the person, the environment, and the activity influence a person’s participation in daily activities (Polatajko, Townsend, & Craik, 2007). Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with the classroom teacher, education assistant (EA), five students in the class, and from direct observations of the student participating in daily classroom activities and analyzed using thematic analysis.Results of this study suggest key factors that influence participation in an inclusive classroom of a student with significant disabilities include: (a) student’s ability to communicate; (b) classroom culture that respects diversity, fosters a sense of belonging and safety, and values personal and social responsibility; (c) access to adapted materials and Assistive Technology (AT); (d) elements of Universal Design for Learning (UDL); (e) interactive learning; (f) weaving individualized learning outcomes into classroom activities and routines. Additional findings suggest that interactions of personal factors of all the members of the class influence participation; thus, personal factors of the classroom teacher, EA, and peers must also be considered. Furthermore, these social interactions contribute to the social environment in the classroom, indicating personal factors must always be considered in the context of the social environment.

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